The Dreaded Ex


exbfSo you’re at a grocery store, and suddenly as you turn the corner you see your ex – they’re holding a box of pasta or some other food item, and they have their new significant other in-hand. You feel your heart sink to the bottom of your stomach and suddenly the last thing you want to do is eat.

Everybody knows this feeling. I have a whole rooster of exes, and every time I see one of them in passing this very feeling occurs. Even the most beautiful people in the world have exes they want to avoid, but it seems when you have a disability, we get the short end of the stick. People just can’t deal with our disabilities and we get rejected a lot more. The end result – we have more exes.

Now it usually isn’t my style to be such a negative ninny, but this is real-life stuff and it needs to be said. I think most people with disabilities can relate to this too. When you have a disability, especially when it’s acquired mid-relationship, we all await the dreaded day where our S.O. can’t take our disability anymore and leaves.

This doesn’t happen to all of us as course. Some of us happen to meet some fabulous people who prove there are still good people in the world. They’re just not easy to meet, which is the underlying problem (and a great topic for a future blog post). I would say though that only about 1 out of 100 people would seriously consider dating someone with a disability.

I do think however think our exes carry a significant amount of more guilt than if we were able-bodied, thinking our disabilities somehow make them more jerks for breaking up with us. The general public, family, friends, every facet of our society teaches us to be extra nice to those with disabilities. When they break up with us, their main fear is how they’ll be perceived.

As much as I like freebies and nice people, I dislike fake people even more, so I get angry men have to worry about this. If my boyfriend really doesn’t like me anymore, I’d rather have him break up with me than stay with me out of guilt. I just wish he would move out of state afterwards, because one of the most stressful things can be running into an ex, and it will happen to you at some point; mark my word.

It happened to me over the weekend in fact. I ran into an ex at a hotel, and his new girlfriend was an able-bodied version of me pretty much. It bugged me of course, but what did I expect? He wasn’t going to have another girlfriend who used a wheelchair. All of those paranoid-fueled comparisons entered my mind that all people with spinal cord injuries get whenever something like this happens.

We always fear we aren’t good enough, and that an able-bodied replacement is right around the corner. It’s a natural human fear. Replace “able-bodied” with younger, skinner, prettier or richer, and the rest of the world can relate.

It just never gets easy running into an ex, but when you’re single and wanting to find someone, it’s a risk you must be willing sign up for. Without risk there is no reward, especially when it comes to romance.

Does running into an ex cause you stress? How do you handle it?

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

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