Like anyone else I’ve had my fair share of crushes but it all comes down to two types of men.
There were the men who used me as someone to talk to but were too embarrassed to talk to me outside of texting.
There were the sweet and accepting men who I chose to ignore because they actually cared.
During my high school years to no surprise I talked to boys, Some more “important” than others. There was one in particular that I kept thinking would eventually come around. After what seems like my entire time in high school, I realized I was nothing more than someone to talk to. Because of my disability I never really argued it because I was afraid, scared and embarrassed. I was okay with hiding behind my cell phone. One day I finally decided to put my guard down and let someone in and it was exciting. It was liberating going out with someone and them asking to go for a second date even though they knew about my condition. Only to be crushed after finding out this someone was wanting nothing more than some “fun” which wasn’t an attribute I was interested in portraying.
When I first started talking to Mike it was for attention as he lived in Calgary I never in a million years thought it would become anything. He had been in town visiting his mom which happened to be dating my best friends uncle. After coming up with a lame excuse to not meet him in person he was soon on a flight back to Calgary where we would continue to talk via face time and text. 3 months went by and he was everything anyone could ever want. Hard working, funny, caring and of course handsome. Due to unfortunate events Mike had booked a round trip back to Ontario to visit his family as his uncle was going through emergent medical issues. He flew into Toronto and took a Robert Q to London where my mom and I set out to go pick him up. I can’t describe how nerve wracking that car ride was. We went to McDonalds to pick up his favourite meal because I knew he would have been hungry. We pulled up to the Ramada which was where the Robert Q drop off location was and my heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to burst out of my chest. I was terrified! He had known about my Muscular Dystrophy but had seen very little of what it was like for me. He instantly opened my mom’s drivers side door to give her a hug and say hi and then came to the back where I was sitting and everything fell into place. I don’t know if i believe in love at first sight or if it was even considered love at first sight considering I had seen him before but never in person. Because of bad weather we drove him back to Strathroy until the next day when my friend and her boyfriend would come pick us up to see his uncle in the hospital. Once we got to my house he instantly ran out to my side of the van and helped me get out of the van and kicked the ice making a trail to the garage so I wouldn’t slip. I remember being confused but impressed. How did this man know what I needed before I even had to express it. He did it so effortlessly and has done so ever since. He never hesitates when it comes to helping me with anything. Hes my safe place my care taker my absolute everything.
2 year later and nothing has changed. Of course we’ve had arguments but we’ve gotten through them. The hardest part about being in a relationship with Muscular Dystrophy is being so vulnerable with your partner. From the very beginning of our relationship I had exposed him to very interesting situations. Falls, difficulties and so much more. The hardest part of starting our relationship was asking for help and receiving all of this care from him and being scared that it would scare him away. That it would make him feel like less of a partner/boyfriend and more of a Personal Support Worker. We’ve had to put in work compromise and sacrafice to make our relationship work just like everyone else but also communication to make sure that either of us don’t lose sight of the love. To not only tell him that I love him beyond all that he does for me but to show him appreciation by listening to what he likes and surprising him with it. This doesn’t have to mean buying him J.Cole tickets for his birthday as a surprise (which I did ;)) but making chicken parmesan as our date night meal because you know its his favourite. It’s learning to watch hockey or baseball even though you’d much rather be watching the bachelor. Everyone deserves the reassurance that they are important and loved and nothing has been more true than “actions speak louder than words”. It’s too easy to say I Love You and not mean it because truth is love is different to everyone. We’ve all received love in different ways and we crave it in different levels. As our honey moon stage wore off I had a hard time adjusting to not receiving the cute good morning texts, “#womancrushwednesday” posts on Instagram but the truth was I woke up next to him every morning and his loyalty was enough to know that I was his woman crush and he showed me with actions instead of words.
I still can’t wrap my head around someone being able to love me with all of my baggage and all of the dreams he might have to compromise because of me. Truthfully that’s the hardest part. It’s a lot to carry. Knowing that the person that deserves it all and is capable of it all wont be able to achieve it because my health doesn’t allow it. Yet he still chooses to love me, support me and respect me. There was a reason it didn’t work with all of the other guys who weren’t man enough to show me what I deserved and wanted. Not to say they aren’t amazing men and that they aren’t capable of love but they show it/give it in ways that weren’t enough or compatible with me. I don’t know where the future will take me I don’t think anyone does but if there’s one thing I can say with complete certainty is that I see my beyond perfectly imperfect boyfriend with me through every situation. I’m no longer afraid of what the future may bring because I know that with him everything will be okay.
Ladies don’t settle, don’t stick it out because you feel comfortable and it’s easier! Easy doesn’t always mean happy. Stand up for yourself, what you deserve and what you want! There is someone out there who can love you in a way that you never thought you needed or wanted! But most importantly realize not everyone is perfect, you will have to compromise, you will have to sacrifice but at the end of the day was that sacrafice or compromise worth laying next to them at night?