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6 Lessons I've Learned From Having a Boyfriend Who Has Cerebral Palsy Like I Do

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With Valentine’s Day soon approaching, I tend to think about my relationship with my boyfriend and what I’ve been able to learn from his journey with cerebral palsy. Here are the lessons he has taught me.

1. It’s OK to express your emotions about cerebral palsy.

Before meeting my boyfriend, I always had trouble expressing my emotions, especially when it came to my own cerebral palsy. However, he has taught me it’s OK to express your emotions and embrace them for what they are.

2. It’s OK to do things at a slower pace than others when you live with cerebral palsy.

Before I got to know my boyfriend, I always gave myself a hard time when I didn’t complete my goals fast enough, but he taught me that it’s OK to go a little slower when I need to. My cerebral palsy doesn’t make me any less capable of achieving my goals.

3. Anyone with cerebral palsy is capable of finding love — no matter what they think.

Prior to meeting my boyfriend, I struggled with dating and putting myself out there because most of the people I tried to pursue relationships with didn’t understand my challenges. They sometimes had a hard time breaking down the barrier between my physical limitations and who I am as a person. Now, though, my relationship with my current boyfriend always teaches me that even if you face challenges in life, you can still find true love.   

4. Living with cerebral palsy is an adventure when your partner has it too.

Although I’ve always believed that life with cerebral palsy is an adventure, after meeting my boyfriend, I realized that I wasn’t alone. Sharing this adventure with my boyfriend makes the journey with cerebral palsy worthwhile. 

5. Don’t be ashamed of the obstacles you face with cerebral palsy.

Before meeting my boyfriend, I had a hard time discussing certain obstacles in my life, especially when they were related to my cerebral palsy. My boyfriend has taught me that there’s nothing wrong with sharing the challenges you face and letting your partner help you through them.

6. It’s OK to be unapologetically disabled.

I used to find myself apologizing for making people uncomfortable because of the accommodations that I needed as a young woman with cerebral palsy. My boyfriend, though, is confident in expressing his needs with his cerebral palsy. He has shown me it’s OK to express your needs and be unapologetic about them — it doesn’t make you a “bad” person. 

Ultimately, having a partner with the same disability as you can teach you many lessons that you never expected to learn, which can truly help you grow. Don’t be afraid to embrace the beautiful journey you’re on in life with a disability.

Image via contributor.

Originally published: February 11, 2022
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