One of the biggest misconceptions about people with disabilities is that we have no desire to date or have no understanding of what a relationship consists of. I can tell you first hand that this is false. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamt about the day I will finally get married. I dream of having a ceremony in the smoky mountains of Tennessee, and getting to ride off afterwards in a red 1978 Ford Truck with my future husband.
What I’ve Learned About Dating with Cerebral Palsy
Dating has been one of the most difficult parts of my life. Ever since I hit puberty in middle school, I had an interest in dating and having a boyfriend,
Love Yourself First
All of this taught me that the first step of meeting and getting to know someone is being in love with yourself first, while accepting your circumstances and your situation. Once you accomplish this, then you can meet someone who will look past your disability and love you for you. Loving yourself when you have a disability may not be the easiest task for some people, but it helps you to move forward when you’re single and want to put yourself out there into the dating scene as someone with a disability.
If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect other people to gravitate towards you and want to get to know you? Self-confidence is magnetic. If you don’t love yourself and accept that you are who you are and acknowledge that you were made this way, then others may find it difficult to love and accept you as well.
It all starts with you and whether you are willing to try loving yourself, including the way your medical condition shapes you, as well as how you perceive your life as a person with a disability.
I’ve also learned that not everyone you have a romantic interest in is going to return those feelings, and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or the person that you are. You just have to accept their feelings and move on from it, while remembering that you’ll find to love you no matter what struggles you experience and what situation you’re in.
Dating May Be Hard, But It’s Worth It
All throughout my experience with dating with a disability, I’ve realized that while it isn’t an easy process, it is a worthwhile one. It is essential that no matter where you are in your journey, you take time out and learn to embrace yourself and your situation. In my case, I need to acknowledge my wheels, the adventures I get to go on because of my Cerebral palsy, and all the things that having Cerebral palsy has taught me over the years. I have learned a lot about myself during the experience of finding love with Cerebral palsy.
Although my life hasn’t been the easiest, I have learned that loving myself and my disability come first are foremost.
Tylia Flores is a 24-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world.