Cupid, where are you???

All of us need to be wanted, or is it we want to be needed? No matter the case, as humans, we are built to love and to be loved. I heard someone say everybody’s got something, so stand tall with your issue and help others learn and maybe even comprehend. That being said, romance and multiple sclerosis have been a significant discussion point with MSers for an extremely long time. I have a deep-seated fear of dating, like a schoolgirl watching her first horror movie. So knowing I am as confused as many on the topic of love, I thought I would discuss it from my point of view.    

The definition of love is subjective, although some may say it is nebulous. For those of us with any medical conditions, the idea of love is a twisted, torturous topic no one wants to discuss. This concern of finding our forever love depends on one’s personality and willingness to put themselves out there for the world to see. These issues also depend on their symptoms to the viewing public or even a potential date. It may be easier to discuss less apparent symptoms with a companion by making funny statements like “occasionally I move like a weeble-wobble and may need to sit down before I fall down.”

However, my MS is more impactful, like my visible-to-the-world wheelchair, which is impossible to hide. It could be my less than obvious distance vision concerns or any of the myriad of MS maladies plaguing my life. I am unsure how my MS will impact my life since I rarely get out during this pandemic. I have always been shy, and my multiple sclerosis and wheelchair have pushed my trepidation to heights unknown. This mechanical monster securely stuck to my rump like a chump is not like having a cool car or nice clothes to attract someone.                       

Another commanding concern is that I do not drive, and the idea that I must ask for a date to pick me up for our dinner is dreadfully difficult. It makes me feel awkward, like if I was asking my partner to cut up my steak. It is annoying enough requesting a date to deal with a guy in a wheelchair for a few hours through dinner and a movie, let alone long term. Society is now accepting the disabled in everyday life, so I wonder if handicapped parking is enough of an attraction for a female suitor.

Coping with wheelchair life is not for the faint of heart, and I fear burdening a potential girlfriend by putting that anchor around her neck. This feeling weighs heavily on my heart, as I cannot imagine adding my defective deficiencies to a woman’s life for a short or long timeframe. Whenever I see a woman I would like to ask out, a video plays in my head of her yelling and telling me she did not ask for this. These thoughts terrify me to the core and encourage me to avoid any probable plight permeated plans to stay safe.

I run a nonprofit organization and discussed business with a woman who had given me her business card. After several minutes, the conversation became more social, and soon, unbeknown to me, she became a little flirtatious. As she walked away, I heard her say something like text me and my friend, sitting close enough to hear everything, explained how I easily could have asked her to dinner. I tried texting later and must have said the wrong words because I never heard from her again. This situation proves I am going to be the biggest downfall in my romantic life. I would love to say this was a rare occurrence of my ignorance, but it is more common than uncommon.

I have tried the anonymity of online dating and found I did not have the right words to woo any of the women to simply respond. I do fancy myself as a budding logophile, but I do not even possess the verbal skills needed to attract a starving dog with food. I contacted many women but apparently did not use the correct words to encourage any response, not even merely saying go away.

I thought being anonymous during my online search, in the beginning, would allow them to see me first and not my chair. I assumed if these women heard the fumbling and bumbling guy I am, I would sound like many guys. Sadly, I did not have time to talk to them because they never replied to my messages. So, alas, I am not an internet dating guy.

They say love is hiding behind every corner, I must be walking in circles. I get down on my knees and pray I will not be single forever or even much longer, but who knows if that will help. Others often tell me I am a good-looking guy with a super smile and have a lot to offer, so maybe I am simply overqualified. I wish this dating thing felt less like swimming in quicksand and more like swimming at the local pool because I can definitely swim. When I was on the assembly line for my creation, confidence was on backorder, and they upgraded my smile instead. These facts have not helped my shyness nor helped any part of my life except at job interviews.

I was always the guy helping others, whether it was giving a hand to a friend who was moving, carrying groceries, or even assisting a stranger to push his car to the side of the road. Currently, I cannot do minor or major things for people, let alone do anything for a potential girlfriend or wife. This situation makes me feel shameful, embarrassed, and even a bit inadequate. They say there is somebody for everyone in the dating world, and mine is probably pulling a push door right now. I hope she is not in Taipei or some other faraway land because long-distance travel is improbable for me. All of this means loneliness might be my wife for the foreseeable future as I think about who I was before and see who I am now.

Are you struggling to find your mate? Remember they are looking for you too.

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