Wednesday, October 19, 2011
From Where I Sit: Finding Romance
I've always been a hopeless romantic. I'd watch countless romantic movies in high school and hope that someday I too would have what I was seeing on the big screen. I knew that these were just movies, but they always gave me hope that one day someone would love me just as passionately.
I was asked not long ago by Ruth a question to be answered in the "From Where I Sit" segment. Since this week is devoted to love, I thought this question was quite appropriate.
Q. Did you ever feel like your disability might prevent you from getting married?
A. Plain and simple, no I never did. I did however think that my prince charming would have to be one of very special qualities. After all, there are differences that come with dating/marrying me.
This might sound not so fun to you right? Watching guys that you have a crush on date your friends or classmates all the while inside you secretly wish they were dating you.
Well, for me it was a double edge sword. Ya, there were times that I wanted to be those girls, but when all was said and done, these guys were done with them and still very involved in my life. . .I win.
I knew that at the high school age, most (not all) guys (or girls for that matter) are not at the maturity level to date someone who is "different". They are not ready for the questions or stares or differences dating a person with a disability entails.
For me, my first true boyfriend came in my second year of college. He was a true catch! Very attractive, a baseball player for his college and just an all around sweet guy. We were together about eight months, and then due to distance decided things were better for us to just be friends.
After that the world of dating seemed to open up for me. I had numerous guys ask me out on dates throughout my college career, and I seemed to be living the "normal" dating lifestyle. Suddenly the fact I was in a wheelchair did not matter anymore.
As mature as a person may be when it comes to dating/marrying a person with a disability, I am no dummy. I know there has to be a willingness to take on the added responsibilities that go along with it. For instance, my husband has to help me in and out of bed, get dressed, shower, etc. Marrying me is not like marrying someone else and I realize even a guy that might be totally in to me may not be ready or able or willing to take on all of me; and I was always OK with that. I got it.
Even with that in mind, I NEVER thought I would not find my true love and one day get married. Perhaps it was my upbringing that was full of love and acceptance. Perhaps it is my attitude towards my situation; that I am no different than anyone else. I just knew that there would be someone out there for me, and it didn't have to be another disabled person. I was deserving of someone's love and when the right person came along, I would have my romantic movie. Now five years in to marriage, I'd say we're off to a box office hit wouldn't you?!