"Sometimes the biggest risks are those we take with our hearts."
I always avoided dating because of my physical disability.
I never had a serious boyfriend. Up until now, my first relationship lasted about a month and I don't even count it.
I am not in any way saying this for attention, but I always thought I was (and at times still think I am) ugly and that I don't have a good enough body to date. Between my physical disability, my weight (which apparently is not bad), and my thoughts about me being ugly, I've avoided dating.
I thought my mental health struggles and nerve disease would be deal-breakers.
I would download apps constantly and not swipe right for guys I was actually interested in talking to. I went on dates with guys who I wasn't even interested in dating because I didn't think I could do better.
On a boring day, and I mean really boring day, for some reason I downloaded Bumble just to read some odd and funny profiles and to get some chuckles. I was 99.9 percent positive I was not going to find anything serious, and again, I did not think I was at all good enough for most of these guys on the app nor did I want to find someone off an app because I would rather be able to meet someone in-person.
Anyway, there was one guy I matched with that day. He was handsome and his profile was genuine.
We started talking and I am not a huge fan of small talk so I get right down to fun and nosey questions and he was amused by them. I figured I would eventually scare him off. I enjoyed speaking to him more though and it almost seemed too good to be true that I was hitting it off with someone from an app.
I got rid of the app in a few days because I was getting absurd and odd messages from guys... creepy, too. I gave him my number because he was nice and I thought he was cute and I had no expectations of hitting it off with him. But we kept talking and talking and at one point started video chatting.
This was all in May during COVID-19 so I had no plans on meeting him.
However, we kept talking and talking and finding more things in common with each other, but we also had our differences. He's quiet and shy, while I am outgoing and loud. We both enjoyed similar things, though, like working out, good food, movie nights, and more.
We really thought about meeting up during the pandemic. We decided to have a social distancing date, as odd as that sounds. We got pizza and sat outside six feet apart. He seemed so scared and I even offered him a pass to go home and he laughed and we gave the date a go. We hit it off and decided to meet a few more times after and broke social distancing after we spoke about the number of individuals we saw on an everyday basis. We wore masks when appropriate and at times kept a social distance when we could.
What was strange was that the second and third dates after the first ones were still odd. We both felt that it was best to stay friends cause we enjoyed each other's company. I was also, again, too nervous to jump into a relationship because I did not feel good enough. I kept saying to myself that he could do better.
The moment I realized I wanted to start hanging more with this guy again was when he called me during work to check in on me while he knew I was having a bad day.
Don't forget, I only knew this guy for about a week or so. We started hanging out more as friends and eventually, his humorous and outgoing side began to come out and I enjoyed hanging out with him even more.
I kept trying to talk myself out of hanging with him because I was scared to get feelings for him. He invited me over to meet his brother and his brother's girlfriend, the social distancing of course, and we began to hit it off more.
One day, he told me he liked me and could not just be friends. I was not ready for a relationship so I told him I needed time to think, even though I knew deep down I liked him, I was just scared and felt he deserved better.
I continued to grow fonder of him when he helped me clean my bathroom, which my disability makes it hard for me to do, when he came over just to make sure I was OK, when he offered to drive me to a doctor's appointment if I was unable to drive — all of the small good things added up.
One night, he opened my window and my cat got out and he ran out looking for a cat which he found thankfully! He saw me so upset if I could not ever see my cat again and he felt bad he let the cat out. He found my cat and that was the icing on the cake when I told him I would be his girlfriend. It was not the fact that he found my cat, it was the fact that he was not going home until he found him. All of these small wonderful things he did for me got to me and I liked him more.
I did not want to be scared of dating anymore so I jumped right in.
My anxiety, which he knows I have, plays mind games on me every day about how I am not good enough for him, or will give me doubts about him and tell me things in my head like "Do you even like him?" or "Is he the one?" The thing is, I don't know if he's the one and I try to talk myself out of dating every day. I always question why he likes me and he names all these wonderful things about me. About two months later we're still together. The anxiety continues but I try every day to plow through it to keep present with him because to me he's worth it.
I really never thought someone could be so nice, caring, generous, thoughtful, and amazing as this guy is. I keep saying to myself that I don't deserve for him to like me and that he can do better and he hates when I say that because he says I am special and he likes me for me.
The point of my story is that it took me 26 fricken years to finally be comfortable actually dating someone. We have no clue if we are the ones for each other but he reassures me to take it one day at a time and stay present. The risk of letting myself date was worth it because I found myself a keeper. We don't know how long it will last or if it will last forever; all we know is that we're both currently happy and he helps me feel worthy and loved every day.
Let yourself take risks for a guy who likes you and if you like him back because you just will never know how it will go until you do. They will like you for you and you may end up happy.