I fell in love

I have previously written a blog entitled “Love or Caretaker.” In this blog, I examined the complexities of online dating and how a disabled person may find it more challenging. I was lucky enough to meet my person on an online platform. I thought that would be the most complicated part of our love story. We had so much more to learn.

I firmly believe that if you are unable to love yourself, you will struggle to love someone else. To prepare myself for a loving relationship, I did a lot of work on building my confidence and cultivating self-love and respect.

Opening Up

Opening up and trusting people can be challenging, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. We have to be selective about who we allow into our personal space and trust that they have our best interests in mind. I find it difficult to trust others, as I am never quite certain of their true intentions. However, in life, we can only experience true love and goodness if we are willing to take a risk and be vulnerable, even if that means risking heartbreak.

At the age of 23, I had not been in a serious relationship, and to be honest, I didn’t see myself getting to that point. I tried to take what I had learned about myself and my basic understanding of relationships to look for someone. Hoping to find someone who I felt would fully understand my lifestyle. People often say they’re not looking for a relationship, but what they mean is that they’re just waiting for it to happen. Unfortunately, this kind of connection isn’t just going to fall into your lap! If you want to be in a relationship, you need to actively go and look. Whether you’re looking to meet someone completely new or whether you feel one of your friendships may have room to go deeper, there isn’t much room to be passive.

I always said that I wanted a man who could make me laugh. And that became reality. When we first started dating, there was suddenly a lot more smiling and laughing. People could easily see the effects of my new happiness..

Burden Complex

You’ve heard about my burden complex in previous blogs. Overcoming and just fully understanding what this is and means is a big part of my life. It will take continuous growth. I have previously pushed people away with the fear of hurting them with my disease and what might happen to me. But I came to understand that the people who want to be in your life are there because they chose to be there, and they’re there for the good and the bad, no matter what.

In the beginning of our relationship, I tried so hard to ensure he fully understood what he was getting into and what being with me would entail. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely expected it to be a fun fling, but it turned into so much more. SJ has taught me a lot about compassion and just being a truly genuine human being. Choosing to love people for their hearts and the way that they treat others rather than the way that an individual may look. He taught me that I don’t need to be perfect to be loved, but in a way, I’m still considered to be pretty perfect to him.

Family and Friends

SJ and I tried to keep it private at the beginning of our relationship. It was mostly because I often over-considered people’s opinions, and I needed to make my decision alone this time. I also really wanted something just for me. However, my family’s opinion is extremely important to me, and if my partner does not get along with my family I choose my family. I definitely left him in a bit of a sink-or-swim situation. I told him we were having a small family braai. For an individual who only has one other sibling and his two parents, the idea of a family braai is quite small. I did forget to include that my immediate family was already 13 people, and then we had invited some close family friends too.

I was extremely nervous about introducing him to my family and friends. For one, I wanted it to be successful, and people’s opinions had always really mattered to me. Throughout the experience, I learned that people who love you genuinely just want you to be happy. If they can see that somebody makes you happy, then they’ll love that person either way.

Adventures and Intimacy

Life is an adventure, and for me, being in a relationship is just the next adventure. I always say that if we’re going on a date or going out somewhere, let’s treat it like an adventure because if you’re not making every opportunity you have an adventure, you’re just wasting it. I love the adventure of our lives, our love, and the adventure of learning about each other, as well as what it means to be in an inter-abled relationship.

The concept of intimacy is complicated for everyone, but when you add in a disability and a rare disease, it is just a whole new kettle of fish. As I said previously, I did make it very clear from the beginning that being with me would be very different and could sometimes be complicated, but he always seemed open to helping and was never particularly taken aback by anything.

Most relationships have certain physical expectations, and for us, it was that if we shared a bed, he would have to lift, roll, and move me all at once. Having a physical disability means that I need to rely on my significant other to do a lot more than an able-bodied individual would have to. I feel that it has created a connection that is deeper than just a superficial relationship but it has also started a lot of very interesting conversations. When it comes to how this may affect someone’s relationship or how understanding is extremely important for both parties before entering a serious relationship. This made me incredibly anxious and nervous, even more so than it did for my partner. I may have made it more difficult than it needed to be.

The Reason Behind My Smile

If you ask someone what they’re looking for in a relationship, everybody has that one specific thing that they need, to feel truly loved. I always just wanted someone who made me laugh and someone who could make the world seem a little bit lighter. SJ provides a sense of calm in my world. He is a lot more laid-back and goes with the flow way more than I do. He is also growing me into a person who doesn’t always need to be in control. Being in a relationship has given me a whole new understanding of patience. I have also learned to put faith and control in other people’s hands and not always feel that it is my responsibility to take care of everything.

Love in inter-abled relationships is a powerful force that transcends physical differences and societal expectations. In these connections, individuals navigate a journey that goes beyond appearances and embraces the essence of a person’s character and spirit. Inter-abled couples demonstrate resilience, compassion, and mutual support, challenging societal norms that may perceive differences in ability as obstacles to love. The foundation of their relationships is built on understanding, empathy, and a shared commitment to navigate life’s challenges together. Love in inter-abled relationships celebrates the beauty of diversity and teaches us that genuine connections flourish when we embrace and appreciate each other’s unique qualities, fostering a bond that is both deep and enduring.

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