He had never imagined himself dating someone in a wheelchair. But here we are.
When someone asks how we met they often find it a romantic love story.
I remember the moment I saw him for the first time. A tall athletic guy. He was introduced to me as an intern by my physiotherapist. His handshake was firm and I was charmed by his looks. We didn't meet again a few months after that.
When I ask him how he remembers it, he admits he fell in love with my looks and face. After weeks of helping me during my training sessions he got to know more about me, as a person. And I about him.
The fact that I am a wheelchair-user made him doubt. He didn't want to make his own life difficult by being with a disabled woman. Little did I know he was falling in love.
It was not just being attracted by looks, we also had great chemistry. We could talk for hours.
He told me he just came out of a relationship and I felt like I had no chance anyway. So I decided for myself this is platonic. A friendship was good enough for me. One day I invited him over for home-made dinner. I didn't know If I was going to show up.
He did show up! Fully dressed, with a bottle of wine in his hand. That night it all became clear. He was very nervous but we did had a nice dinner at my place. A month later he asked me to be his girlfriend and we've been together ever since.
We both never expected any of this to happen. But it did.
We have had conversations about how we met. He did had doubts, about having a relationship with a woman in a wheelchair. It did sound complicated. He did spend days on google looking for examples. 'How to date a woman in a wheelchair?'
Now he looks back at the best discision ever. He says he doesn't find my disability to be a problem at all. To help me sometimes has become normal. "I am proud to be with her. I know her struggles and I see the strong independent woman that she is. She is the best girlfriend I've ever had and I wouldn't want it any other way."
Don't say that
When people say I am so lucky to be with him, I am offended. It's not okay to give him a saint status because he is in a relationship with me. Our relationship is mutual, it's healthy and equal. We take care of each other. As a wheelchair-user I am not less worth.
1. Take a chance and be bold. "If she didn't ask me out for dinner, we wouldn't be here. I didn't have the balls. She did."
2. "We gave each other space to develop a friendship first." That was the key to our hearts.
3. Adapt and grow. "I don't experience her disability as a burden. Her disability doesn't define who she is and is never a problem."
4. Be a team. "We spends a lot of time together but also have our own jobs and interests. We've learned to communicate our thoughts, feelings, insecurities and to be there for each other."
5. Follow your own path."People told me many times not to date her, because of her disability. I am glad I've listened to my own heart."
Hope, faith & love
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