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You invest mental energy in making sure things go a certain way. I have been guilty of stressing over past relationships. Things started out fun and light, I got excited about the possibilities…and then became scared that my imagined future wouldn’t come to be…and then panic set in.

From then on, the relationship was no longer enjoyable.

It is not there to make you feel good about life and about yourself.

This isn’t to say a relationship can’t do these things, it’s just that these aren’t the elements upon which a healthy relationship is built. A relationship is an experience to be had and shared.

And if it doesn’t, you’re OK because you know that it just means you weren’t a match with that person.

It doesn’t mean you’re flawed or damaged or bad or unlovable. Sometimes you’ll be able to see this, and sometimes the other person will have that clarity.

It is not there to serve you and give you things like happiness and self-esteem.And then the devastation starts to creep in…followed by the doubts. He’s happily going along doing his thing while you are knee-deep in heartbreak mode, mourning the loss of what could have been and trying to figure out where it all went wrong. You cling to the relationship even tighter because you remember how miserable it felt when you thought you lost it and you vow not to do anything to screw this up.MORE: 5 Ways to Ruin a Budding Relationship I’m not saying the relationship will be doomed after this point, but I can guarantee it will cause a major shift in the dynamic and it will definitely ruin your ability to actually enjoy the relationship anymore.Every interaction and conversation became a test to see exactly where he stood and how he felt.Anyone who has dated long enough knows exactly what I’m talking about.

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We’re exploring love in many forms with first-hand accounts from the frontlines of dating, marriage, intimacy and friendship, all with people living—and loving—with disabilities or challenges like long-distance romance. ) But they all agreed that once people talk and get past questions or concerns, love is love—sometimes it’s messy but mostly it’s marvelous. Dating and disability Our favorite proposals Love and marriage Military couples, military separations Friendship Siblings Sex, intimacy, and more on our blog Take Me As I Am: Dating and Disability Etiquette Social worker and disability rights consultant Vilissa Thompson shares her experience dating as a women with a disability and offers tips for potential suiters unfamiliar with disability.

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