Seeking Intimacy as a Young Adult with a Disability

By Nicolas Gurley
People with disabilities are human, sexual beings. We still have a sex drive. We still have a need and desire for physical contact and affection with another person. For many of us, finding partners and relationships can be a challenge. How are we supposed to go about this when at times just getting around the city is hard enough?

A good place to start for anyone interested in finding a romantic partner is accepting and loving yourself for who you are, just the way you are. Because if you cannot even do that, how can you expect someone else to. It’s very easy and tempting to adopt the belief and anger world for having “forsaken” you with this disability. Some of us may choose to wallow in self pity feeling alone and isolated from the world around us. The problem emerges when you realize it’s going to be a lot harder, probably even impossible to find someone who will be able to fully understand all your struggles and meet all your needs. Until we can learn to accept ourselves, disability and all, relationships will always be one endless search for the myth of a perfect partner who will accept and love us as we are. The reality is that no one person will ever be able to do all of that for us.

That being said the first step to getting yourself out there to successfully seek out a partner will require a lot of work and self reflection on your part. Clear your head of all those unrealistic expectations and fantasies of a fairy tale story. There are no white knights that are just going to show up and whisk you away to a better life, or princesses that will kiss you and turn you into a handsome prince.

There will be a lot of challenges and guess what, you will fail, probably more then once, but you need to be prepared for that so that you do not lose hope. People are the way they are and we have to accept that. Some will not be able or desire to look beyond your disability to see the person beneath the surface, but there are some people who won’t care about your disability because they can see you for the person you really are and all that you have to offer.

If you are interested in exploring these topics, consider joinging our group therapy sessions for young adults living with disabilities in NYC. You can contact us through our website or you are welcome to contact me directly by email at or by phone at 917-525-2205 x9.

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