Romantic Relationships and DMD

by Dr. Ryan Russell

about the author:

Dr. Ryan Russell is a life coach, a consultant and speaker, with a PhD in Psychology. He also has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease. For more about Dr. Russell:

Romantic Relationships and DMD

I have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and I’m in my late 30’s. I’ve noticed something about relationships, and I’m sure I am not the first. For me, the way it was is very likely still the way it is for you younger guys.

The Cute Kid…

For me up through high school, I was popular with the ladies, and I don’t necessarily mean the ladies my age. College girls and women in their 20s and 30s liked me, and I can show you several pictures of me surrounded by girls.

It makes you think, “These older girls like me!”

Here’s what I want you to know: when you’re a teenager, older women think you’re cute, and college girls think it’s cute and funny to get in pictures with you. As you get older, though, it’s not so cute anymore since now you’re their age.

The Real You

When you’re not “the cute kid in the wheelchair” anymore, you’re going to be treated differently than you’re used to.

If you’re interested in women, they will realize it and not be as attentive as they used to be. This does not mean that you are less of a person or that women are jerks; you’re just getting treated like a regular guy.

The first thing is to be glad that they treat you like a regular guy. We aren’t the cute kid in the wheelchair anymore, and they’re trying to be careful with us and our feelings.

The second thing is, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to an interabled relationship. Prospective dates may want to move slowly to make sure they can successfully fulfill their role in the relationship.

When I realized all this in college, I started trying to be friends with all the girls; they were all nice to me and I was nice to them. I found out many years later, however, that because I was such a nice guy to everyone, the girls didn’t think I was interested in having a serious relationship.

Live Meaningfully

So what I want to leave you guys with is to make all your relationships and friendships meaningful.

This way, women will see that you aren’t “the cute kid in the wheelchair” but a great person that happens to be in a wheelchair. If they connect with that great person, when you ask them on a date there is a good chance they will say yes.

If anyone ever asks you on a date (and if you’re even remotely interested in them), you go on that date. Even if nothing happens there, other ladies will realize, “Hey, that guy is serious about relationships,” and might want to be the one who dates you.


I do have to say, always be aware of scammers. This goes for anyone, but if a stranger online seems interested, move very slowly and be suspicious. If nothing else, do a google image search. Part of living meaningfully is knowing your own worth and remembering that you aren’t desperate. I can share more about personal experiences with dating and scammers, but that’s for another article.

Reach out if you or anybody you know want to talk about this more or ask any questions, please email me.

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