‘”Mine and Kyle’s love story started on February 22, 2018. It all started when both Kyle and I swiped right on Tinder. Kyle wasn’t the one to normally start a conversation with women, but for some reason, he decided to take a chance! His message was short and simple: ‘Good morning, beautiful, thanks for being my match.’ That’s all it took to catch my attention. We talked for a few days before we decided to exchange Snapchats. I was always nervous to give my phone number out because you truly don’t know who you will meet online.
After exchanging Snapchats, we made a connection. Kyle’s older brother knew my older brother. So, what did I do? I texted my brother to get his approval before I agreed to go on a date with this man. My brother said, ‘He is an awesome dude. I think you should go!’ So, I dragged my best friend, Jantson, to a bar so I could meet him. Of course, being nervous, I chose to meet him at a bar my other best friend worked at. You’ve got to protect yourself when online dating!
Jantson and I pulled into the parking lot and there was Kyle. He was in his white Volkswagen GTI, parked right upfront. That moment is when I started to get nervous. ‘Do I offer to help him get his chair out?’ ‘What do I first say to him?’ ‘Do you think I need to help him get into the bar?’ These were just some of the questions I asked Jantson. I’ve never dated a guy in a wheelchair before, so I was nervous! We got out of the car, walked over to him, and I introduced Kyle to Jantson. Into the bar we went to start out our first date. The date went pretty well since he ended up coming over to my house and not leaving until 3:30 a.m.
After our first date, we were inseparable! We didn’t go a day without seeing each other. After about a month of seeing each other, we pretty much lived at each other’s homes. On weekends, we slept at my house, and week days we slept at his house. 2 months later, we decided to take our relationship to the next level. We got an apartment together with Jantson and his boyfriend. Not only did we move in together officially, but we adopted our first fur baby, Rocco. Let’s just say we really felt like this was going to be forever. Our families thought we were crazy, but we did it anyway.
We walked into our apartment with not a whole lot of money and both of us thinking, ‘How in the hell are we going to make this work?’ We spent our last hundred dollars at the grocery store and hoped we would be able to make it last. Months went by and things got easier. Kyle got a career opportunity he just couldn’t pass up and I started to get busier with my business. Things started to look up for us. Just after a year of dating, Kyle decided he was ready to pop the question. He bought a ring on October 30, 2018. Kyle held onto the ring for months, trying to figure out the best way to ask me to marry him.
March 30, 2019, I went out to get a pedicure with a friend, not knowing what was about to happen next. We decided to go to the bar we first met at for some dinner with a few friends. The wait to get a table was so long and I was getting impatient. I wanted to leave the bar and go somewhere else for food. ‘Let’s just stay, watch the burlesque show, and if we don’t have a table after that, we can go,’ Kyle said. After the show was over, the announcer came to the mic and said, ‘We have one more performance, if Kyle and Cortney would please come to the stage.’ I was really hoping there was another Kyle and Cortney at the bar because I wasn’t going to be doing any performance in front of that many people!
I looked over to Kyle and he was already rolling up to the front. All my friends were pushing me to follow. Not knowing what was going on, I still went up on the stage. Kyle grabbed the mic and said, ‘I knew from the moment I met you I was going to spend the rest of my life with you.’ That’s when it hit me. I was going to be getting engaged. He pulled a ring box out from behind him and asked, ‘Will you marry me?’ ‘Of course!’ I screamed!
Just after a few weeks of talking, we decided to choose our date. November 2, 2019. This only left us with 8 months of planning. I had a lot of work to do in not a lot of time. Planning a wedding was very stressful for us, but we made it work. November 2nd came in no time. The big day was here! The wedding was exactly how we imagined! After a long day of happy tears and a ton of dancing, we ended up at our hotel. Starving, we decided to order some chicken strips, and off to bed we went. The following week, we spent it living it up in California for our honeymoon. Disneyland, museums, and sight-seeing are how we spent most of our time.
Being in an interabled relationship can be difficult, but not as difficult as people think. We do everything a normal couple does, just a little bit differently. Many people think I am Kyle’s caregiver but he is actually super independent. The only thing I ever have to do is reach high places, but even I can only reach so high. Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean their spouse is the caretaker. They are capable of doing a lot of things for themselves.
Why is Kyle in a chair, you ask? Well, Kyle was born with spina bifida. Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect in the United States, affecting 1,500 to 2,000 of the more than 4 million babies in the U.S. each year. Spina bifida is a congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbone. People with spina bifida are all affected differently. Kyle’s spina bifida level is L5-S1. Those numbers and letters tell you where the defect occurred. The defect can happen anywhere on the spine and where it occurs affects people differently.
A common misconception of people with disabilities is they are unable to work or have a normal lifestyle. Many people with disabilities work full-time jobs, have a spouse, and even kids! It’s time to get rid of the idea disabilities will hold you back. It’s all about being motivated and willing to put forth the effort, just like anyone else. We’ve got to start teaching everyone being disabled does not make you less of a person. It all starts with teaching our children it is okay for someone to be different. Instead of teaching the kids not to stare, let’s teach them to say hello! So many children come up to us asking, ‘What happened to you?’ We always like to educate the youth as to why Kyle is in a wheelchair.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cortney Comstock. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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