a couple on a date with the man thinking about love and the woman thinking about her CPAP machine

Dating With Your CPAP

I was in my early 20s when I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Some of you may have read that in a previous article. During this time, I was seeing someone for about a year. He was there throughout the whole process of my denial and avoidance. Despite that, I was very nervous to bring out the machine when he was over. Dating with a CPAP was very challenging.

How would I reveal it the first time? What was his reaction going to be? At what point in the night do I put it on? Because, once the machine is on, it is very difficult to talk due to the air pressure.

I had to do something about my snoring

The guy I was with at the time was trying to persuade me to seek medical advice. He was unable to sleep due to my snoring and gasping for air. He also said that he was terrified when I stopped breathing, followed by an intense gasp for air. It was getting to the point that he was avoiding sleeping over because of it all.

My snoring was never-ending. As you may know, no matter which position I roll into (by my own volition or being shoved out of annoyance) throughout the night, the snoring doesn’t cease.

I was disturbing someone else's sleep

I had to take a step back and kind of remove myself from the situation for a moment. The fact was, I was disturbing this person’s sleep so much that he was not enjoying staying over anymore. I had a machine that could lessen the snoring and help both parties sleep better. At that point, what was the difficult decision?

Long story short, I introduced the machine and all went fine. But, keep in mind that I got this machine after being with this guy for about a year. The pros outweighed the cons in this situation of whether to use the CPAP with him or not. We were very comfortable with each other.

But, as some of you may be wondering about a NEW relationship...Don’t worry, I have that coming!

Bringing my CPAP into a new dating relationship

The college relationship with that guy ended. Then, whenever I met someone new this was a whole brand new topic to bring up. Unlike the college situation, this is brand new information to these men.

So, that’s a whole new Pandora’s box to open and delve into. My friends will always ask me when I come back from the date (especially if it was at the level of a sleepover) if I brought my CPAP.

Do I feel comfortable with the other person?

In all honesty, I do not bring my CPAP on the first time I am staying with someone new. I might not even bring it the second time. Personally, I have to feel very comfortable with the person I am with in order to bring out the CPAP.

I like to think that my snoring has become tamer due to the consistency of breathing through my nose with the CPAP, instead of through my mouth which is when the snoring sounds like fireworks. But, I still have to be very comfortable with the individual before I bring the machine out.

A conversation worth having

Even though I do not bring the CPAP out right away, I do disclose that I have OSA, that I snore, and that I will inevitably stop breathing followed by a gasp for air throughout the night.

With that being said, when it is time to bring my machine out it is not a complete surprise because the person would be briefed on the situation. And at that point, it is often a relief because they will no longer hear my snoring and/or hear my gasping for air throughout the night!

It's a personal decision for each of us

This has been my go-to plan whenever there is someone new / if I make it this far with an individual.

As with all of my articles, this is just to share my experience and how I have introduced my machine to partners. This is not at all me telling you how to do this as it is a highly personal situation and I trust that you all will make the decisions that feel the best for you and your partner!

What's your approach to dating with your CPAP machine? How do you bring it up with a new partner? We would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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