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Mervin Hernandez

Think back to those middle school/high school days. Remember that algebra class or those standardized-tests the state forced you to take every year? Do you get a little queasy thinking about the exams you studied for? The sweaty palms, the foot-tapping, the chewing on the eraser end of your pencil…?

Even as grown-ups, there’s no shortage of stress-inducing situations we find ourselves in; only difference is, we’ve learned a few tricks to handle that “fight-or-flight” feeling a lot better than we did in math class. I’m willing to bet that for many of us reading this, social confidence has been one of our new “rites of passage,” and the reason for many of those anxious-filled stories. Able-bodied or not, stress and anxiety can throw you off your game at school, at work, and definitely when it comes to dating and relationships.

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Dating is tough, like REALLY tough. So tough in fact, countless books and self-help gurus want to give you the secret formula to finding a great mate. There’s definitely smarter ways to go about it, but the best thing we can do is put forth an earnest effort to show our honest selves, and hope that resonates with someone. For many of us living with a disability, the challenges of finding a mate don’t stop after we’ve found someone who laughs at our jokes. The process of wooing and courtship is a dance on a tightrope, and it feels a lot different when you’re already dealing with some major life challenges.

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You’ve done it! After a few nights out with your new love interest, you’ve successful made it all the way to the bedroom. Things are getting hot and heavy as you continue to passionately make out with your partner. It’s completely dark. You dance your way onto the bed, getting a little lost in the moment. You’re right on the edge of the bed, so close to engaging in activities you’ve been dreaming up all evening. Here’s the challenge: getting your partner undressed. Why? You see by touching with your hands– you’re blind.

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