Dating with a Disability- A Series of Observations.

“Do I tell her?” “What’s she going to think?” “If I do say something, how is she going to react?”

These are just a few of the thoughts that cross my mind before I go out with someone new. I suppose they don’t really cross my mind, but I guess they are in the back of my head.

I’ve been on my fair share of dates during my time in college. Some good, others, mostly forgettable. I haven’t found somebody yet that has left a lasting mark on me yet. Not to say that all the girls I’ve gone out with thus far in my career of being single aren’t special. I’m sure they are all special in some way. It’s just I haven’t found somebody with whom I’ve been enthralled by.

Growing up, I always related a lot to Forrest Gump. Now, I’d like to think I’m smarter than Forrest. But, as Forrest once said,” Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” I suppose it’s the same way in the dating scene. You never know what you’re going to get, at least for a while anyways. I used to wear braces on my legs like Forrest. Fortunately, the braces are gone. However, there is the matter of the slight limp I have while walking.

Truthfully, everybody’s got something they are dealing with. My something just happens to be more visible. And, as one might imagine, this makes for an interesting conundrum when going out or sharing icecream with a potential romantic interest. I’m sure the person must wonder what exactly is up with my legs. For all she knows, I was in some type of traumatic accident.

However, that’s not the case. As is it is in most cases, the truth of the matter is rather uninteresting. I was born with cerebral palsy. “What’s that?”- you may ask. Well, to put it simply, I had a stroke in my mom’s womb.

Clearly, this before mentioned stroke wasn’t enough to take me out, because I’m still alive and typing away on this keyboard.

“Hey Siri, play “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child.

Anyways, all of this still leaves the question of how much I share and when do I share it. I’ve never had somebody ask why I walk the way I do when I’m out on a date. This makes sense. I suppose the other person wouldn’t want to make things awkward.

However, on the other hand, I’d almost appreciate the question and the opportunity it gives to share the condition I live with. But people are generally terrible as it relates to disability and questions surrounding it. Nobody really wants to bring it up. I suspect most are worried about offending someone or hurting their feelings. However, truth be told, it would hurt my feelings more to know that someone had a question about me, yet failed to ask because they were afraid to hurt my feelings.

I can’t speak for everyone with a disability, but I for one at more than happy to share about my condition. It doesn’t define me. It’s just something I live with.

Anyways, depending on this posts reception, I may make a short series on my experience dating with a disability.

Thanks for reading!

—-Brooks

One thought on “Dating with a Disability- A Series of Observations.

  1. This is a very interesting topic. My daughter (who attends Oklahoma State University) has a good friend she met in the dorm her sophomore year who is in a wheelchair due to a serious infection she got (I believe in highschool) that affected the use her leg. I know that dating (and even just meeting people in general) has been difficult for her. I’m sure this is a subject that would be of interest to many teens and young adults. Keep up the good work, I love how you share your mind and your heart!

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