He was late for a dinner party one stormy evening in February.
Marietta was among the dozen or so guests already seated at the table when he finally arrived, half frozen, snow still clinging to his hair.
I couldn’t take my eyes off this amazingly beautiful woman—and her wheelchair. The other half was saying, ‘What is wrong with you, moron? ’” He listened to the smarter half, walked over, and introduced himself.
“I felt like I was crossing a barrier I didn’t even know was there,” Stephen said.
Without a doubt, dating with disabilities presents demands that the majority of people don’t ever have to face.
But as lots of men and women like Stephen and Marietta have discovered, just because a relationship is physically challenging, it doesn’t have to be your cue to run for the exits. The heart works just fine, even if some body parts don’t.
In the big picture of love and romance, internals far outrank externals in importance. But don’t be naïve about the limitations dating with disabilities does impose. Account for the realities of the disability when planning dates together.
Be honest with yourself and each other about the limitations a disability might bring to a relationship. By openly discussing the physical challenges as a couple, you’ll be working to overcome a far more common (and destructive) kind of dating disability: lack of communication.
“Marietta was looking at me, daring me to talk to her.
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Romantic love depends on intangible qualities that can be affected by a person’s physical condition—but usually aren’t.
Loyalty, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, humor—none of these suffer at all from bodily limitations.
Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone—just keep your feet on the ground when you do so. It may be a little awkward to talk about a disability at first, but that’s a hundred times better than avoiding the subject. Sometimes romantic attraction takes an unexpected turn, which may just lead to life-long love.