Never think you have little to nothing to offer in a relationship because you have an obstacle or adversity in your life.
Preparing for the dating Game
When I was in high school, I didn’t date.
When I started college, I didn’t date.
I wanted to, especially as the years went on in my early twenties, but I didn’t for one simple reason – I felt that I didn’t have anything to offer a girl because of my disability.
Back in those days my only visible disability was my vision. As I have stated in other blog posts, I am legally blind (20/200 in my left eye and 20/300 in my right). I never liked telling anyone about my vision problems. I would do everything I could to hide it. I went to the extreme, putting my safety in jeopardy at times, to hiding my white cane in my backpack when I saw a girl I wanted to meet.
The time came that I wanted to have someone in my life.
One Christmas, in my mid-twenties, I was sitting alone in my one-bedroom apartment looking at my Christmas tree. Although my domicile looked like Santa’s village, I still felt like something was missing. Then as I watched the lights twinkle on my tree, and it hit me so hard I felt like Grandma did when she got ran over by a reindeer – my home was missing a wife and kids!
With that revelation, I knew it was time to get serious about dating.
There was one thing stopping me – who would want to be with me?
I believe that many guys as well as girls have insecurities about themselves when they start to contemplate dating. Thoughts like “I am not good looking” and “I am fat” lead anyone who is contemplating looking for love to look for other “faults” within themselves.
Being disabled my list of insecurities included “Who would want to be with someone with a disability?” and “I am sure that my white cane will chase away any cute girl faster than a spraying skunk”
The biggest fault I saw within myself was that my primary source of income was SSI. This fault quickly grew into my biggest feat when I convinced myself that the father of any girlfriend will not feel I could provide for and/or take care of his daughter, and he won’t let me marry her.
Faults can turn into fears before we make them excuses
Before I knew it, I found my perceived faults becoming fears and growing. I turned them into an excuse for not dating by saying “the time is not right for me to be looking for a mate”, Eventually I convinced myself that “I will wait until the time is right for me to get out there and seriously look for a long-term relationship.”
There is never a perfect time to start dating
I was in my early thirties with a list of unaccomplished goals I wanted to achieve before I started looking for the girl I would marry when I realized that there will never be a perfect time to start dating.
I decided to take on my low self-esteem and self-confidence. I started to tell myself that I did have something wonderful to offer a girl. Even though I couldn’t; really list anything, I kept saying it to myself until I started to believe it.
On the dating scene.
When I started dating Kimberly, although I was convincing myself I had a lot to offer her, I didn’t see it. All I saw was that I used a white cane that drew attention to my disability. I saw that I was still in community college trying to get my AS in computer science and AA in broadcasting completed 16 years after I started. I saw that I was working a part time job at a local ISP and my main source of income was still SSI. None of these facts, in my mind, screamed I am a good catch.
But I was not seeing what I did have to offer to Kimberly. I have a kind heart. I am compassionate. I am supportive of all her goals and dreams, both personally and professionally.
What I have learned over the years is that most anyone can get a job, can earn a good living, can make themselves financially comfortable, but the qualities I bring to a relationship are more important than money – because they come from within myself and are authentically mine. Unlike a company downsizing where a person could lose their job or a stock market crash that can wipe out a portfolio, nothing can take them away from me.