Exhausted woman looking at a laptop with dating profiles coming out of the screen

Going Through a Breakup With a Disability

This is something I wasn’t sure I wanted to talk about openly. It’s hard when you’re in a relationship with someone and want to respect their privacy. Though this is true, I also want to talk about what it’s like to go through a breakup when you’re disabled. It feels different than past breakups.

Being in a relationship with a disability

Dating while being disabled is incredibly difficult - especially in this online world. Everyone has their opinions, and some of them are rude. I’ve had people unmatch me because I mentioned my disability, people ask me if my legs work, and the list really is endless.

It causes a lot of insecurities at first. Sometimes it would make me feel less than, and like something was wrong with me. I would feel undesirable.

Of course, though, there are good people out there. People that don’t care that I’m disabled, and want to learn more about me. That’s who my ex was. He didn’t care, he just wanted to learn about my illness and try to help the best he could.

My ex-partner would always help me with whatever I needed. Getting my walker out of the car, helping me walk to the bathroom, sometimes carrying me, anything. He was great with my illness and disability. I felt loved and secure being a disabled person who was with an able-bodied person. I never felt judged once.

Things change, and people change too

Obviously, all of this sounds pretty nice, right? Of course, relationships don’t always work out, and sometimes things can change. That’s okay, and that’s a part of life.

I don’t want to go into detail about what happened, I want to be as respectful as possible to my past relationship. What I will say is our values began to misalign and things were different.

The breakup

I am a person who feels deeply. When I feel an emotion, it’s like it’s times 10. The breakup hit me extremely hard, as it was pretty sudden. It sort of happened out of nowhere for me with little explanation.

There are so many layers to a breakup. At least, there were for me. The loss of my partner left a huge hole in me.

Losing someone when you have a disability

Something I never thought about before I was disabled was how a breakup could affect someone with a disability.

I no longer had that person who made me feel safe and secure as a disabled person. He was the first person I’d dated since having a disability, and that was huge for me.

My worries were back. Would anyone love me with a disability? Were new people going to be embarrassed to be out with me while I used my walker? Sure, he did, but are there more people out there?

I am a very anxious person, can you tell?

Recovery can be hard

Recovering after a breakup is difficult. I never thought it would be THIS difficult, though. The anxiety that swirls around in my brain when thinking about it, and thinking about the possibility of dating other people, is extremely high.

I know realistically there are others out there. If he exists, others exist. It’s just about telling that to my anxiety.

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