Monday, December 30, 2013

Aren’t Dating & Relationships Hard Enough Already?  ADD MS TO DATING & OMG!

I remember when I first started dating as a teenager and, was so excited. Then, at 25, MS came along. At first I tried to wait as long as I could to mention it. Then I had to tell people, especially girls, right when I started talking to them because I had to have a reason I had no job and still lived with my parents. I managed to dance around those issues pretty well somehow until I had a first date and didn’t take my cane. Then walking to the car, I fell. That was an uncomfortable moment. I probably could’ve said I just slipped but, once I fell, I couldn’t think of that. I just kinda froze. We ended up being together about two months but, we just weren’t right for each other. 

 I met my current girlfriend, Kelly, on a dating site just for disabled people. We were both tired of dealing with non-handicapped people and, how they would usually disappear once they found out about our disabilities. Thankfully, together, we only see the other person. I’ve thought a lot too about how different it was for women with MS, if at all. Then I had a psychologist who specialized in working with people with MS. 

 She told me about a female patient she had who was dating a guy and hadn’t mentioned her MS. Then they got engaged. Now she had to tell him. When she did, he broke up with her. Not because of her MS but, because he started thinking about “What else hasn’t she told me?” 
 As a guy, I always thought it was our job to take care of women, so it wouldn’t be as bad for them. I realize now, MS gives women as many problems dating too. I wish I had an easy answer but, I don’t. I know my solution won’t work for everybody and, that some people’s MS is too far advanced to have another disabled partner.

 Fortunately for me, my MS took work away but, other than that, I can still generally function ok. Kelly, my girlfriend, has cerebral palsey. When she told me, it was so hard not to say, “But you look so good!” Everyone I’ve seen with cerebral palsey before Kelly was in a wheelchair and had kind of a gimpy arm. Thankfully, Kelly is not and, you can’t tell anything is wrong with her when you just look at her. 

So, we both have our issues but, thankfully they are all issues the other can deal with. Only thing I would change is neither of us can drive. 

 When I was first diagnosed, I was glad to know that any woman who married me would know exactly what she was getting into. I heard so many stories about marriages ending when one partner was diagnosed and, didn’t want to deal with that. I was excited…until I realized how hard it would be to actually get to the altar. 

 Dating was hard enough before MS and, now I is definitely harder but, still manageable. I guess we all have to figure out our own best way. Fortunately I found mine. I still believe that the right person is out there for all of us, you just have to find them. 

Easier said than done, I know but, IT IS POSSIBLE. I wish you all the same luck I had.