I’m An Amputee and I Don’t Like How My Boyfriend Introduces Me
Q: Wendy is an amputee who called wondering if her boyfriend “warning” his brother about her before they met was a dump-able offense or was he being oddly caring?
A: Dr. Cooper’s take was, “I don’t think you need to dump him if you like him. I think people don’t know how others will react with anything out of the ordinary with somebody they just started dating. I’m sure his intention was to make it more comfortable for YOU when his brother met you for the first time. He didn’t want his brother to be weird or act surprised or ask any awkward questions to make YOU feel uncomfortable. I don’t think he told his brother out of malice…quite the opposite, it was out of caring for your feelings. In fact, you should be instructing your boyfriend how you’d like these situations handled. I dated an amputee who wanted the world to know because he was proud of who he was and loved his uniqueness. Everyone is different. You need to let your boyfriend know what you want.”
HOW SHOULD YOU APPROACH INTRODUCING A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
When it comes to dating someone with a physical disability like being an amputee, it’s essential to approach the situation with respect, empathy, and open-mindedness. Here are some guidelines to consider when dating an amputee and informing your family about the relationship:
- Focus on the person, not the disability: Remember that your partner is an individual with unique qualities and experiences. See beyond their amputation and appreciate them for who they are.
- Communicate openly: Discuss your partner’s preferences regarding their amputation and how they want it to be addressed. Encourage them to share their feelings and concerns, and be understanding and supportive.
- Educate yourself: Take the initiative to learn about amputations, prosthetics, and any specific challenges your partner may face. Understanding their perspective will help foster empathy and a stronger connection.
- Be sensitive and respectful: Avoid making assumptions or asking intrusive questions about their amputation unless they willingly share that information. Treat them with dignity and respect, just like you would with any other person.
- Discuss your intentions with your family: When you feel ready to introduce your partner to your family, have an open conversation about their amputation beforehand. Provide information about their disability, emphasizing their strengths and qualities, to help your family understand and accept your relationship.
- Address concerns or misconceptions: Be prepared for questions or concerns from your family members. Help them understand that an amputation doesn’t define your partner’s worth or ability to have a fulfilling relationship.
- Support your partner: Throughout the process, be a source of encouragement and support for your partner. Help them navigate any potential challenges they may encounter when meeting your family, and reassure them that you’re committed to the relationship.
Every individual and relationship is unique, so open communication, empathy, and understanding are crucial. By approaching the situation with love and respect, you can foster acceptance and build strong, meaningful connections with your partner and your family.