Go to page content

Diabetes as part of a romantic relationship

A good romantic relationship has a significant impact on one's entire life, including health and work capacity. It strengthens satisfaction and increases lifespan. A well-functioning relationship also provides strong support for the balanced growth and development of children.

Crises and difficulties experienced in life can strengthen a romantic relationship, but their impact can also be the opposite. What is significant is how openly issues, conflicts, and feelings are discussed.

Often, diabetes comes unexpectedly, and planning the emotions or reactions provoked by it in advance is impossible. Diagnosis may bring to the surface entirely new feelings and can affect well-being in many ways. An illness, such as diabetes, can easily become the third wheel in a romantic relationship. Diabetes affects the relationship, and conversely, the reactions of the partners in the relationship affect its significance in everyday life. A romantic relationship in which it is difficult for partners to discuss difficulties does not support in a crisis as well as a relationship where both partners are heard and acknowledged.

When diabetes suddenly becomes a part of an existing romantic relationship, both partners need information, understanding, motivation, and a relationship attitude. Obtaining factual information from healthcare professionals and other reliable sources is of utmost importance.

Diabetes can also be a unifying factor

If both partners in the relationship have diabetes before the relationship begins or both are diagnosed with diabetes during it, diabetes itself can also be a unifying and strengthening factor in the relationship. A shared experience of the diabetes and a shared understanding of its impact on daily life can, at best, act as forces that support the romantic relationship. When a partner shares the experience of living with diabetes, one can trust that the other understands even when it is difficult to articulate issues. Peer support is important, and a peer support event may even help one to find a partner or a best friend.

However, it is important to remember in all relationships that ultimately, each person is responsible for and decides on their own actions and diabetes management. This right must also be respected in a romantic relationship.