By Irene Blum
Humans are social creatures with unique needs and drives that define who we are.
We are introverts, extroverts, or the kind of person who goes to a party and would rather hang out with the owner’s dog than be the center of attention.
We crave relationships of all kinds: friendships, friendships with benefits, monogamy, polyamory, one night stands – the list goes on.
How we interact with others is part of our identity.
Being an amputee is another major facet of who we are. But having undergone amputation does not change our needs and drives, and should not change our confidence in who we are!
Amputation Does Not Define Us
Exploring relationships as an amputee can seem daunting and unfortunately, there is a stigma towards people with disabilities. That stigma stems from ignorance.
We are the same as able-bodied people. We are handsome or pretty, we have a sense of humor, we like to kick back and watch movies, we enjoy going out for drinks with our friends, most of us enjoy sex, some of us make families, and some of us rock climb. The only thing that sets us apart from able-bodied people is that we are missing a limb, or a few.
So maybe we have to take the wheelchair accessible entrance into a venue instead of a staircase. At least we get great parking and, in some places, we even get to skip lines!
Besides those perks, what really attracts other people is how we carry ourselves. There will always be jerks who will not see past your wheelchair, crutches, or prosthesis. Those people are not worth your time.
However, there are even more people who will look past your mobility equipment.
They will admire your smile, the way you tuck your hair back behind your ear, your laugh, your effort to set up a coffee date, a cute text checking in on how he or she is doing, your company, your personality, and most of all your confidence.
Confidence is sexy.
I know that we hear this time and time again, but it is absolutely true.
Ignore the Haters – Focus on What Makes You Special
Confidence is not just feeling good about how you look. It is a true appreciation of your own qualities. If you are a funny guy or gal, own it. If you are an athletic person, own it. If you are an intelligent person, own it. Dig deep and find all the positive qualities within yourself and let all your abilities, talents, and assets shine.
When you encounter people who try to bring you down for those marvelous qualities of yours, then realize they are colloquially known as “haters.” Ignore the hate, let them keep on being bitter, and you just keep on thriving and loving yourself. When you love yourself, you attract others to love you too.
When You’re Ready, Love is Out There!
I stayed single for a while before meeting my boyfriend because I wanted to work on healing myself from the traumas I endured and learning to love and maneuver this new body. During my self-care, I found new confidence which opened my eyes to realize that both men and women were attracted to me.
When I initially lost my leg, I was worried that I would not be able to find love again because I thought men were superficial.
I was wrong.
I fell in love with an able-bodied man who did not see me as just an amputee, but as a whole person who shared indescribable chemistry with me.
After entering my relationship, I do admit that I was anxious about my body image and how my amputation might affect intimacy with my partner. However, the attraction between us soon made my nerves disappear.
If you are with the right person, they will never make you feel uncomfortable.
Learn to love yourself. When you glow with confidence you will attract friendships, relationships, intimacy, and love. We are amputees so we can overcome anything, even our insecurities.
About The Author
Irene Blum became an amputee at 21 years old from a rare form of bone cancer. She is currently earning her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies and plans to go on to graduate school for Family and Sex Therapy.