Category Archives: Love and relationships

Love letter to my future husband

I don’t know who he might be yet, but this is for him.

Lucky me. I’m married to you. My best friend. I thought I’d never ever find someone like you. I’ve kissed many I thought were princes who only turned out to be frogs. But you were different.

We never started out as lovers… We were friends. I even used to talk to you about other girls and other relationships. And you advised me when I had man problems. Then one day, it just happened. It’s hard to say exactly when. Maybe after having sat up nights in a row talking about everything and nothing. Or maybe it was when we were jamming together. It doesn’t matter. It happened and my best friend became my boyfriend, fiancé and husband.

I love you because you allow me to be who I am. You confide in me, coming to me with dilemmas from your working life, or your friendships. My opinions matter to you as yours matter to me.

I love you, because you never make me feel alienated or lonely. Sure. We both have busy lives due to the careers we chose. But you always set aside time for us. And you keep my happiness and wellbeing a high priority, which makes doing the same for you so easy and enjoyable.

I love you, because you don’t strive for me to become an obedient and submissive wife and baby making machine. You see me as your ally, and equal. You understand how important my career is to me and I know that when the babies do come, you will be helping me out as much as you possibly can. You’ll be a great dad our children will be proud of.

I don’t like arguing with you. But I love how I feel that on the few occasions it happens I am safe in the knowledge that we’ll make up quickly. Either by one of us making the other laugh by cracking a stupid joke, or offering to do something the other will appreciate. (You have become excellent at brewing my tea by the way.)

I love you because with you, my world is a better world and I am a better person. You bring out the best in me and you accept the things about me that I dislike but cannot change.

As cheesy as it is, I’ll quote John Legend when I say that what I love about you are “your perfect imperfections”.

Lucky me. I have you.

Write me your picture, don’t send me your photo

“He isn’t good enough for you.” That has sometimes been friend’s verdicts when I have excitedly told them about my latest potential love interest. “How do you know he isn’t good enough? Have you met him? In which case, tell me everything you know.” I reply in my head. Because, in most cases, they don’t know him. They have seen his photo and they make judgments based on one split second in his life time. He, whoever he may be, is not good enough for me because he doesn’t look good enough.

There is a similar problem with dating sites. If people don’t like your picture, they won’t respond to your messages, or click on your profile. What’s that all about? Seriously?

I personally get discouraged when friends say that somebody isn’t good enough for me based on the photo. The photo doesn’t convey manners, a nice voice, good writing skills and a sense of humour. Besides, not everyone is photogenic.

I wish people could just meet each other before they reserved any judgment on whether somebody is good for somebody else. Let them judge on personality rather than a photo.

This is why I wish there was a dating site out there which could have a tag line such as Write me your picture, don’t send me your photo.

The idea is that the site would be free from all pictures and you could only click on profiles you liked the writing of. Then, when you started talking, it would be text and voice chat options. And when you had been chatting for say six weeks and still got on famously, there would be the possibility of seeing the picture and even meet up.

The concept isn’t entirely my idea. In the Ghanaian movie Perfect Picture, which I’m more than a little obsessed about, there is a concept like that, where they chat for six weeks before meeting. Exchanging of phone numbers and emails are discouraged before meeting up.

I don’t know how popular such a dating site would be. But I know both blind and sighted people who wouldn’t mind not disclosing their pictures too early in getting to know somebody.

I’ve been putting it out there now. And I can only hope my idea won’t be stolen. If you do, please credit me and expect me to become your competitor one sweet day when I launch it!

My problem with internet dating?

No, it’s not the stigma connected. But I have been hiding behind that excuse for a long time.

It’s not the array of weirdoes either. They are there, but I know from friends’ experiences that the internet dating world is also inhabited by normal, handsome and perfectly respectable men.

I have two essential problems when it comes to internet dating and they are both linked to blindness.

The first problem is probably all in my head. The revelation. Let’s say I’ve somehow managed to find a likeable man in the ocean of less likeable men. We’re talking, the conversation is going great and we’re about to meet. And that’s when I have to tell him. “I’m visually impaired. Actually I’m blind.” He needs to know this, because he is the one who needs to find me in the public place we’ll be meeting. But revealing such a fact to me, feels equal to committing social suicide, or at least romantic suicide.

Because in truth, most people wouldn’t know anything about blindness and blind people unless they have experienced it. And not everybody have positive experiences with blindness. So when I reveal my lack of sight, the man in question will perhaps imagine a helpless, badly dressed woman who needs help with everything from cutting her food to wiping her backside. And he might get cold feet and cancel the date.

Yes. You’re telling me that I’m not losing out and that a man like this isn’t worth it. And I’d hope a man I took a liking to would be a bit more open minded and ask questions he may have. But like everyone else in this world, I’m a little scared of being judged on something I haven’t chosen to be before I’ve been able to show them the full deal.

So what do I do? Do I say “I’m blind, which means you’ll have to find me in the café, bar, or whatever. But just in case you’re wondering, I take great care of my appearance, have a profession and I can cook and get around quite independently.”

This could also push him away, because by saying something like that, I’m showing low self-esteem. And men love women who are confident in who they are. Something I am face to face.

A more basic and pressing problem with internet dating, is accessing the dating sites. These sites are full of pictures, adverts and graphics and thus very hard to navigate with a screen reader. The easiest dating sites to use are those catering to the disabled and I’d refuse to sign up to one of them.

So there you have it. I need to identify a website I can use, and I need to stop thinking that people would turn me down because I’m blind. That’s why I prefer meeting men face to face. There’s no moment of revelation and they immediately see that although I can’t see, I’m just a regular woman.

My 2013

During my years in the BBC, I had a colleague who read palms. Upon reading mine one day, she said “I’m surprised you’re not more confused than you are. Your creative and sensible sides are very conflicting with each other.” She is very right, which made me respect her skill. She didn’t know me very well at the time. And my 2013 has been very much like my colleague described me. It has been an extremely happy and uplifting year, but also a painful one. But let me rewind and do this month by month.

January: I fell onto the subway tracks and I survived! I think that was very miraculous. It’s one of Oslo’s busiest stations, and I fell at a time when there was no train coming. As I couldn’t get up because I had fallen backwards, a man jumped down to lift me up and a girl received me at the top of the tracks. Luckily for me, I was on my way to the doctor and feeling slightly hysterical from the fall, I got there with my two rescuers walking me.

Despite being in quite a lot of pain from the fall, I boarded a plane four days later and went to Monaco. I stayed with some Egyptian friends there on the 25th floor of a block of flats and I had the time of my life. Me and my friend who are both singers, held an impromptu concert in a bar in Monte Carlo that had karaoke, and it went down so well that we were asked to come back the next day.

February: I fell again. But this time I fell in love. That can be more dangerous and painful than falling off a subway platform, but it is more fun, those times when it is not agonizing of course. The man is a bright and good looking Ghanaian student, who like me, work for the student radio station in Oslo.

March: I took the radio presenter’s test, which meant that I put together and presented the hour long news and current affairs show on our radio station by me. I passed and I now have an official paper saying I’m a qualified radio presenter. Live radio presenting is something I’ve grown to love more than I thought I would and I do hope I have my own show some day.

March/April: I also did the longest trip of my life so far. I traveled alone to New Zealand to visit a cousin and then on to Australia to visit a friend. I did so much on these two trips that I wouldn’t do them any justice by summing them up in this post. But let me say that I recommend anyone who can you should go there. I hope to go back one day, but preferably with some company because the flights are long. I slept as much as I could and I made some friends on the plane, for the duration of the journey, but still, company would have been nice. And I’d love to share a trip like that with somebody simply because it’s so incredible to be on the other side of the world. I did get to touch both koalas, kanagroos, wallabies, wombats and a kiwi.

April/May: I went to Iceland with my fellow master students. Iceland is also very amazing and we had so much fun walking on volcanos, soaking in natural baths and going out every evening. Of course, this all happened when we weren’t doing something study related, which was quite fun too. Especially because during our trip to RUV, the Icelandic broadcasters, we were shown around by Iceland’s most famous news Anker.

In May I also hosted a party with my partner for the first time ever. It was a Ghanaian party, meaning we served Ghanaian food. I learned never to mix Amarula and wine again!

June: I went to Skagen with one of my closest allies. Or is it called closest friends? No, ally is cooler I think. Skagen is that place in Denmark where you can walk out on the beach and have one foot in the Baltic Sea and one in the North Sea. I was there as a child, but didn’t remember because I was little. The place is magic and when you have a foot in each ocean, you can literally feel the two meet because they strike against each other

July/August: I wrote a teen novel for my niece for her confirmation. The title Vilde Gudenes utvalgte translates as Vilde, chosen by the gods and is about a girl Vilde who enters into the Greek mythological world to help make right a wrong that has been done and which have caused the world of the gods to die out. Writing it was a strange experience in a good way and I felt as if the story lived its own life and that I was just sent by someone to write it down. Writing in Norwegian was difficult for me however, because English has over time become the language I prefer to express myself in when writing unless we’re talking about informal emails and so on, where it doesn’t matter to me which of the two languages I use. But getting reacquainted with writing my mother tongue was also good.

August: I went back to Skagen with my same close ally who I’d gone with in June as well as my other half. That too was a nice trip and we had better weather. Next time I go to Skagen, I hope to swim in the Baltic Sea.

October: I made my first full length radio documentary. It’s entitled Faith as career, and features three people who have incorporated their faith into their life style or career choices. The first one is a girl studying to become a catechist in the Norwegian Lutheran church, the second a guy from a Pentecostal background who is the leader of the Oslo Youth party of a prominent Christian political party. The third person is a Catholic sister of the Dominican order who is also a physicist and who had and is continuing to have, a profound impression on me. The three made for a very good and dynamic documentary for which I’ve had some good feedback.

I also had a splendid girls trip to Copen Hagen. It was crazy, a little Sex and the City style. And yes, I did spend money on a pair of expensive high heels. Italian high heels.

So a good year. But despite all those good things, I have had some painful times too. I don’t want to talk about them in detail, but they have taught me a few lessons. Firstly, that only sadness can show you what really matters in life. Secondly, that people you thought were not that close to you can be of good help. Thirdly, that pain makes you a better person, because it forces you to develop, think and reflect and it makes your appreciate even small moments of happiness a little more. And finally, despite wanting to delete most of the last three months of 2013 from my life, I am in some twisted way grateful that I have experienced the depth of the pain I’ve been in. Because I am still here, I am still laughing and little by little, I remove myself from it all and show myself how incredibly blessed I am to have what’s even more important during sad times than good friends or a partner. A strong personality, psyche and sense of reality. And that’s how I know; I’ll eventually be completely alright again.

I have had over 20.000 hits on my blog all time which is amazing considering how boring my posts have ben of late. I will try to amend that in 2014 and I may even post some of my short fiction from time to time. Thanks though to those of you who have read my ramblings and thanks for still returning. If you are on twitter, why not follow me at @Linn_M21 And if you enjoy my writing, you can read all the articles I have posted on http://www.styleable.co.uk
That is to say different articles than you find here, but probably some of them are on interest to some of my readers. On Twitter I also announce everything I publish. And should you be curious to see what I look like, you will find my picture both on Twitter and Stylable. I may include one on this site too at some point, though so far, I’ve left it as just a thought.

Happy 2014 to all of you and May the entire year be filled with laughter, good madness, and heart stopping moments of joy and peace and harmony.

Happy new year!

My own Romance Story

A year and a few months ago, I wrote what has proven to be my most popular post.
Blindness, dating, Romance and how to attract blind people

My reason for writing it, was because upon googling the subjects and finding only guess whats, I thought something proper needed to be written about the subject of blind people and dating. And I am still receiving comments on that post from readers who share their own stories and ask for advice. I think I can safely say that my dating post is responsible for my blog receiving as many hits as it does.
It was the most recent comment on said post, a very nice story from a sighted reader who found love with a blind man that’s inspiring me to write this post. Because I also have a nice story to tell. It’s not remarkable in so many ways, but it does perhaps challenge some thoughts about how blind people fall in love. This experience is very remarkable to me of course, because it’s all about me and I’m learning new things too. I am dedicating this story especially to the blind people who struggle, or have struggled with some of the issues I am describing. I hope it will be encouraging.

I recently left the singles club! I can’t quite believe it myself, because I was waving that singles flag quite proudly. I didn’t really want a man. I had a master to finish after all and no time for relationships. But there were some other underlying issues. My relationship history hasn’t been all that inspiring for me to want to rush into something new. You could almost divide all my previous relationships into three categories.
1. The blind man who lives far away. I have NEVER been a big fan of online dating, but these are men I have met in person and kept in touch with online because we don’t live in the same place. A relationship of sorts developed, but died rather quickly after a few meetings.
2. 2. The blind man who live close by. I believe two blind people can live happily ever after, but after having dated blind men who live far away and blind men who live nearby, I have to say that for me, that seems like a mere impossibility. The problem lies with me and with me entirely. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but I think the best way I can put it, is that being with a blind man, no matter how independent he is, gives me a feeling of segregation from mainstream society. This comes out as frustration and irritation and making me not a nice person to be around. Besides, my family has always been vocal about the fact that I “can do better” than ending up with a blind man. And much as I know it’s a horrible thing to say, that way of thinking has rubbed off on me to.
3. 3. The sighted, overprotective man. This man is sighted, but embarrassed about dating me a blind woman. He doesn’t tell his friends about me and ends things before they can really develop. He is also terrified about me cooking, or doing anything around the house. I can’t see for goodness sake, so I might poison him!

My dream has always been to meet a nice sighted man who takes me for who I am, and through just being who he is, makes me feel good about myself. He should also live nearby. Besides, I was envious of the blind women who had managed to get sighted men. I had pretty much given up hope of meeting him. After all, my attitudes were/are perhaps not the best? With those attitudes, I didn’t deserve the kind of man I wanted. And as I mentioned, I wasn’t really looking for anything either. But one day, he came, literally dancing into my life.

It was at a party, it was nearly 2 AM I think. I had lost track of time. I found myself on the dance floor in the arms of a beautiful black man. I had never met him before, so I didn’t know anything about him. But my physical attraction to him was very strong and I could sense it was mutual from the way he handled me… It was the first time I fell for someone without even having heard his voice first. The music was so loud that his “Do you want to dance?” didn’t really give away much of what he sounded like. I could tell he was black from his skin texture and to a certain extent how he moved. I was very taken with his body shape and how he smelled and I just wanted to get to know him based on all that. I just assumed he knew I was blind, that he might have seen me around earlier holding someone else’s arm or something, but I later found out that it had taken him a while to realize. In fact, all that time we danced, he didn’t know. When he did realize it though, he did not mention it, because, as he said later, it wasn’t important.

After finding out that I liked how he looked, I also found out, that I liked the rest. The voice, personality, sense of humour and most importantly, his good attitude.

I am not going to say that I couldn’t have somehow learned to live happily with a blind man. Nor that the fact that my partner can see makes him so attractive to me. But I like to think that God, fate, whatever you believe in, sometimes provides for your needs and though this perhaps is going to sound very sentimental, my newly acquired partner, is the kind of man I need. I feel good and relaxed around him and I forget that one is sighted and one is blind. We do things for each other like any couple and I never get the feeling that I am a burden to him like I have with past sighted men. We are compatible, equally highly educated and want similar things in life and communicate very well with each other, which is the key to every good relationship.

The good things happen when you least expect it, and this is certainly true of how I met my man. For the first time ever in a relationship, I feel great about who I am, have no insecurities or that I constantly have to prove myself. Good start. Don’t you think?

My 2012 highlights

Another year of blogging is over and frankly, I was quite surprised when I received a report from WordPress by email letting me know how my blog had done. I never received such a report with my earlier blog which no longer exists, nor with this one last year, so I figured that only the blogs that do well, or get more than a certain number of hits received one. The report told me my blog had 6000 views in 2012 from 99 countries. Americans, Brits and Norwegians are my most avid readers. My most read post was, not surprisingly, my Blindness and dating post which I know is linked to from Action for blind people in the UK. I know, it sounds like a shady porn site, but it is a very innocent organization helping the blind, so I will thank my friend Kiesha for linking it and say sorry at the same time for not having written more for her wonderful magazine at http://www.styleable .co.uk

My year started with a break-up. Those who have read my blog since the beginning may recall me mentioning an Italian boyfriend. I didn’t write about the break-up, because I was the one who ended it and I wanted to respect his feelings. But though we may be over, my love and passion for Italy has, if anything increased. I’ve got a few good Italian friends in Oslo so I get to practice the language, and I was back in Florence where my ex comes from to visit friends I made there. I sincerely hope I get to live at least part of my life in Italy in the future.

In February, I started writing a novel. I won’t say too much about it, but I’ve always wanted to be a novelist and I had all the time in the world to make a start. It was hard. Both because writing well is difficult and because I chose to write in Norwegian. I did this both because I hadn’t written anything except e-mails in Norwegian for the past few years and I wanted to get to grips with my mother tongue again. Also, should the novel be released, it has a bigger chance of selling well in Norway since the market is smaller. And if someone wants to publish it and it sells, I will personally translate it to English. I had to put the first draft aside when I started studying, but I read through it a couple of weeks ago and realized it’s not so bad, so I’ve started the editing job which so far, is going well. It probably will take a while for it to be finished because I also have to start writing my master’s thesis soon, but I will do my best to make my book a priority when I have free time.

In June, I participated in a designer project which was a lot of fun. There were four groups of designers who were going to design something new for someone who had a disability. My group didn’t win, but we designed a professional network where designers could get in touch with disable person in order to make their products user friendly. The design bit itself, was in the website and how we laid out the project. The winning idea, was very similar to our own, almost identical, but we didn’t communicate with the other groups, so that was just random. I worked with people from Norway Germany, and England and it was three hectic days with very little sleep and a lot of fun. Later that month, I went to Florence, which was 95% lovely in every way and 5% “Damn, I wish I had a boyfriend here still so I could move here.”

It was in the summer, that I lost my faith. It happened gradually and it took me a long time to confess it even to myself. As my readers know, I spent a few posts ranting about Christianity and how oppressing it was etc. I haven’t really felt the need to do that since then. I am at peace with not yet having quite arrived at what I believe in although I will always keep values like the golden rule. I doubt I’ll ever get into a religion, but that I will be like many Norwegians, with one foot in the human ethics, and the foot of tradition in the church. I could write page up and page down about what my definition of God is, but it’s still something I’m trying to figure out.

In August, after a boring, very boring, July, I was happy to start university. I still think I chose the right course and I miss seeing my classmates every day now that we’re on a Christmas break. I haven’t failed any subjects. I have also not received the grades I want, but I am thinking it has more to do with how I present things rather than my knowledge of the subject, because I have read everything, and been to all the lectures. I will be improving this in 2013 and I will do very well on my thesis, I’ve decided! Becoming a news reader and reporter with the student radio station, has also been a great experience and I hope to do more for them throughout 2013. I also made some good friends there whom I love working with!

In October, I got my new flat. For the first time ever, I love staying in the house. But without all the visitors and dinners I have served and will keep on serving, it wouldn’t be so exciting. Great to live near the underground and the forest at the same time!

Christmas was nice and filled with family and good food. I got many gifts including a rice cooker, a printer, African jewelry and sweets. But the most wonderful thing this Christmas is that I got my wonderful, handsome, intelligent and beloved friend back into my life. Remember the one who said I was on a slippery slope and whom I wrote a long post about because I was so upset? It’s all behind us now and I’m so happy he’s back. All I need to do now is convince him to want to marry me! 

Tonight, I’m having two highschool friends over. I’ll cook a Thai green curry and we’ll drink some nice wine and probably chit chat all night.

I wish all of my readers a happy new year and I thank you for making me want me to continue blogging by reading and commenting. I especially want to thank Michelle because you got me writing that fictional story about Tony and Jenna. It feels like I know you now. Elisabeth for her precise comments and being my real life friend and reader making it possible for me to get a lot of things done that otherwise would be tricky. And to Bruce. And Bruce, if you read this, please reply and tell me where your new site. I have to admit I haven’t read much blogs this autumn and was puzzled to n I couldn’t find it when I wanted my Bruce fix. You have been great in my time of leaving my Evangelical faith.
And to the readers who are silent, or have commented only a few times, you are equally valuable to me, so thanks to you too.

All in all, 2012 has not been a bad year, although it’s been boring at times with little happening. But moving to Norway is something I’m glad I’ve done and I know 2013 will be quite adventure filled. My first adventure is visiting a friend in Monaco in only 16 days. Bring it on! 2013 starts tomorrow, so I guess I’ll be blogging more soon, in 2013!

Meet Romeo

They say that you learn something new every day. This month, I have learned about a new kind of man. New is perhaps not the right word, because this kind of man has existed since men could be called men I guess. But this month, I became aware of this kind of man. I should give him a name so that I don’t have to write “This kind of man” every time. I am going to call him Romeo. Why? Read on and you shall see.

Romeo is handsome. Of course he is handsome. He wouldn’t be Romeo if he wasn’t handsome. He can be blond, dark, black, white, Latino, Asian, it doesn’t matter really, but he is so handsome that looking at him almost hurts the eye. No, he is not movie star handsome. He does not possess that sickly boy band looks, meaning just pretty and no character. No. Everyone of Romeo’s features have character. A peculiarity perhaps that gives the pretty boy face an interesting twist, such as a Roman nose, or eye brows that would look too thick on anyone else. Or it could be that he has many features that despite not being perfect in themselves create a breath taking symmetry.

Romeo’s eyes are magical. They don’t only reflect his great wisdom and intelligence, but they tell his life story, mirror yourself as the most beautiful woman who ever walked the earth, give you a sensation that they read your inner thoughts and pierce right through your soul. No matter what colour they are, Romeo’s eyes are always like that.

Romeo has a nice, no wait, and explicitly lovely voice. It can be deep and soothing, or a little higher and cheerful. It’s still the kind of voice you could listen to forever while gazing into his handsome face and beautiful intelligent eyes.

Romeo smells so good, that all you want to do is to draw closer to draw in his scent of Hugo Boss, coco butter, Giorgio Armani, or whatever he is wearing.

Romeo’s body is perfection. Tall and thin, shorter and more muscular, it’s always perfect. He is never too thin, never too fat and his skin is always nice too. Romeo can even be Romeo if he happens to be a little hairy. You can’t help but imagine what he would look like dressed in shorts and with the upper body bare and gleaming of oils, accentuating the perfection in his proportions.

Romeo is intelligent. He is perhaps a university lecturer or a PHD student. He might be a journalist who produces hard hitting documentary which has put his life in danger. No matter what he does, he is always highly educated and even if you don’t want to, you can’t help but admire him.

But Romeo is not only intelligent. He has a social IQ which is so high that he need only take one look at a person to know how to behave around them. Because of this, he will make you feel like a real beauty even if you know you’re not. He will make you feel special and being around him will probably make you feel happy, excited and a little important. When you are with Romeo, you are a winner. You can take on the world and your world is without limits.

Romeo is charming. You just can’t help but being charmed by him even if you try hard not to be. He knows what to say and when to say it, and because he has used his social intelligence to realize that you hate sweet talkers, he doesn’t do that. He converses in a very intelligent way

Romeo’s life is interesting. There is always something going on which makes you feel a little boring in comparison.

Romeo has a lot of friends. Most of them are women. Most of them have fallen hopelessly for him, like you, and are either current flirts or ex flirts who haven’t yet realized they are exes. You hate all the stuff his female friends write on his facebook wall because, despite your best efforts, you have joined the Romeo fan club. You also realize that the kinds of women who surround him are women you probably never measure up to. They are famous documentary makers, artists, writers, professors, or musicians. Mind you, they are not all famous, but no matter what you yourself have done in life, they are competition and might always make you feel lesser than them.

Romeo is not a calculating player. However, his good looks, charms and intelligence have positioned him well in life. He may not be the one to two/time a woman, but will have many women who all think they are the one without him never having said so. Romeo does fall for women and want to settle down eventually, but there is just so much to do. Another long voyage to set out on, another scientific discovery to make and he just can’t, not now. Romeo has feelings like the rest of us. He has up days and down days. But his brilliance is always made known to him by his many female fans. A glance across the street, a comment on an obscure Facebook status that would be stupid if it wasn’t for the fact that Romeo had written it, a coffee with a female friend whom he suspects, or knows, is crazy about him.

Romeos. There might not be many of them, you’re damned if you meet one. Let’s hope you are lucky enough to recognize a Romeo so you can save yourself the heart ache following in his wake.

The mysteries of male female friendships

I have always had quite a few male friends. In fact, one of my best friends is a guy and I think it’s healthy to have both friendships with your own gender as well as the opposite one.

But I have been having a few thoughts recently as to how even the friendships of between people of the opposite sex are, because more often than not, some kind of attraction seems to arise at some point during the friendships.

Take me and my male friends for example. In some cases, we started off by being attracted to each other, but for one reason or another, the attraction turned into friendships and stayed that way. In other cases, we started off as friends, but at some point, he would either get attracted to me or me to him. In most of those cases, the attraction eventually disappeared, although not always completely.

Many of my girlfriends as well as me, have experienced that when we get out of a relationship for example, those men we thought were friends, appear to not want to remain just friends when we become available on the market.

Another classic is that really lovely male friend who is always there. He’s straight, in touch with his feelings, but not in a dorky way, he always has time for you and so on. In fact, it’s the kind of man we’d really like our boyfriends to be, except he’s missing that little extra. Maybe he’s too geeky, not smooth enough, or doesn’t have the right body type. And when he finally gets a girlfriend, or even starts liking another girl, we get jealous even though we didn’t like him in that way. We want to be his only girl.

I know 100 per cent platonic male female friendships do exist, although I am questioning it after a guy I thought felt nothing for me other than as a friend said that he wouldn’t mind if something physical was to happen between us. Forgive my French here, but when your friend becomes a fuckbuddy, it’s a miracle if the friendship remains.

But maybe for guys, the way between friendships and something else is shorter while girls have a habit of placing guys into category. “you\re in my friendship ox and that’s where you’ll stay” kind of.

What are your thoughts on this?

Hands on not required. On faith healings and disability.

Today, I’d like to talk about a topic which I am feeling strongly about. Faith healings and healers.

Being a Christian has been mostly a positive experience for me. Through my faith, I have gained an inner strength, joy and peace I did not have when I wasn’t saved. But the bit I find hard when it comes to my faith, is interacting with Christian strangers. I especially hate joining a new church.

Why?

Because often within the first hour of me being in a church, some well meaning, but clueless person walks up to me and offers prayers of healing. “Being disabled was never part of God’s plan”, or “You should pray for the spirit of blindness to leave you in Jesus name!”

I used to get beyond furious when people like that approached me and if I could, I’d get a rude comment in there, or just turn my back on them.

I still get angry, but as I am maturing, I realise that me turning my back on those ignorant people won’t teach them a thing. In stead, I try reasoning with them in the most Jesus like language I can think of such as “Would you give a rich man a million dollars?” or Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning” or simply, “I realise eye sight is practical for many reasons, but I don’t understand how, apart from that my life would improve.”

Some get it. Most don’t. And as a result, I only feel comfortable in churches where people pay me no attention, where I have a friend I can escape with after the service or a church where people know and accept me for who I am.

I know many disabled people of any faith share my opinions. Religious people and I don’t call myself religious by the way, are trying so hard to be compassionate that what they actually end up doing is talking to you like you are some kind of inferior being. They try to comfort us with stories of so and so who lives in a remote village in a country on the other side of the world that got healed. I’ve also heard of the blind man in Scotland who got healed and is now a bus driver. Seriously, wouldn’t he do something a bit more high flying than driving a bus if he got his sight back?

I don’t think these stories are true at all. Do I believe faith miracles can happen? Yes I do. But I find it strange that they only happen in remote places and that there’s no news of them otherwise. Wouldn’t someone who suddenly become sighted or hearing be on the news? I certainly would speak quite publicly about it as I simply wouldn’t be able to keep it from the world. I also think they are exaggerated. One woman in the church I used to go to in London, asked me after pointing out that I’d be a more complete human being if I could see that she got healed from sight loss. I asked her how this could be, and it turned out she’d had cataract or glaucoma, can’t remember, and but that whatever she had got removed by surgery and that now she could see again. I heard of a lame that suddenly started walking. But on asking questions, this was a person who learned this with the help of physio.

These can be called miracles or healings in their own right, but it’s not the kind of laying hands on healing these religious people keep talking about. And healing can also be a mental process. For example, there are people who claim to have lost pain in their bodies by having had hands laid on them, but often, these are the results of believing it will work and then, as a result, they feel better after such a healing meeting.

Fake faith healers unfortunately exists. The greatest example of someone like that is Benny Hin who has been exposed in the media for trickery in making people believe they’ve been healed. And those faith healers are clever. They make those who wish for healing write down their prayer request along with their names and financial details on little cards. Then, the Faith healer’s right hand man or woman communicates with them through a walky-talky device giving out people’s names which the healer then communicates in the audience. “Is there a p, Peter J, I feel a name starting with J, Johnson, Jackson?” AT this point, poor Peter Jackson jumps up, goes to the stage and gets a prayer of healing. He really wants to believe that he’s healed of whichever affliction he suffers from. He doesn’t want to disappoint the healer with a bad result and it would also destroy the great shows those kinds of healing meetings are. So he’ll claim that “Yes I am healed” to which the fake healer responds” In the name of Jesus! He has been healed in the name of Jesus! Glory be to God Almighty for an evil demon has left him” or something very similar.

These people are dangerous. Darren Brown once made a programme about fake faith healers where he got a normal man to pose as one. In the program, we heard of people thinking they had been healed from for example cancer and then stopped taking their medication and treatment. They died of course. Darren Brown successfully put up a service for the fake faith healer and at the point the healers normally ask for donations, this man gave a speech warning the audience of fake healers.

I have also been made to feel awful because I refused healing. A pastor at my London church right out told me I wasn’t brave enough to want to see, or had enough faith. If I was meant to be healed, his faith would have been sufficient according to the bible. So I went up and asked for healing, reluctantly and it was awful.

The worst time though, was at my friend’s mother’s wake. After commemorating her life with worship and a sermon, I went up to the pastor to ask for prayers for my own mum who was in the terminal stage of cancer. I wanted to pray for her peace and for no pain. However, on seeing that I was blind, he turned the attention to me. I may have needed prayers in regards to keeping strong through the difficult times, but none for my sight. I left feeling nothing but disrespect for someone who thought a healthy person’s eye sight was more important than a cancer patient’s well being.

Christianity is simple. So simple that many of us, me included fail to grasp the simplicity of it. Love. Simply love. Loving means accepting people for who they are and not try to change them. If you truly love, you won’t go up to that new wheelchair kid in church assuming they want healing. For by being who you are created to be, you fill some sort of roll in the world. I believe in the resurrection, and when that happens, I will no longer be blind. It will be wonderful, but for now, I am who I am. I have found my place in the world and in Christ and through being blind, I have been given a perspective on things which I believe has made me into a better person. I thank God for the blindness just because of this. Not having a certain physical ability, does not mean you’re not a perfectly healthy and strong human being who doesn’t have a lot to give.

So to you lovers of healing, you’ll do a lot more good and cause more healing in a disabled person’s life by including them in the church. Let your first question b if they’d want another doughnut or what they thought of the service rather than asking if they feel incomplete. If a disabled person wants faith healing, they’ll go to the appropriate person. Someone they trust.

Blindness, dating, romance and how to attract blind people.

Through the years, I’ve had my fair share of questions about blind people in relation to dating and romance and so I’m going to write a post addressing some of the most common questions both me and a lot of my fellow blindies have received. I hope it solves a few mysteries for you sighted people out there.

A very common phrase people like to use if they don’t know me very well and we’re talking about who’s good looking and who isn’t is “I guess you’ll just have to go by personality.” Yes and no. Obviously when you’re blind, you’re gonna have to have a certain knowledge about people without seeing them, but you don’t necessarily get those from interacting so much with them. Hearing someone’s voice, observing what they are talking about or perhaps get an idea of their physique by holding an arm or shaking hands as well as their voice can be enough to know that you fancy them. Smell is also important.” I’m sorry Mr Fit body Soft voice, but you aint showered in ages, or you don’t use any interesting aftershave or cream to make you smell interesting.” So going away from personality, which obviously is important whether sighted or blind, physique, good smell and nice voice are things a blind person will go on to determine whether they like you or not.

I’ve also had sighted men ask how they can attract a blind woman. Blind women are the same as any women out there, so there’s no one answer to that question. But like sighted women, blind women appreciate a man making an effort with their looks. She may not be able to see your ketchup spotted t-shirt, mismatched trainers or that pen mark on your right thigh, but if she somehow gets to hear about it from a friend who happened to see you on a date, she won’t likely be impressed with you. So making the same effort as you would with a sighted woman is essential. Smell nice too. No need to use the entire bottle of Hugo Boss, but enough that she may want to come closer to smell you a little more?

As for women attracting blind men, the same rule goes with the looks. Ladies, if you’d use make-up dating a sighted person, do it for the blind man too. My experience with blind men is also that they like it when you wear something which shows off your shape a little. I may be generalizing, but seeing as we’ve had to rely on feel to get a good impression of things, feeling up places which perhaps should be avoided on the first few dates isn’t necessary to feel the shape of someone’s body and determine whether you’ll like it or not. A hug or holding an arm reveals more than you may think. We pay more attention, without actually paying attention to the fact that we pay attention.

Another experience I have with blind men, is that if he is a normal functioning and independent man with good social circle and job, do not mother him to any larger extent than you would mother a sighted man  We women tend to mother men a little too much sometimes, and I know my blind male friends claim sighted women can be a little to over the top.

I have also heard, and I can very well believe this, if a blind man’s sighted friends say that his girlfriend is ugly the blindy well may break up with you. I don’t know if the same goes for women, but I have never broken up with anyone because of the way they look and neither have I believed, have my blind girlfriends.

So in short, if you are trying to attract a blind person, or just want to know the answers to those questions, the answer is, do exactly what you would do if the object of your fancy could see. Not just in terms of behaviour, but also in taking care of your look. It’s got to do with respect more than anything.

Finally, if a person is blind, what’s better. Blind or sighted partner?

Being with someone sighted is a hell of a lot more practical than being with someone who is blind or even at times partially sighted. However, aside from the practicality of sight, being with a sight impaired person has some advantages too. Flirting with a blind man for me at least, is a whole different thing to flirting with someone sighted. A blind/partially sighted man knows what it means to be visually impaired and understand me on my terms in ways the majority of sighted people wouldn’t do unless they knew lots of VI people or have it naturally within them to understand those things, but the latter is rare. I for example, don’t automatically understand what being deaf must be like, because I don’t know a lot of deaf people, so I find myself asking similar questions to what a sighted person would ask me and in flirting situations, that can be a bit of a turn off at times.

I find it hard to be with sighted men because I personally haven’t met a sighted man who would allow me to go about my daily life and business in the way my blind boyfriends or exes have done. They never feel funny about me preparing their dinner for example, whilst the sighted dates I’ve had made sure I never lifted a finger when they were around.

There is a reason a lot of VI people end up together and I believe that a big part of that reason has to do with common ground, understanding and acceptance. Having said that, couples in which one is sighted and one blind or partially sighted do exist, though unfortunately they tend to be in the minority and it tends to be sighted women with blind or partially sighted men.

But really, there is no better or worse. If you find the person who loves you and is ready to take you on your terms and let you be who you are, visual acuity doesn’t matter at all.

Blind, partial or sighted, your comments would be appreciated on this.

Update: Since I wrote this post, I have been very fortunate to find love myself. I have shared
My own romance story
here.