How My Disability Has Shaped My Dating Life
I grew up with an extremely rare bone disorder called McCune Albright syndrome. This disorder affects 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 1,000,000, so I guess you can say I won a genetic lottery.
I want to explore dating and disability and how it has affected me personally. I have always felt that people viewed me as powerless because of my condition. It has been very challenging because I have felt that I have been limited in setting boundaries in relationships.
I think about what my dating experiences would have been like if I didn’t have a disability. Would I have the perfect man? I guess perfection doesn’t exist for those born without a disability either, although I couldn’t stop thinking that this was the primary reason why I couldn’t be in a relationship. Let’s face it, dating is difficult for everyone. Throw in a disability mixed in with anxiety and you have a great first-date disaster.
I have lived most of my adulthood hoping and wishing for the perfect guy to come into my life. I created this fantasy as a coping mechanism to dull the pain and loneliness I was experiencing. Was it OK to create a fantasy? It served a purpose in my 20s, but now in my 40s, not so much.
I believe everyone with or without a disability can find happiness and date and find someone that is right for them. It has been a tough journey of self-discovery for me, but if I can come face to face with accepting the part of me that I have always tried to deny or keep hidden from potential mates/dates, I think everyone can. I have realized that whether you’re disabled or able-bodied, it’s OK to just be you! That’s all anyone can ask for.
Getty image by Luis Alvarez.