TO: Men all over the planet
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]