Once I do become romantically involved with someone and the relationship makes room for my disability, there’s an instant sense of transparency between us.Because my biggest insecurity is on full display every time I speak, the people I’ve dated begin to feel more vulnerable and more open about their own shortcomings.Below the poverty line was how Janina described the earlier years of her life.Born in a family of survivors, she turned those circumstances into her advantage and built herself a better life.When it comes to dating, I certainly have no more luck than the average 20-something. But thanks to my stutter, finding a good match has become easier done than said. Much later, after our lives headed down separate paths and we broke up, I would enter the complicated world of dating again — and find myself surprised.
When the article was published, the host of a popular stuttering podcast reached out and asked whether I would be a guest on her show.I was in my college boyfriend’s dorm room the first time I spoke openly about my stutter.Though I had stuttered since learning to speak — my deficiencies with spoken language were so evident, my mother rushed me to the pediatrician before preschool even began — I was never comfortable confronting what everyone else could hear: the repetitions, the prolongations, the blocks that lasted so long it felt as though I was falling.I’ve had close friends begin relationships with men seemingly (and suspiciously) perfect, only to learn much later that their boyfriends are privately debilitated by something. Because my disability isn’t something I can suppress or camouflage on first dates, I characterize myself as honestly as I can — and those who take the time to know me often follow suit.A few months into dating my college boyfriend, I began introducing myself as person who stutters.