Why Match.com Was One Of The Best Things I’ve Done On Disability

Why Match.com Was One Of The Best Things I’ve Done On Disability

Before you read, you should know:

I actually wrote this post over 2 months ago and have been reluctant to post it. At first I thought I didn’t want to post it because of the whole embarrassing stigma of online dating. Then I thought I didn’t want to post it because I was afraid maybe it would come across rude to my ex-relationships. But I soon realized the reason I didn’t want to post it was for the EXACT same reason that I WROTE the post. I didn’t want to post it because I was afraid! I was hiding behind my fear. The fear of putting ourselves out there and the possibilities of getting judged and rejected. How could I post something about putting yourself out there, if I couldn’t even do it myself?! A little hypocritical of me, don’t you think?

Just goes to show…. we’re all human. We have to cut ourselves some slack! Yeah, I’m sure there will be some judgement with this post, but guess what! That’s not why I wrote it. I wrote it because I want others in similar situations to feel empowered to put themselves out there!

 

After having my heart shattered into a bazillion, million, trillion little pieces in January 2014, I spent the last year + dating off and on for fun. Nothing real serious. Actually dated someone who has become very influential in my life and am super grateful for … But I really spent the year exploring the inner workings of myself.

 

Accepting love, approaching things with love… I’ve come to the realization that the universe works in wonderfully magical ways and honestly, I’m so not worried about finding the right life partner. I know that when the timing is right, I will be led to him.

 

My sister met her boyfriend on Match and one of my really good friends met her boyfriend on Match, so my Dad and Sister were all about me getting on it. I refused for months.

 

I’ll be completely honest, I was scared.

How could I meet someone and say

Hi, I’m Julie 🙂

I’m unemployed, on disability, have lots of health problems, have been on crutches for 2 ½ years,

I have very strict dietary guidelines, oh and had to move back in with my parents because

I couldn’t take care of myself when this all started.

I mean, if I couldn’t make a 4 year-long relationship work because of these issues, how was someone going to be supportive of these facts right off the bat?!? How was anyone going to take me seriously? 

 

Sure, I’m on disability. Sure, I can’t do everything I’d love to do… BUT let’s be real. I’m legit like the busiest person on disability. And if there’s something I want to do, I’m not going to let anything hold me back from doing it! I’m an active person. I love to attend concerts. Traveling is my favorite thing to do – I’d give up a huge closet to live out of a suitcase. I’m the most motivated and determined person you’ll ever meet. I’ve started laying the groundwork for a very profitable business. I’ve started writing a book and have about 4 other book ideas floating in my head. I’ve taken my situation and really made the best out of it. How would people realize that even though I do have limitations, we could still have a very real, very active, very normal relationship?

 

Dating on Disability | Are you at a disadvantage since you're on 'disability'? Will people judge you? | itsjustabadday.com | Spoonie Health Coach juliecerrone.comI know if I heard “I’m unemployed and have a chronic illness” from someone, and I didn’t understand it firsthand, I probably would keep looking through the other people on the site. Maybe I’m shallow? But when you’re approaching 30, and have been out in the real world for a while, you realize money can’t buy happiness, but as my OG BFF jokes “It’s hard for love to survive welfare.”

 

I finally ended up breaking down after the holidays and signed up for the site. I still have no idea what possessed me to do it, but I did it. What did I have to lose? (Except the potential crush to my confidence, ego and pride?)

 

I was shocked. SHOCKED at how many people were, not only accepting of my situation, but really wanted to help support me through my struggles. Day after day I kept getting messages from people wanting to meet me and learn more about my story. Guys who said what I was doing was impressive and they were actually taken back by my motivation and passion. The good thing about having a blog is that I could send them a link and they could take a look at the immensity of my situation. I figured sending them to my blog would turn the majority of them away, but honestly it didn’t. (Read more about one of these individuals here! He helped me see that I’m still amazing, despite anything I’ve had to go through)

 

I talk to so many amazing patients who have these awesome, supportive husbands by their side. I’m so thankful for my family because they’ve been my rock throughout all of this. But there’s something about having a partner to hold your hand when you’re in pain, to hug you when you’re crying and remind you that it will work out, to hang out with you on the weekends when you have no energy and you just want to lay in bed and not shower. Haha

 

I’ve come to realize that there are people out there who are loving and supportive. That there are people out there who aren’t completely selfish and understand relationships are a 2 way streets. That there are people out there who want to be there to help pick you up from your lowest times and don’t believe you have to do it all on your own. And that there are people who love love just as much as I do!

 

Dating on Disability | Are you at a disadvantage since you're on 'disability'? Will people judge you? | itsjustabadday.com | Spoonie Health Coach juliecerrone.comI mean no disrespect to my past relationship and to be honest, this post could totally come across that way. I’m more saying it to help others out there who are in my situation and are afraid to put themselves out there because of their situations. Gabrielle Bernstein (you know I love her), wrote in an article

No One is Sent to Anyone by Accident

A Course in Miracles teaches us that there are “no chance encounters.” All encounters offer us the opportunity to transform fear to love and create a miracle. Accept that relationships are assignments to learn and grow. This new attitude will allow you to begin to appreciate the partner who brings up all your funky issues — because you’ll know the learning that is available to you.

Gabrielle Bernstein, How To Release Romantic Fears

 

Throughout my dating life, I can’t say I always looked at relationships in this way. I don’t think a heart-broken girl (or guy) usually looks at what they can learn from the situation in the heat of the moment. Looking at my past relationships, I’ve been able to connect the dots on some AMAZING life lessons. AH-MAZ-ING. Becoming grateful for these lessons can change your outlook on these “failed” relationships. I know it sure has changed mine!

Monday Miracle Challenge:
Get out your journal because this will be a writing exercise! 

Take a moment and close your eyes. Come to stillness and focus on the inhale and exhale of your breath. Continue to watch your inhalation and exhalation for a few minutes, allowing your body to relax and your focus to come into your body.

Take a trip down memory lane and start to think about your past relationships.

What stands out? What do you wish had been different? What do you dwell on? Have you been holding on to resentment? Have you been able to forgive and move on? Do certain parts of your relationships haunt you?

For as long as you need, sit in stillness and reflect on these amazing situations which have afforded you so many lessons (even if you don’t realize it at this moment.)

Once you’re done reflecting, take time and write in your journal. What are your thoughts, feelings and emotions? Has anything ‘made sense’ sense its dissolution? Have you learned anything from your adventures?

Do this exercise as much as you need to until you’ve really begun to unlock the lessons in your relationships. 

Homework: Check out Gabby’s MediDating tips!

My dad always told me not to be scared and that if someone didn’t accept me and my crutches then they definitely weren’t the one for me… And I couldn’t agree more. Putting myself out there puts me in a very vulnerable state as I’m setting myself up for the potential to get shut down because of my situation. BUT, putting myself in this very vulnerable state also sets me up for an amazing opportunity to learn and grow from a somewhat, uncommon situation.

 

Dating on Disability | Are you at a disadvantage since you're on 'disability'? Will people judge you? | itsjustabadday.com | Spoonie Health Coach juliecerrone.comDo I wish that I would have had a partner, right by my side, during the hardest moments of my life? Absolutely! More than anything. But if this journey has taught me anything, it’s that I always have everything I need. I thought I needed to rely on someone to help me, but I had it inside of me all along.

 

I’m so excited for the years to come and what my future holds 🙂 Maybe Match.com will help me find my husband or maybe it’s only here to provide me with the lesson that I needn’t be afraid and shouldn’t hold myself back because of my “disabilities”.

 

I mean, spoonies, guys total dig the handicap parking (who doesn’t like a good parking spot?) and at my age people are more up for netflix nights instead of nights on the town after a hard work week… Which is totally up my alley.

 

So sure, I’m sad that none of my past relationships worked out, but the lesson in all that heart-break has brought me peace, serenity, love, gratitude and most importantly hope.

 

If you’ve been waiting for a nudge to put yourself out there, let this be it!! <3

 

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

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  • Claire Madden

    There is no stigma attached to online dating (well, a little from some people).
    I found my Guy on RSVP – I was in a great place with myself, but wanted to be in a relationship, so I interviewed what seems like hundreds of men until I found him.
    Being in a relationship where a chronic illness is involved is really hard for both parties. I am restricted in how I can physically support him, and things like earning money and making a family are out of the question for now. He just wants to fix me and make me better and take away all my troubles, but he can’t, and that’s hard for him. I also carry a lot of guilt – I want him to have an active partner. Luckily all he wants is me.
    Well done on being brave and putting yourself out there – dating is exciting and fun and scary – enjoy it!

    xx Claire @ livebedocfs

    • Thank you so much for sharing Claire! It is so exciting and fun and scary – you’re so right! haha I’m happy for you that you’ve found someone just like that 🙂 I can’t even tell you how many spoonies I talk to who are afraid that they’re broken and that they’re not worth having someone. It’s so wonderful to hear that you took the leap and went out to find him! Sending you lots of positivity and love <3

  • Rick Phillips

    I have been married up 38 and years and I have to say, I love this post. I long ago realized the way relationships happen is far less important than the fact they do happen. I have never and hopefully never will use an online or in person site for a relationship. But I am thrilled when folks find happiness, even if my mine came in a HS class room in 1975. By he way, even in 1975 things were not so clear cut, I asked my wife out three times and three times she said no. Then a year later she called me for a date. A year later we were married. Yeah nothing is clear cut ever.

    • You’re so right Rick! NOTHING is EVER clear cut – and if it is, you’re probably not seeing the whole story hahaha!! Thanks for sharing 🙂 🙂 🙂

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