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Dear Future Girlfriend, From a Man Who’s Still Learning to Love Himself

Dear Future Longterm Girlfriend,

Maybe we’ve met. Maybe we’ve not. Frankly, I have no idea. Maybe you’ve been waiting around for me for a long time, even a few decades. Maybe you’ve been waiting while I assumed you wanted me to be something I feel I’m not: “normal.”

My pronounced speech impediment and coordination issues didn’t seem to qualify as “normal.” I assumed you would judge a book by its cover. I figured I knew so much about you. They say lovers can be so close they can almost read each other’s minds. But I doubt this is the type of mind-reading they were talking about.

Maybe all you’ve ever wanted was closeness, freedom to be you and freedom to love me, book cover and all. Know I always loved you, your beauty, your depth, your wits, your smarts, your sense of adventure. But I never gave you a chance to reciprocate and love me fully. I was so scared of you loving me as I was, because that would shine a strobe light on my core failure in life: my failure to love me.

What do you say we start over? (Which is kind of strange to say because we may not have even met yet.) By start over, I mean start with loving ourselves deeply.

Then from there, let’s simply allow ourselves to be loved by each other. Of course, we will most likely add in lots of laughter, kissing, cuddling, romantic walks, yoga, cooking together, and love-making.

The Mighty is asking the following: What do you want your past, current or future partner to know about being with someone with your disability, disease or mental illness? 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 Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images