The question nagged at me—not least because of my own experiences watching promising relationships peter out over text message—so I set out on a mission.I read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.People with disabilities still work, do sports, travel, and raise families.Most people want to have a happy life, even when they may have to manage how to live with a disability.This means they are more likely to commit for life – and to stick together through rocky patches.Those who marry for love, on the other hand, tend to be blinded by passion and so overlook these crucial details.
Relationship experts claim this is because arranged matches are carefully considered, with thought going into whether potential partners’ families, interests and life goals are compatible.When I tell people here in America that I have an arranged marriage, they react in one of two ways. Eventually, they lean in and whisper, “Well, it ended up just fine, right? For one thing, the words "arranged marriage" conjure up images that have nothing to do with me. Love, though—the practical, everyday love we choose in spite of our differences—is unwavering. Neither Alex nor I, when we describe our first meeting, use words like “attraction,” or “love at first sight,” or “romance.” I don’t say, “My pulse raced when you walked in the door.” He doesn’t say, “I got tongue-tied every time you asked me a question.” Neither of us says, “I really wanted to kiss you when we said goodbye.” In my case, what arranged marriage took away early on was the thrill of pursuit.Some love my story because it appears to confirm their belief that America is doing it wrong: "Kids nowadays—having sex in middle school! Child brides and dowry burnings on the one hand, or henna and Bollywood on the other. But by the time I turned 20, I knew my arranged marriage was set in stone. Yes, he and I picked each other out of the proposals our families offered us. When Alex and I got married, all we had was our raw selves. All marriages, arranged or not, eventually hinge on compromise and change. Alex didn’t pursue me; in the economy of the arrangement, he didn’t have to. Since neither of us freely chose, neither of us tasted the deep pleasures of being freely chosen. Leaders in the International Dating Industry, we innovated no less than four of these proprietary safe-guards in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable online experience for all our members. Before appearing on Hot Russian Brides.com® all of our Ladies must pass a stringent ‘7-step’ Validation process.The first girl, he said, was “a little too tall,” and the second girl was “a little too short.” Then he met my mom. Let’s look at how I do things, maybe with a slightly less important decision, like the time I had to pick where to eat dinner in Seattle when I was on tour last year.He quickly deduced that she was the appropriate height (finally! First I texted four friends who travel and eat out a lot and whose judgment I trust. Finally I made my selection: Il Corvo, an Italian place that sounded amazing. (It only served lunch.) At that point I had run out of time because I had a show to do, so I ended up making a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich on the bus.Being disabled and dating presents it’s own set of challenges in the dating world, but they can be navigated with kindness, respect, and a bit of humor too.Most people without disabilities find dating challenging at the best of times. As you prepare for a date, a plethora of questions may be running through your head. I asked my dad about this experience, and here’s how he described it: he told his parents he was ready to get married, so his family arranged meetings with three neighboring families. That’s how my dad decided on the person with whom he was going to spend the rest of his life. I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.