Ask Darling D: It Isn’t What I Thought it Would Look Like

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Dear Darling D,

You’ve probably never gotten a question like this before. I’ve talked to my family and I figured I’d get an outside perspective anonymously. I met a girl on a dating app. Her pictures were all closeups and she’s hot. When we went out for our first date, she showed up and she only has one arm. It’s one of those things where it’s not a big deal, I just wasn’t prepared for it. Our date went great, and she’s an amazing girl. We’ve been out a many times in the past couple months and things/she just keeps getting better. When I think about the long term, I get a little nervous about. I guess I’m asking, what’s the best way to go about this? Can I do this long-term?

Thanks a lot,

Cal, It Isn’t What I Thought it Would Look Like

Dear Cal,

You’re right, I haven’t answered a question like this before. But I’m so grateful for the chance to do so! I think this is a beautiful opportunity for you, and for all of us here on the page to address something real. I first want to address how great everything is going – that is amazing! Let’s focus on that before we go any further (I’m looking at you Cal…how lucky are you to have someone, and something, so great? Appreciate that!)!

Secondly, it sounds like this is one of those situations where from the outside, it’s easy to say, “that would never be an issue for me”, “I’d never consider not dating someone because of a physical limitation,” etc. But I understand that until you’re in the situation, you can’t 100% predict the feelings and emotions that come up when faced with it. I can understand your feelings of surprise on that first date. And that is okay!

I’m not going to say the answer is simple, because even if in my mind it is but you don’t feel like it is then you’re feelings aren’t wrong. However, below is a series of questions I want you to ask yourself.

  • Does she bring out the best version of you?
  • If you end it with her, will you regret it? Or wonder, ‘what if?’
  • Do you love her now, or do you think you’re heading that direction of falling in love with her?
  • Would you date her if she had two arms?

If any of your answers to the above questions are ‘yes,’ then I would pause for a moment. What is your actual fear in this situation? Are you self-sabotaging your own happiness? For many people, they want something real. Sometimes, when they find something real and it doesn’t look like how they thought it would, it causes them to question, criticize, and push away the person they care about. Aka, sabotaging their own happiness because of a fear surrounding the fact that what they have doesn’t look exactly like they planned it. So, I ask you – are you willing to LOSE something wonderful and potential long-lasting because of your fear? Only you can answer that.

Can you do this long-term, you ask? That’s for you to answer. My hope for you is YES, because I want you to have an amazing relationship and if she gives that to you then I want you to have it! How to go about this, you ask? DATE her. ENJOY her. LEARN about her. LEARN about yourself! ASK yourself the hard questions. PUSH THROUGH your fear. And at the point you want to, TALK to her! Find out where she’s at. As you guys keep dating and getting closer, you’ll learn more about her, what her needs are, and how you are needed.

Diversity is the jam, Cal! Think about how much personal growth you’ll have (and have already had) by being challenged in a way you haven’t before. If she’s as wonderful as you say she is, and this thing could really go somewhere, buckle up and enjoy the ride! Hold her hand and be grateful you found someone, and something special.

It Isn't What I thought it Would Look Like