On Finding Love: Dane & Rachel
When you were single, what was dating like for you? Did you have any hesitations or challenges in dating specifically related to having Morquio? How did you navigate these challenges?
Dane: Rachel was actually the only person I really dated, when I was 25. Which goes to show it’s never too late to start dating and find your person. I did worry about finding someone who could look past my physical look and lack of strength. It was a big reason I didn’t really force dating. I just waited until it happened naturally.
How did you and Rachel meet, and what led you to begin dating?
Dane: We met volunteering for our church youth group. We started dating because she had a bunch of computer troubles over a couple weeks lol. We would hang out while I was fixing the computers and her internet wasn’t working. After hanging out over the couple of weeks, we made it official.
Does Morquio impact your relationship? If so, how do you navigate that as a couple?
Dane: I think the biggest impact from Morquio was/is Rachel learning what I am/am not capable of. Sometimes she looks past my disability a little too much, and almost forgets that I can’t reach something, or do so much in a day. Sometimes it goes the other way and she assumes I can’t do something. It is something that she has just had to learn and we communicate about.
Rachel: I agree with what Dane said. Another big impact for me is how he is perceived by other people, especially children. When kids stare or point at him it really bothers me and I’ve had to learn that they are just curious and they just don’t understand. When it comes to adults, I’ve had to learn the same thing with adults as well and that they may not be able to look past Dane’s disability to the extent that I do. Dane does a good job of reminding me of these things and his reactions to different situations (or lack thereof) helps as well.
When did you fall in love with each other, and how did you know you wanted to get married?
Dane: I fell in love with her after those first couple weeks hanging out. It felt so natural being around her even when we weren’t talking or doing something, and we had a lot of similar interests. I could tell she didn’t care about my disability, and was prepared to deal with its challenges. I knew I wanted to get married because I wanted to be around her all the time no matter the circumstances.
Rachel: I think I started to fall in love with Dane more once we started dating. Even though I was able to look past his disability, I still worried about how it was going to affect our relationship and the changes I would be making in my life. It wasn’t until I fully accepted the fact that I wanted to work through the challenges with him that I truly fell in love with him. I would say that was around two months or so after we started dating. I knew I wanted to marry Dane, because I could feel in my heart that he was meant for me and that I was meant for him. Through every challenge and every circumstance, everything just felt right even in the most difficult of situations.
What personality traits or character qualities do you each have that are important to making your relationship work?
Rachel: As said earlier, I think being able to look past Dane’s disability is a big part of what makes our relationship work, as well as loving him through his disability and not looking completely away from it, because it is a fact in our lives. Dane is really good at communication and problem-solving, which I think are important traits to have as well. Communication is important in any relationship, but I think it is even more essential in our situation.
Do you have any dating or marriage advice for others related to what you’ve learned from your own journey as a couple?
Dane: There is someone out there for everyone. Communication and coming up with solutions that work for both people is key.
Rachel: I never expected that I would fall in love with someone with a disability, and so I would say always leave your heart open for the unexpected. You never know what it may bring and I wouldn’t have it any other way.