Dating With Sleep Apnea
Last updated: February 2023
One of the most difficult parts of sleep apnea is dating. I was fortunate enough to have been diagnosed with sleep apnea once I was in a relationship with my now wife. This did make it a little easier because she went through the process with me, but I did have my own internal struggles with it because we still were dating.
Thankfully, this is not a big deal and most men or women will not care that you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine the first time you sleep over.
Honesty is the best policy
I personally think the best way to date with sleep apnea is, to be honest. I would let my partner know that I have a machine that stops me from snoring and will ensure him or her a good night's sleep and will also give her something to joke about with how I look wearing it.
To me, there is no shame and everything is fair game for a friendly joke. This helps with the awkwardness, if there is any, and is a healthy form of communication. Don’t be afraid to show off your new headgear. Honestly, most people are probably aware of what it is and may even have a family member that uses one. It really isn’t a big deal compared to how bad sleeping next to someone who snores is.
CPAP shows you take your health seriously
Ask your partner to share something about their medical history or history, in general, that they don’t like or are a little shy about. Don’t push the issue, but let them know it will be well-received because you have your CPAP that makes you a little uncomfortable the first time a partner sees it.
You should be aware that you probably look down on your CPAP more than a partner, but that doesn’t help the first time. If anything, it shows how well you take your health seriously and want to be considerate of your partner's sleep, even if that isn’t the real reason. They don’t need to know that.
Consider sleeping at your place first
I would also suggest sleeping together at your place first. This will eliminate that awkward moment you walk through the door with your machine. You don’t have to make it seem like you are planning on sleeping over since you have to account for your machine and can still give off that spontaneous feel. Introduce your machine to him or her and maybe even give it a silly name. There are plenty of ways to eliminate the feeling of being different or broken because you need a CPAP machine.
CPAP can help solidify a relationship
I hated the first time I had to wear it around my wife. I have no doubt I felt more insecure about it than I needed to, but like I said, you can’t just make that feeling go away and he or she can’t reassure you enough to make it stop. Go with the flow.
At some point, you need to know in a relationship if someone is serious about you and willing to take the good with the bad. I can’t think of a better way to test that than with a CPAP machine. It’s a stylish relationship solidifier.
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