Dear Aunty Aurora,
I haven’t had much luck when it comes to relationships. The last one I was in landed me in the hospital after I got the beating of my life. People told me that I wasn’t really good at picking men because I tend to pick the ones that either harm me physically or leave me emotionally scarred for life. So I decided that I will just take a break from all things relationship and stay away from men in general. About four months ago, I noticed that a particular guy kept sending me messages on one of my social media platforms and he would ensure he likes everything I post online. At first I ignored his messages but when he became too persistent, I decided to tell him off.His response wasn’t what I was expecting. Its not unusual for men to keep pestering women on the web so I was surprised when he said he was just interested in being my friend. He felt we were like minds and he was really interested in me as just a friend only. He said I won’t be interested in him anyway if I looked through his photos that he had posted and friendship was all he wanted. After our little chat I decided to glance through his photographs and I was shocked to see that he was disabled. It took me a while to get over the fact that he was a good looking young man and stuck in a wheel chair. Thereafter we got talking and I also realised that he was a very smart and easy-going man as well. Now we talk on a daily basis and I think I really like him but I have also noticed that his disability has affected his self-esteem. He said he has accepted that he won’t ever get married but I know its all a facade. How do I convince him that I am now interested in being more than a friend to him and I am really serious about this?
I am glad you could look past your friend’s physical disability to see who he really is despite being confined to the wheel chair. But my question to you is, are you really, absolutely and totally sure you want a relationship with him?. For him to say that he is sure he will never get married, I think he must have had experiences in the past that has left him with such a mindset. If you should end up dating him or even marrying him then decide that it was a bad decision on your part and you want out, you will only hurt him more and he might never get over the fact that you longer want him.
People living with one form of disability or the other are usually more sensitive when it comes to relationships though they might not show it. Fear of rejection or abandonment are some of the things they have to deal with and I think if you want to be more than friends with him, you need to know and understand everything involved. Do a self-check and be sure you are capable of facing the challenges of being with him. Are you willing to go the extra mile to make up for his own physical lack, are willing to stand by him no matter the opposition, stigma and challenges that comes with his disability? These are some of the questions you need to answer truthfully before you then go ahead to convince him that your feelings are genuine. Once you are sure you are willing to take on these responsibilities, then a little more patience and affection will eventually get him to come around and accept that you will always be there no matter what.
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