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When My Boyfriend Loved Me Through My Health Struggles

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When my boyfriend last flew in to visit me, I was eager to explore every inch of my town with him. I dreamt of taking him to every single “hidden gem,” being his own personal tour guide, and showing him the most incredible week of his life. Nothing, not even my physical disability, could stop me from “doing life” with him.

But after a full week of jaunts downtown, romantic dinner dates and picture-perfect moments, my body had other plans. No matter how valiantly I tried to stave off my health challenges, I started struggling physically. My hand clenched up, my leg turned in, and every muscle in my body was difficult to move.

And honestly? I was frustrated that I needed to rest. That I couldn’t go out and show my boyfriend my town. That my fatigue had probably ruined our last day together.

But my boyfriend let me rest. He listened to me vent about my disabled body. He reminded me that it’s OK to hate my circumstances. He loved me through every moment of my health-induced trepidation.

It can be hard to date when you’re living with a health condition, especially when your partner sees you in such a vulnerable state. Your guard is down, you can’t continue masking your symptoms, and you may secretly wonder if you’re “too much” for your significant other to handle.

But the right person will stay with you through all your struggles, holding your hand, drying your tears and unconditionally loving every piece of you. They’ll meet you exactly where you are on any given day, considering your needs and respecting your fluctuating physical or mental state every step of the way, simply because they love you.

If you’re living with a medical condition, you may worry that finding a partner who respects the struggles you face is too good to be true. But the truth is, when someone loves you for all you are, they will make space for your needs. My boyfriend proves every day that unconditional love, even in the face of disability or illness, is possible.

Originally published: February 18, 2019
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