There are many myths about being with a disabled partner in a relationship. When asked, people often said that it’s just hard and not their cup of tea, but why?
Here are some common myths that we came across while conducting our survey and the facts to support them-
BAD SEX LIFE
MYTH: People with disabilities can’t have sex!
FACT: People with disabilities have the same sex life as others.
Sex and intimacy are one of the most crucial aspects of a relationship. However, these are not the only things that constitute of a relationship. People believe that sex with a disabled partner will not be as good as that with an abled partner. They often forget that great sex is a result of great imagination, intimacy, comfort level, and great communication with your partner. We need to keep in mind that having a disability is a very normal thing and that one in every five person has a disability; whether visible or otherwise.
DON’T BE OFFENSIVE
MYTH: People with disabilities get easily offended. Be careful with what you say!
FACT: People with disabilities don’t get easily offended. They have generally a great sense of humour, patience and and appreciate the truth!
People are often scared while communicating with a differently abled person and are cautious with their words. They don’t want to say anything that offends them or hurts their feelings.
Differently abled people are different, yes. But they are not ‘delicate’. One does not need to be extremely cautious with their words just because the other person has a disability. Chances are that whatever offensive thing the person might say won’t be anything they haven’t heard already.
RESPONSIBILITY OR BURDEN
MYTH: Being with a disabled person is a burden.
FACT: People with disabilities make great life partners. Passion, understanding and caring nature makes them compassionate human beings.
People often tend to get stuck to the myth that people with disability are a big responsibility; one that they could live without. People with disabilities are not a burden; they are extremely capable of doing everything on their own. They have been molded in a way that has made them independent and can fully handle themselves and their responsibilities. The truth is differently-abled people live life to the fullest and make the most of whatever comes their way. This is a quality rarely found in the so-called ‘able’ people. From higher education to developing amazing social circles, supportive families and great careers, differently-abled people are grand achievers in their lives.
MYTH: People who are differently-abled are fragile and have low confidence.
FACT: People with disabilities have made peace with themselves. They are differently-abled and not merely disabled!
People with disability have faced a lot in their lives and although they don’t like to talk about it continuously, they do want you to acknowledge that. They’ve had their fair share of rejections and even more than what an abled person has had to face. This tends to make them fragile and their confidence takes a low dip too. They are insecure about themselves and sometimes can’t accept the fact that somebody else could love them and accept them.
While dating a disabled person, keep their declining confidence in mind and try to be sensitive towards that.
Instead of showing pity, support and encourage them to be confident and get over their insecurities. Shower them with love and make them see all the beautiful and great things about them.
MYTH: It’s not possible to be with a disabled person in a relationship without any alternative motives.
FACT: Misconceptions about disabled people do more harm than their physical disabilities!
Misconceptions are a big concern for the disabled people. Misconceptions about disabled people range anywhere about activities of their daily life to their social activities and more. Queries like does your family must spend a lot on you? How can you afford your medical expenses? This must be your first relationship, right? This must be your first time, right? If you’re in a wheelchair, can you have sex with somebody else in a wheelchair as well? Do you sleep on your wheelchair too?
Sympathy and pity are two of the most common emotions shown to the disabled people in India. This affects the morale of people with disabilities who are trying to lead a normal life without the ignominy of facing the same daily queries.
However, these norms and taboos are ages old and have no withholding to stand on. They should be ignored and forgotten. Love has no boundaries and if being in love with disabled person is considered wrong, then what kind of love is right?
NO TO NORMAL LIFE?
MYTH: People with disability don’t lead normal lives.
FACT: People with disabilities are okay with their daily physical lives! Sympathy and pity from not needed.
Normal is boring and who wants that? You should always aim for a life that is exciting and full. People often believe the myth that being with a disabled person would somehow make them lose their chance at having a normal life. This myth is completely false. You dont not be with someone just because they have weak eyesight and wear spectacles. Similarly, you shouldn’t do the same with someone who has a disability. They live a normal life similar to that of the next person and surely will make their partner’s life normal, too.
WILL MISS OUT ON the FUN?
MYTH: Lives of people with disabilities are boring.
FACT: People with disabilities have some of the craziest fun ideas!
People often believe that disabled people are at a disadvantage in life. Yes, they may have a disability but that doesn’t mean that there are other drawbacks, too.
Many countries including India and the United States of America offer special benefits to the differently abled and their partners can reap those benefits as well. designated spaces in parking lots, shorter lines at toilets, games etc., reservation at work, education and cheaper tickets with separate better seating at movies, concerts, in airplanes etc.
Spending your life with a disabled partner is no different than doing so with an ‘abled person’. If anything, their disability has taught them patience, made them better understanding, and overall better human beings who have championed the difficulties of life. Who wouldn’t want those qualities in their life partners? Think well, before you say no to dating a disabled person. The possibilities are endless…