Wednesday, February 03, 2010

MEMO TO MEN: I'm Single Because Of My Disability? LAME.

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Don't jump to conclusions
DATE: February 3, 2010

Reader Lucy left this interesting comment that I felt deserved a bit more thought.

heartbreaking! his comment about people not wanting to believe it's the disability that's affecting your dating life is interesting. i wonder if people think that a lot. especially about you, melissa, since you've put yourself out there...i wonder if people think, it's not because of her disability that she's single, it's that she's too loud/quiet/serious/funny. which is stupid, really. how many people do you know with serious character flaws that are in relationships? too many.

And then last week, I received this comment from reader Angie...

While I tend to agree with many of the things you say, I have to say that having lived with someone with a disability there are those people that will ALWAYS require a caregiver.

I'm sorry but I see my sister whom I love dearly and I wouldn't want anything else than to see her be married but the truth is that many people out here, yes we'd love a happy ending but not many will get it. It takes a great person to put all those faults aside and love, but it is a hardship caring for a person with disabilities. It's a mental, physical, and psychological toll.

I have seen men come and go into my sister's life, but no man can get over the fact that she has multiple disabilities like you. She's college educated and has a great job, but she has come to terms that her happy ending will not be along the side of a man; instead she is her own happy ending.


Call me a hopeless romantic. Call me naive. Call me innocent. Call me whatever you want. But you know what? I don't think it has to be like that. While I agree that people have to make the right choices for themselves, I would never want anyone to feel like they are forced to settle for a life that is anything less than what they want.
I'm not going to change my expectations just because some guys make up damn stupid excuses for why they can't get to know us - we're just another human being, just like you, boys, remember?

I suppose it's sort of like the age-old chicken-and-the-egg analogy. Which came first? The fear and then meeting me? Or meeting me and then the fear of my disability?

Yes, boys, I may require a caregiver. But who says it has to or will be you? Did you ever stop to think that maybe it won't be? I'll admit that there are times I do feel a little like a burden to my mother and sister sometimes (though they start rolling their eyes every time I mention the "B" word).

My mom said it like this, "You would do the same for us." She's a wise woman, my mother. She's right. I would do anything and everything to help those I love live a happy and fulfilling life. It's nothing I would ever view as
Newsflash: It's what you do when you love someone. It's something that comes naturally - that inner desire to take care of someone. Not because it's just another chore to check off your to-do list. Because you can't imagine a life that exists without the other person in it.

Here's a wild and crazy thought, boys: Why not take the time to get to know us before you draw your little conclusions about what you think we do and do not need. Or, why not just ask us. Or better, yet, don't ask us. If we need help, we'll tell you. Trust me. We probably need you a lot less than you think. Sorry if that bruises your ego, but it's the truth. And as we all know, boys, the truth does indeed go both ways.

Love is something you enter into with another person; you're in it together, remember?

What do you think, friends? xoxo

[Photos via Our Blog of Love]

12 comments:

AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

I think we all need someone to take care of us and someone to take care of.

Melissa Blake said...

Exactly, Alpha!! xoxo

Kelley said...

I agree with you. Taking care of someone IS something that just comes naturally when you love them. Whether it be a boyfriend, a friend, or a family member. Taking care of and being taking care of is just part of being human.

Alexa Mae said...

I know you've read a little of my blog. But my husband, 25, had a stroke in october leaving him paralyzed on his right side. i am his caregiver and not because i HAVE to be. because i wouldn't want it any other way. because i love him so much that i don't even SEE his disability. love is blind. i am always caught off guard when he tells me 'thank you for everything you do for me'. i don't expect a 'thank you', we are a team. and my opinion on this subject is that anyone can find love...disabled or not. if you meet that perfect person, they won't see disability and they will embrace you with everything you are. i admire you melissa. xoxo

Melissa Blake said...

I admire you too, Alexa! Give my best to your husband!! :)

xcetrachick said...

Falling in love is so easy and can happen to anyone. It's a flash in the pan, usually burning out when times get tough, or someone with more to offer struts by. That kind of "love" is selfishness based. Staying in love, however, takes everything you've got. The decision and desire to put the other person before yourself every single day and appreciate all of who they are for the long haul, is reserved for select people willing to do the work true love requires. Everyone brings some type of "disability" to a relationship, whether it be of a physical or emotional nature,it doesn't really matter. What matters most is the commitment to stay united and love unconditionally, regardless of how hard it gets. The pendulum of love swings just as high as it does low. Most people lose love because they fail to appreciate it and the work it involves once they have it. Melissa, I boldly proclaim that your passion for finding the real thing- true love that requires all, gives you much better odds at finding it than most people, who sadly, don't recognize their disability of selfishness, and in a rush to fulfill themselves, blindly settle for the imitation.

Cheers,
xc
http://betweentimeanddreams.blogspot.com/

Silvia said...

You're 100% right Melissa! Nothing is sure in this life and even seemingly "healthy" people can become disabled from one day to the next-- whether it's from an unforeseen illness, accident, or any other of life's little surprises. For a guy to make assumptions about you, well that just shows that he doesn't deserve you. I truly believe you will find someone who will give you everything you deserve and more. Keep your head up and never lose faith. Your happiness is out there! :)

JC said...

I totally agree with what you said Melissa....True love means you love the person no matter what....Like the wedding vows say...For rich or for poor, through sickness or health, till death till us part.....I dont think people really think about the true meaning of those vows either....I have a disability and I have been telling guys right away whats wrong with me....One reason is after they meet me they can tell by the way I walk and stuff that theres something wrong with me....Also that way if im gonna scare them away because of it...its right away before I get attached to them....I figure I might as well get that out in the open and if they don't like it....fine plenty of fish in the sea lol.....I do wonder a lot lately if I will ever end up getting married to any guy because of the fact that they might not want to deal with having to help me out....I am glad that I have a daughter that will hopefully take care of me...If...thats if I actually end up disabled to the point I cant walk anymore....but I dont like to think that way....I like to think positively that there is a guy that will eventually love me enough to not care if I end up like that 20 years from now....

Melissa Blake said...

thanks for all these encouraging comments! xoxo

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I think that being happy single isn't for everyone. And really, I need just as much taking care of as you would. I found someone, and I know you will, too.

Damsels said...

i think this brings up an interesting question .. i am sure there are many men that wont date you because you are disabled which you have accepted . but i like you think that there is still people , men out there that will give it a shot .
you are having a hard time fidning a guy because you are disabled . but i dont think you will always be single because of it .
the person who says "this wont happen im going to give up ", will never know what life has in store for them.

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