Someone will come along
I look different to most people. It makes it hard to find a partner to love. It can make me sad. I have had boyfriends in the past. They have not had a problem with my disability. But some people I meet find my disability difficult to accept. I think everyone deserves to be in a loving relationship. I know that the man of my dreams will take the time to get to know the real me.
Posted by: Carly Findlay, on 20/04/10
Everyone deserves to be loved
Lots of people say to me that I will find a boyfriend soon.
You've just got to give it time, they say. Or
someone will come along and love you for the person you really are.
This all may be true. It’s also very kind. But in reality, it's difficult for some people I meet to get over my appearance.
I'm not saying that about everyone I meet. The majority of people I meet do look past my appearance. I've got many wonderful friends and colleagues. But finding a partner can be hard. And it can make me sad.
I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I simply want to write about the challenge of having a chronic illness or disability and finding love.
Sharing my life with someone
It's not too bad being single. I don't have to share or compromise. But sometimes I just want to share my life with someone. Someone to go to the movies with. Someone to cook dinner for. Someone to love. Someone to make me feel loved.
It's not like I do much about “fixing” my singledom. I don't look at online dating sites anymore. I don’t go to nightclubs on a Saturday night. I am more likely to be at home drinking Moscato in my pyjamas and watching Love Actually. And I don't belong to Rotary or a chess club. Nope, I'm not putting myself out there.
I have had boyfriends in the past. Four in fact. These have all been fine about my skin condition. Even the yucky everyday stuff. One boy marvelled at an ant carrying a piece of my skin across the hardwood floor. He was so fascinated by this that he watched it for five minutes. He also told me that one day my skin cells won't have anything to renew anymore and that I'll spontaneously combust. Sometimes he was so fine about my skin that it became more about my skin than me. But he meant well.
Not what they expected
The time I did online dating reminded me of being in a catalogue. I was always the girl whose profile looked good on screen, but wasn't what they expected in real life.
After one particular meeting, an email exchange went like this:
You never told me you were going to be that red.
What should I have done? Sent you a paint swatch sheet and made note of the colours ‘Fire Hydrant Red’ for bad days, and ‘Chipolata Sausage’ for good days?
I also once tried a “singles meet”. But when meeting one boy, I didn't manage to get much past hello. The exchange went something like this:
So you're going to, like, be red, like forever?
Cue awkwardness and me reaching for the nearest drink.
Waiting for love
I think some people don’t expect someone like me to have a boyfriend. Once I changed my Facebook relationship status. It said
Carly is no longer single. Lots of friends commented they “liked” it. Once person commented
it’s about time. The comment might have been good natured. But I wonder whether she thought I’ve been waiting for love all of my life.
Most of my loves have been unrequited. Crushes can be fun for a while. But moves are made (or not) and then I am left feeling a little bit devastated. It is hard to love someone more than they love you. Some of the positive letdowns have been flattering. But they still don’t give me hope for finding requited love. Examples include:
You were brave to tell me how you feel.
That made my day.
You're too special.
How long will it take
I know these boys looked past my appearance. They are good people. But I wonder how long it will take for me to admit my feelings for someone and get a reply like
Yes, I'd love to get to know you better.
I'm not a jealous person. But sometimes I do wish my life was a bit more like others. I wish I didn't have to worry about my skin getting in the way of doing things like going out or wearing certain clothes. There have been times where I have seen people with disabilities in relationships and wondered why I can’t be like them. To be loved unconditionally. I feel bad for thinking this. Everyone deserves to be in a loving relationship.
I think I'll know when I meet the man of my dreams. He would have taken the time to get to know me under my exterior.
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