Last month, I celebrated my 5 year anniversary with my boyfriend. Half a decade, 1825 days, 43800 hours. It’s crazy to think that through all those hours we have come out stronger than ever. No-one expected us to last this long, after tipsily meeting in a club called Wonderland, of all places.
I can’t tell you what the trick is, because I don’t think there is one but I am a strong believer that you have to keep it simple, communicate, don’t sleep on disagreements and do what you can together.
A lot of people assume that because you’re in a wheelchair, or are disabled that you don’t have a relationship or even have the desire for one. It couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re still human beings, with hearts, who want someone to share our lives with. It’s going to sound a bit forward and maybe a bit self-assured, but I’ve been lucky enough to have had relationships throughout my pre-teen and teenage years and never viewed myself as ‘not being able to have a boyfriend’. All of whom looked past my chair and focused on me: my personality, my quirks, my presence.
My relationship with my boyfriend is a very special one and I don’t take it for granted. He met me whilst I was at university where I had developed into an independent young lady. Unlike my previous boyfriends, they had seen a rather darker side of my life with constant hospital visits and being really restricted in my wheelchair. But A has had the best of me over the past 5 years. At first, I was embarrassed about my chair, my mobility scooter and how I walk slightly like a penguin.
What made me feel instantly connected to my boyfriend was that on the night we met, the first thing he said to me was, “Can I ask, what happened to you for you to be in a chair?”. This completely took me back. I had been used to guys asking “What’s wrong with you?” or, “Can I give you a lap dance in that chair?”. I was sick and tired of men degrading me, so as you can imagine when my boyfriend asked me this, I was pleasantly surprised.
No-one said that loving someone with a disability is easy unless they were on morphine or something. However, I think that disabled people are more loving and giving than able-bodied folk. Purely because, love doesn’t come around too often, so when it does – it’s magical. They will give their all into making it work and not because they don’t want the person to leave them, but they appreciate it more. The walls start to crack and the vulnerability shines through. Being disabled means you have to communicate with your partner way more than usual. “I’m in pain today”, “I can’t do this today”, “Can you help push my chair today?”.
I never really knew what love was until I met A. I wrote about it, dreamed about it, but nothing could brace me for it. In the beginning, it hurt, like loving was this painful yet beautiful existence that flooded around me. I didn’t know if I was doing it right but what I found is that when you love someone, it doesn’t matter. A, could love any of the 7 billion people on this planet, but he chose me to love. There’s more to me that metal rods and scars.
Honestly, without him, I wouldn’t have done half the things that we’ve done together. I was playing my life in safe mode, but since A, I have travelled across the world, pushed myself mentally and physically and he always encourages me to be the best I can be. It’s the small things, like when we go to the gym together, he sends me Whatsapps of fitness emojis with ‘love you’. It’s things like that, that make me love him more.
I would say that my disability has not hindered my relationships at all if anything it has created a bond with everyone that I have had. I know this isn’t the case for everyone and all I can say is that there is someone out there for you. Someone who will appreciate everything you have and will love all the flaws you think you have.
I’m so excited about our future. We dream and talk about all the things we want to accomplish together and really, that’s what it’s all about.
Questions with A
What are 3 things that you love about me and why?
The way you support and encourage me to achieve things at becoming my best. For showing me the positive things in life I and the true meaning of love. Always being there for me and never giving up on us,
believing in us.
Do you ever look at me as being disabled, if so what or when?
At first, when I met you I didn’t know how I would feel or what it would be like dating someone in a wheelchair, but then I looked past that the more I got to know you and now forget you have a chair. The little things like helping with the chair up and down the stairs or putting it away in the car has become a natural instinct. At the end of the day, you are normal just like everyone else.
Why do you think we have lasted 5 years together?
Because we believe in each other and our love has grown stronger over the years. Yes, sometimes we have our ups and downs, but every relationship has their moments. I honestly truly feel like our love can only get stronger from here. You are my sun and moon ❤
Is dating me different to your previous girlfriends and if so what?
The only difference is when I push you in your chair, but part from that nothing is different from any other girlfriend I have had. You are truly my favourite person, best friend, everything I hoped for.
What is your favourite thing we do together?
There’s so many things, but I must say one of my favourite things we have done and will continue to do together is to travel the world and share amazing memories. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is one thing you wish for our future?
Happiness and one day to open the door of our house as the kids and dog run in through the front door.