To the Women Unsure About Dating Me Because of My Disability
First, let it be said that this letter is being written not to criticize or patronize, but in the name of honest conversation. I think we can agree that everyone, regardless of gender or disability status, has had many experiences with rejection through the years. In fact, I think there’s a good chance that if we’re using these times as learning experiences, rejection has made us better people. But I’m also guessing it’s true that very few of us find out the real reason a member of the opposite sex doesn’t want to date us, so allow me to get a few things off my chest.
Yes, I am different. I am usually in a wheelchair, so it’s kind of hard to hide. But with maturity comes acceptance, and what I have accepted is this: cerebral palsy is a part of me and always will be, but it’s not who I am. That means my arms and legs might not work like yours, but my brain does. I’m able to think about what I want in a partner, just as you are.
Please try your best not to look at me as someone who needs help, pity or is a great inspiration. I may need help physically from time to time, but if you give me a chance, I know I can help you in different ways when you need it, too. If you find my actions inspiring, thank you, but please understand that’s not what I strive to be. I’m another man out there with goals, dreams and the desire to find someone special.
The process of finding that special someone has been difficult for me at times, as I’m sure it has for you. My heart sings, hurts and sometimes breaks, just like yours. I do not hold it against you if I’m not the one you want to share your life with, but don’t try to legislate or manage my emotions. My emotions are not my disability; they’re my humanity.
I know matters of the heart cannot be decided using reason or logic. I ask only that if you’re going to reject me, do so honestly and preferably not because you can’t take your eyes off of the piece of metal I sit in. I promise to do likewise. I understand the temptation may be there to ponder the challenges of dating someone who uses a wheelchair. But I also pledge that if you’re willing to get to know me and look at my heart, I will put forth my best effort to treat you with respect, care and love.
This may sound like a big commitment, but if we’re truly right for one another, we will do it together. And in the end, does it really matter how some insignificant muscles work if we have mutually captured the biggest one of all?
The Mighty is asking the following: What’s a dating story related to your disability and/or disease that made you laugh, roll your eyes, cry or was otherwise unforgettable? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.