Agreed Maria. Probably the best post I have read in this thread yet.
Hi Jason. Your question is very delicate. As I was reading some of the responses, many were very inspiring. My life has been greatly affected by someone with a disability. The man I was in love with for 12 years and married to for a short time was diagnosed with a neurological disease in the last three years of our relationship. His disease not only affected him physically, but also mentally and emotionally. I would have loved him and cared for him unconditionally until his last breath; however, he chose to end the marriage. Living with disease/disorder/disability (whatever one's diagnosis) is difficult and if one did not start out that way, it is very challenging at times. In my own experience, it wasn't the disease that destroyed the relationship-it was the person (who he was in his soul/heart). You are here on this Catholic website and you are a believer-you are so far ahead of the game. If empathy is one of your symptoms, that may be challenging for others to accept, understand and/or deal with regarding a relationship with you. I don't know you personally, so I cannot say. By your comment, you have a mild form of this disease. One's ability to love knows no bounds, disability or not. I think your getting alot of "yes" responses:)
I really, really hate the word "disability" it has too many negative connotations, focusses too much on the "can not" aspects of an individual. I think its insulting and demeaning. Of course, while I don't think its ideal either, I perfer the term "alternative needs". Its like my fantastic dyslexia, its not a learning disability, its a quirk. My Irlens Syndrome, I can see in poor lighting. So when all the "normal sighted" people are poking around in the darkened buildings of the post zombie apocaylpic world, I'll be awesome.
God forbid we just focus on the person, and not whether they have some syndrome or are missing both their legs.
So yeah, I'd date someone with alternative needs.
I have a disability. I cannot use my right arm; haven't been able to since 1973.
I have dated a woman with no arms and no feet. A quadrupile amputee.
I don't like dancing if I am expected to dance well because I cannot use my right arm, but I like to dance. I get moody when my arm hurts and it hurts every day. Sometimes I am more moody than others.
When I went out with my friend I had to help her do things that would really freak out some of you that have issues with chastity. And no, I will not elaborate.
She does not have this issue, but some disabled people sit in a dirty diaper for hours if they work, or they can. Her husband was a paraplegic and wore a diaper.He died.
It is amazing what she can do with two artifical arms but she needs a bunch of help. She falls down easily. I took her boating and she fell on the dock. It was a big, solid dock. I think she fell cause she was looking at some young man's body when she should have been watching where she was going. She cannot live without assistance. She also has a Masters degree.
Don't get all idealistic and assume a disability doesn't matter. Find out about it. Having a disability can mess you up mentally just like anything else; in that reguard disabled people are normal.
She was married for 26 years, I was married for 13. We both have kids. Should you rule out somebody with a disability? No!
A friend was going to marry a man that was in a wheelchair. Mommy and daddy talked her out of it. Eventually she married somebody else. In her marriage she did things that hurt her parents very much supposedly at the request, or demand, of her husband. If she were my daughter her husband would not be allowed in my home, ever. Neither would she as long as she behaved in the way she was behaving. She definitely should have got the guy in the wheelchair. They are Catholics and go to church every Sunday. So be careful. My friend's husband was not physically disabled.
If you date someone with a disability it does not imply you are going to marry them. Any more so than anybody else. I would think it would be a good idea to get to know them. If they are good people then think of it. You'll get to know a person that has overcome a disability. I happen to think such folks are special and can teach much, maybe inspire you.
By the way, my wife was normal. No, she was exceptional. Everything worked for her and people told me all the time what a beautiful wife I had. She didn't have any problems dating me, and she had plenty of other options. But then I didn't marry my friend either. What does that make me? Confused? Chicken? I don't know.
Lets say someone has aspergers or some other kind of disability, would you rule them out because they have that?
My son has aspergers and he is one of the most amazing young men I know. Granted, his room looks like a bomb went off, but that is nothing compared to his expansive heart, and keen mind, sense of humor and devotion to his family...Not to mention he is very handsome (takes after his mother's side of the family...clearly!) So, yes, if I met a man like him, I would consider it a blessing.