Marc Lerner: Dating Without Self-Consciousness

 Dating Without Self-Consciousness

I am a 60-year-old male. I have had Multiple Scleorsis (MS)  for thirty years and one of the biggest problems of having a chronic and disabling disease is finding someone to love you in a romantic way. I have always had a girlfriend and I have definitely dated people who loved me, but either within me or within them there have been limitations. These were the fears of my condition getting worse. Then, I committed to a lady who had equally as bad disabilities. Now, when we are together, there is no thought or concern about either person having a disability. In fact, when we are together, it is as if neither of us is disabled.

I feel that when two people accept each other exactly the way they are, a strong foundation of love is established. That acceptance, when it comes to disabilities, is crucial because the subtle thoughts about disabilities create automatic limitations. When I dated a person with a handicap, they had the ability to relate to me and acknowledge my handicaps. Then, they could easily ignore them. The fact of two handicapped people coming together allows you to ignore the thoughts of handicaps. It opens up a depth in the heart where real loving sharing can take place.

Now, not every handicapped person can be in a relationship with another handicapped person. Handicapped people have chemistry and beliefs, and need to find another person with the same chemistry and beliefs to make a powerful relationship. I share this because of the hesitancy to date a
handicapped person, even if you are handicapped.

I encourage people dealing with any kind of body abnormalities to find someone who personally knows the struggle. Dating is not always easy, but when you can support someone’s weakness and they can support yours, a powerful bond is created.

Let me share an example: I often fall with my MS and my partner knows that reality within her own life. One time, I fell down when she was sitting right next to me. All she said was, “lah dee dah.” Instantly, my ego reacted but then I realized she knows that making a big deal does not really help anybody. In fact, some of my biggest hassles happen when I fall and someone overtly tries to be nice to me. Now, don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the kindness of people but by her saying “lah dee dah” instantly
forced me to see the situation as not unusual. It was up to me to take it from there.

Sometimes, during a fall, I would have appreciated kindness and sympathy but it was nothing like being met in the moment with a loving heart that understood my situation. I wholeheartedly encourage people dealing with physical limitations to at least search in the disabled community.

Marc Lerner, author of A Healthy Way to be Sick , teaches people how to tap
inner resources to become an active participant in life. Go to, where Marc has expert author status and has posted over 70 articles on health and mental health. Go to:  to review his work and listen to 14 radio shows, which he hosted on World Talk Radio.

Editors Note:

It’s my job to edit the stories that come into the Body and Self Image Blog and I do so with a grateful heart. I consider it an honor to be able to help people share their stories and I am touched by them all. This story, however, has a special place with me. My older sister was afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis for over thirty years and I know how difficult it was for her to deal, not only with the disease, but with the fact that other people viewed her as not just different but as somehow less. Inside she was the same person but her body, through no fault of her own, had betrayed her. I applaud this gentleman for giving us his story and hope that it will help others who may be dealing with similar issues.

Ann Werner 

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Copyright Ark Stories 2011


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