Valentine's Day and SMA

The holidays always bring their own set of challenges, and Valentine’s Day is no different for me. Throughout my life, I've never dated anyone, but I still hold onto the idea of romance and love. The thought of finding someone to share life's journey with resonates deeply with me, even though it hasn't happened yet. Living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) presents layers of challenge and isolation, particularly given my limited opportunities to meet new people—I chose homeschooling and pursued college online.

No longer looking to be swept off my feet

In my early twenties, I used to daydream a lot about the romanticized relationships I saw on television and social media. I longed for that enchanting feeling of being swept off my feet. But eventually, reality kicked in and taught me that achieving those ideals might need some unconventional approaches.

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Valentine’s Day only intensifies these feelings of loneliness and isolation. The constant bombardment of cutesy commercials and romantic comedies glorifying every facet of the holiday can be overwhelming, especially for individuals with disabilities who may not have a significant other. It often leaves me feeling like I’m unlovable because of my disability.

Feeling isolated with images of Valentine's Day

Social media becomes a significant trigger during this time. As Valentine’s Day approaches, my feeds overflow with images of happy couples embarking on romantic adventures. I find myself pondering whether I'll ever experience such moments while living with SMA. The truth is, I'm uncertain.

As I've grown older, dating isn't as big of a priority as it once was in my early twenties. I no longer think about it anymore as often as I did. I tried my fair share of dating apps only to be asked invasive questions about my SMA or if I could have sex. Insert eye roll emoji here. After those encounters I realized maybe dating wasn’t all it’s made out to be. So I sought out love in different places and things. Because guess what? You can love your friends and family, books, movies, tv shows, places.

Dating no longer is as Finding comfort by loving friends and family

I've found solace in celebrating this time of year by showering love on my friends and family. It's okay to be in my late twenties and thirties without having dated. If love is meant to find me, it will happen when the timing is right, perhaps when I least expect it. Then again, it might never happen at all, and I’m starting to be okay with either way it plays out. I’ll continue to love my nieces and nephews and my siblings.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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