Being a woman with a disability is difficult but when it comes to dating and relationships, well, that’s an entirely new challenge.
I am a woman that has gone from being a hopeless romantic to becoming a hopeless realist over the years. I know of the challenges that having cerebral palsy has, and because of that I have had (and still do) at times have fears and concerns.
Would the man I meet handle the physical side, all the adaptions that would have to be made just to the simple “couple things” that couples typically take for granted.
Will it be accessible? How far is it? How crowded will it be? But with the internet all those challenges are invisible, and in a sense so are you. This is where online dating can be a doubled edged sword of sorts. You’re understandably cautious. But for me, it was like that saying, “you find love in the most unexpected place, at the most unexpected time of your life.
And one day in April a little of two years ago that is exactly what happened to me. I tell Chris he is the best “what the hell moment” I have ever taken. I should probably explain that a little more.
Before I began to dive into the social media professional side of the sphere, and even before I had my blog I used social media purely for the games, and groups and to be digitally sociable like everyone else. “Hey, I broke level 345 of candy crush”, or “this is my jam” type of posts.
And they day I met Chris was no different. Well, except for the fact that I was annoyed lol. Facebook has this annoying habit of “reminding you” of the groups and games and people you may want to look at and such.
Now, I typically have a different approach for each thing that flashes across my computer screen. Games, “yes, I’ll send you life, no I don’t want to build a utopia for your butterflies, that clue is behind the bookshelf.” ECT.
When it comes to the groups and Facebook pages I am a little more cautious for safety reasons. I personally made it a rule not to like or join a group/page that I don’t feel comfortable with regardless of personal opinion or belief.
Safety is and will always be a priority, especially for popularity sake. I am no longer interested in clicks and fitting in. And I don’t join the group unless I have had conversion and or know of one or more person in the said group.
And the group that I had met Chris in had exactly two people in it that I knew (at the time.) and when I joined the group, which was like a pen pal type group rather than a dating one like it claim to be. I had no intention of interacting. I was just gonna put up a “hi, and thanks for the add” post which I did. Chris was the first to comment, he was the only one to comment in fact.
“Hi, Jessica. Welcome, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Chris.
And since we never stopped talking to one another. A month later we spoke for the first time via, FaceTime. Was this love at first sight for me? No. But, If you were to ask Chris, he’d tell you yes without hesitation. I didn’t know what this was going to turn out to be or even if we’d be still speaking to one another in the next six months.
If I learned anything about “meeting” people online it can either to be an awesome experience with life long friends that turned into a family or it can fizzle into people you should just let slip right pass you. The internet is the ultimate melting pot of all sorts of people that what you experience on the surface, maybe totally different once start a relationship or friendship with someone. So follow your heart, but take your brain with you.
As you should in any situation, but when it comes to your heart, you should take extra precaution and care.
I have always even the type of person to give all of me all at once. And I have lost count at how many times I have been hurt, disappointed, and let down by the fact that people don’t carry around the same heart as I do. That was until I met Chris. It was four months before I told my family that I had a boyfriend for the simple fact that I had no idea how important he ended up being to me. He was so patient with me.
And even after everything we have been through in this long distance relationship with changes, losses, accomplishments, facing fears, and being one another’s biggest supporters. And when my dad got the news of his cancer in February of this year, he stood with me at the edge of one of my biggest, darkest, and scariest moments in my life yet. He made sure I never lost my strength, courage, and faith just in God, but in life. He is my person in this world.
That is my definition of a soulmate. Having a person that you accept everything about them. And even accepting that parts of them that don’t fit perfectly between the two of you even more. Love is just a part of life. And life is messy and imperfect, and that’s because people are imperfect and extremely flawed. Chris and I have a lot that we continue to overcome being that we are to people who happen to have cerebral palsy.
But I can honestly say that I can not see my life without him in it. I know that whatever happens to us in the coming future God will continue to keep together what he saw in us when he brought us together. I read once that “long-distance relationships aren’t for the brave, but for the bold.” Love does require us to be bold; bold in its pursuit; bold in being the shelter and safety for one another when the weight of the world is being felt. Bold in staying, and withstanding all life throws at us. All things that are worth it or never easy or carefree.
Loving someone in complete acceptance without judgments and conditions is truly the greatest gift that far too many take for granted because they are preoccupied with the illusion of a fairy tale. Rather than working for a love that they could make a lasting reality. Please, don’t think I am a professional who knows about love. I am not. I am a simple girl with a simple message.
So here it is. If you are blessed to find love online like I have prepare yourself for the handwork rather than the hookup that the digital area is so used to. If you and your significant other believe this could be it for you be realistic, be honest and open. Take precautions, listen to your instincts just as much as you listen to your heart. Be wise in your boldness. And when your “what the hell moment” comes a long take it. It could lead you to an absolutely beautiful place that those are lucky enough to experience called, true love.