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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

Dating & LD

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 04, 2003 at 9:35:39 PM
Subject: Dating &amp; LD

I am 16 and have just started dating. I am now looking at the development of my first real relationship. Where most people are excited, I am scared. I usually try to keep friendships from getting too deep for fear that my LD will be discovered. I shy away from any activity requiring sequencing, spatial organization, or fast movements. Out of my friends, only one knows that I have LD-and if she didn't have one too, I probably never would have told her.

So here I am, getting into a relationship with a guy who I could marry-and I want to keep my LD a secret. I *know* I can't and that it will come out sooner or later, but every time I tell someone about my LD, they start asking me what areas of life it affects (all), why I have it (cause God gave it to me), and they say stuff like "you're so smart...you just don't like math" or "if you'd try a little harder you'd get it." People see me differently after I tell them I have LD. Which is why I quit telling people.

So does anyone who has experience in this area have advice to offer? Cause I sure could use it!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 05, 2003 1:41:26 PM

I don't really have any advice except that to think you might marry someone you are dating at 16 is putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Very few people marry people they date as teenagers.


Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 05, 2003 10:40:12 PM

Ditto to what Beth said. And its not because you are LD. Your first relationships are scary and exciting in the best of circumstances. You don't have to share everything with the first guy you date. Try to relax and enjoy it and don't put too much pressure on yourself.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 06, 2003 8:44:21 AM

I was just going to add that you can simply explain things you have trouble with as weaknesses along the order of "well, I have a really lousy sense of direction so it wouldn't work to try to meet you there. Could you come to my house and we could go together?" Lots of people have bad sense of direction--I know yours is much worse but it would be a way to deal with some of things that come up without feeling like you have to hide your difficulties or getting into a discussion about LD before he has a chance to get to know you.

Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 06, 2003 5:21:21 PM

I think that he probably already knows about your LDs, it isn't something one can hide for very long...and it probably isn't a concern to him. He may be one of those people who sees beyond the surface issues and sees the real person inside.

I have a hearing impairment and it is something I can't hide....I have found that if I tell people about my hearing loss when I get to know them they won't get the wrong impression because it explains some of the things that I do and when I don't respond to a comment it isn't because I am rude it is because I didn't hear them.

I feel that one should always be open, no one is "perfect" because the harder you try to hide things from people the more it becomes a bigger problem than if you were open about it in the first place. Just take it as it comes and enjoy the friendship for as long as it lasts.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 08, 2003 1:11:49 PM

Wow-16 is quite young to think about marriage!

Seriously though, I think you should tell him when you feel it's the right time, and when you don't feel pressured to say anything. You may find that he's understanding about your learning disability.

I am 28 now, I started dating my now boyfriend seven years ago and I felt incredibly weird when we first met about telling him about my learning disability. At the time we were both college students and I felt like I should explain to him the things that might keep me from seeing him; for me needing extra time to study was/still is one of those things.

You don't have to tell him but if you feel comfortable enough with him then you should say something. He could very well be a great person to turn to when you need emotional support.

I'll tell you, one of the things that made me reluctant to say anything to people about my learning disability was that I would get comments like the ones you described. It took me a while to develop my own personal philosophy on it which is this: all people are ignorant in some ways, and everyone has their own personal judgements. Only you know how your disability affects you and if people are not understanding that is their problem, not yours.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 08, 2003 1:55:56 PM

I just recently heard about this disorder, and am wondering if I have it. I have never been diagnosed with it, but so many of the symptoms relate to me. I know, however I cannot diagnose myself. I have had some friends, but they never lasted long. I am 22 years old, and never have been on a date. Somewhat because it dosen't interest me, but also like you said. You are scared of getting in too deep. Me too!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 11, 2003 3:24:06 PM

I don't THINK I'll marry him, I just know it's a possibility.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 25, 2003 8:19:38 PM

I have to agree with all of the things that the other ladies have offered as advice.
I,too, am a learning disabled adult. And,yes, my LD has been a problem in terms of dating. Especially because I don't drive due to my LD. When I got old enough to date, in the 80's my father and stepmother were the worse about it. Looking back, I think they were trying to pressure me into marrying one of Dad's friends' son's....(Whom we later found out was into robbery and rape- and later went to prison for those same offences- ) To get me married off and out of their hair. I'll be 35 in a few months, and haven't really dated that much.
Parially due to my being LD, and also my being over weight. (I've never been married and have no children...)

You are so young, sweetie...just focus on being a teenager..You've got time before you even think about serious relationships and marriage- those are two very big steps for any young lady. Now, while you're so young, focus on you- have fun, get out and meet people,go out, do things, cultivate the areas where your interests fall...(you don't let them in and tell them everything at first. You get to know them! That takes time. As you get to know them see where they are in their lives- Do they have their lives together? Do they have goals they're working towards accomplishing? Do they treat others with respect and decency? (If they're kids-Do they mind their parents, and keep the rules they set for them? Do they cause trouble at school? ) If you can answer yes to all those questions except for the last one, sweetie- those are the kind of people you want to cultivate as friends. ) You also focus on getting your life together- doing as well in school as you possibly can despite of and in the face of your NLD...You do those things- those are the launching pad that will set you up and get you ready for that one special young man that's going to be able to see beyond your NLD, and see the super young lady that I'm pretty sure you are, and can be...(And even if he doesn't happen along or whatever, you'll have already sat you up a good, active, productive life, and have friend to hang out with! Either way, it's a good thing to do all those launching pad things!)
Sure, there are going to be those that are prejudiced and discriminatory due to LD's.Sadly, often those are the ones,sometimes that really DON'T want to know the truth or ins and outs about it. Those that you meet, get to know you and really care about you- those are the ones that will ask you questions about it. Those are the ones that you'll want to explain it to. (Not every Tom Dick and Harry you run into.) You'll know if this person is sincere or cares about you...just as you'll know the right time to clue him or her in about NLD.
You're almost ready to start your entry into the working world...I have a few pointers that will help there, I hope...
For starters after you get that first job, tell your employer about your NLD...You know what accomodations you're going to need in the work place, depending on your job. (You have the ADA act of 1990 to stand on.)
You have to tell them that- it's your responsibility to! This way, they KNOW you've got a disability- and what accomodations you need to be able to do the job as well as your co workers...
Secondly, when you go into the work place there are going to be those that think they can get you to do their work as well as your own. How you handle that is- go to your supervisor and ask him a few questions abou your job duties- then bring up that the other co worker is trying to get you to take on their work load as well as your own- then you DO what your supervisor tells you. If the other person raises cane you just tell them that you were told THIS is what you were told to do- if they have a problem with it, go talk to the supervisor...
Thirdly,Don't go into the work place looking to make friends-(They're NOT your friends just business associates.) usually, it's a ploy to get you to take on their work load as well as your own...Chances are they've covered their rear ends quite well, and will be there long after the company's given you the boot, so to speak...To them it's all about their pay check....
Fourthly- Don't date anyone from work...causes far too many problems at work..that's why it's a good idea to separate work from your personal life- you know off the clock off hours? That.
I know it's alot to think about and hard to do, but it can be done! I KNOW you can do it!
Sweetie, why I've told you all this is I want to see you have the shot at a good future like I never had...If I didn't care, I wouldn't have said one word...but I did say something- in hopes of you having an even better shot at a good,happy future.....Something I've never had...
NitaGirl with NLD wrote:
>
> I am 16 and have just started dating. I am now looking at the
> development of my first real relationship. Where most people
> are excited, I am scared. I usually try to keep friendships
> from getting too deep for fear that my LD will be discovered.
> I shy away from any activity requiring sequencing, spatial
> organization, or fast movements. Out of my friends, only one
> knows that I have LD-and if she didn't have one too, I
> probably never would have told her.
>
> So here I am, getting into a relationship with a guy who I
> could marry-and I want to keep my LD a secret. I *know* I
> can't and that it will come out sooner or later, but every
> time I tell someone about my LD, they start asking me what
> areas of life it affects (all), why I have it (cause God gave
> it to me), and they say stuff like "you're so smart...you
> just don't like math" or "if you'd try a little harder you'd
> get it." People see me differently after I tell them I have
> LD. Which is why I quit telling people.
>
> So does anyone who has experience in this area have advice to
> offer? Cause I sure could use it!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 12, 2003 4:47:28 PM

Girl with NLD please be careful. Identifying yourself as a 16 year old girl like this puts you at risk to predators.

Tomcat may be legit but something about that post had that, "I am just like you let me empathize and win your trust," kind of feel to it.

I am sorry that I am so cynical but I have kids of my own and I know how trusting they can be.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2003 8:52:47 PM

Especially having NLD, I know my step-daughter had a tendency to take everything at face value due to her NLD. She believes everything she hears and doesn't filter out non-verbal nuances. Be very careful, not just telling someone that you have an LD, but with NLD you could be open to being taken advantage of by someone out for themselves.

I know when I was 16, I pictured myself married to everyone I ever dated. After 2 failed marriages I am here to tell you, all is not as it seems. Take it slowly, you have your entire life ahead of you. I know I sound like your mother but......what I would love more than anything is to be 16 again but know everything I know now so I can avoid the mistakes I made. Unfortunately that is not an option.....you have all of your life ahead of you. When you are ready to tell him, you will know. Asking on this site tells me you are not sure of you are ready to open up. Think about that.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Jun 05, 2003 12:03:23 PM

I think you should just try to avoid situations that you may be uncomfortable in until you see if you can trust this guy to be understanding\. You don't have to tell him that you have a L>D> you can just say that you dont enjoy certain things or that they make you uncomfortable or just suggest things to do that you really enjoy. If you are not with a patient young man , move on . They are out there even at your age.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Dec 31, 2003 2:36:12 PM

hi i am 50 years old with ld
i myself think that 16 years old is a little to young to be thinking of getting marred.
but as far as dateting is if you find someone you think is right for you tell them that you have ld.
if he leave you for that reason then he not the one for you but you have plenty of time to find the right one for you that will stand by you side and help you.

i know i did and it took me neny year to find him and i ben whith him for 19 years now and still vermy much in love with him

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Jan 03, 2004 10:07:04 AM

You know most people have learning differences.... when you get right down to it. I find when I discuss it most people go "Aha! I think I have one too! That's why geometry was hard for me etc. etc." And many people never get help for their learning differences and go through life wondering why they are the way they are. You understand yourself better than most people do.

I wouldn't tell anybody right up front that I have a learning difference. Why do that? I also don't bother people right up front with that fact that I have a balance disorder, a stomach easily upset by eating nuts or crab, or a deep seated fear of guns. If they offer me a bowl of nuts or cooked crab for dinner, then I explain that I can't eat those things when they do. If they want to take me tightrope walking, I tell them I'm happy to go along and watch - and I might even try it with a net - but that I think I'm not likely to be good at it because of my balance disorder. If they want to go to a shooting range, I tell the guy l'm uncomfortable around guns and always have been and maybe sometime I'll go to watch him shoot but it's not a good idea to go today.

It's as if you define yourself by your learning difference. It's as if that's the only thing you are - which can't be. Don't you have many strengths to go along with this small weakness?

Unless you're dating a professional sequencer - whatever that is - and he's going to take you out sequencing every date - why even discuss a weakness in sequencing with him at this point in your relationship? Let this relationship and the others you'll have find its way naturally among the strengths and weaknesses you both surely have. There's no need to keep secrets or to tell them - a learning difference is a learning difference - it's only a dark secret if you feel it should be.

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Richard
Joined Jan 05, 2004
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Posted:Jan 05, 2004 2:53:20 PM

Here's a different take on the "tell him or not" idea.

LD is not who you are, it is a label that a bunch of professionals give to people with various characteristics, some of which you might have.

I repeat, LD is not who you are and is not the most important characteristic of you.

When you think of yourself as a collection of many characteristics that other people see, any one or two characteristics become less important.

I know, I was 16 once and a zit can become an international issue.

But, what characteristics are you worried about?

Do you think he's going to ask you to do a math problem on the spot? If he did, he'd look like a geek anyway, strike 1 for him.

Do you think he's going to ask you to do some writing while you're sitting at the mall having a Coke? I doubt it but if he does, pull out your Palm Pilot and beam him something.

If you think of LD as a disease that he might catch, then of course, clue him in but if you think of it as one small part of who you are, then to tell him about that would mean you'd also want to balance it out with a list of your other (I'm sure wonderful) characteristics.

If you keep dating this guy something small will happen and he'll ask you about it and you can matter-of-factly say that you're X and you always do that.

I'm not trying to belittle this concern; you're onto the single biggest concern that most people with any kind of "difference" have. What we tend not to realize is that most people have some kind of difference.

So how did that date go?

Oh, and on the marriage front, I'm an LD adult and was a late bloomer in the dating department. I didn't really "date" when I was 16 but I had an active imagination ;)

However, once I got to college I made up for lost time.

But I did not get married until much later. Date a lot of guys, learn what you like about different guys and more importantly, learn about yourself through the eyes of others. You might keep a journal about this stuff; it might be fun to read later.

Great questions by the way, way cool. So cool in fact that I must share with you a true story...

http://www.ldresources.com/articles/first_date.html

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Jan 15, 2004 3:03:30 PM

Quote "Beth from FL":

I don't really have any advice except that to think you might marry someone you are dating at 16 is putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Very few people marry people they date as teenagers.

Quote "Beth from FL":


Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 14, 2004 6:23:03 AM

C'mon folks, having a learning disability isn't that big of a deal, nor is not having any friends one, either.
Just look at me, I'm 18, still in HS and doing pretty good for myself. I don't have any friends, but that's not because I'm afraid they'll discover that there's something wrong with me, but that normal folk seem very stupid to me. I mean, I'm 'gifted', you know. From my experience I've found most 'gifted' people DO have LD's. Perhaps the reason you feel unconfrontable getting in relationships with other people is because of their own mental blocks and ignorance?
Just a thought..

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Richard
Joined Jan 05, 2004
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Posted:Feb 14, 2004 4:38:16 PM

==========

"I don't have any friends, but that's not because I'm afraid they'll discover that there's something wrong with me, but that normal folk seem very stupid to me. I mean, I'm 'gifted', you know."

==========

Sounds like reverse discrimination to me. Maybe you ought to just accept that everyone is doing the best they can with whatever "equipment" they've got. Do that and I'll bet you'll have more friends.

Just a thought...

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 15, 2004 3:35:42 AM

It's not really discrimination. I just only associate with those in my intellectual class. It just so happens that excludes around 96% of the population. In fact, I wouldn't mind killing off 96% of humanity..

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Richard
Joined Jan 05, 2004
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Posted:Feb 15, 2004 9:01:14 AM

========

"I just only associate with those in my intellectual class."

========

And just how do you measure people to find out if they're "classy" enough for you?

Verbal acuity? Looks? Do you give them a mensa test?

Again, seems like you might be filtering out some potential friends here, no? I mean, you're the one who said you have no friends, right? Maybe, just maybe, the reason you have no friends is because you're judging people too harshly.

I doubt I'm your intellectual equal because I'm not gifted, but does that mean you really want to kill me? If so, wow, I can see why you have a problem in the friends department.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 23, 2014
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Posted:Feb 15, 2004 1:09:27 PM

Life is tough enough with LD problems. Some people need to
think about what they type; just as they need to think about what
they say to others in intimate one-on-one conversation.

If you insult people, and are too arrogant, you will not be able to
be attractive -- seem interesting, to others. To the contrary;
it will only do the opposite.

I believe this sub-topic is dating. Society has bad attitudes when
dealing with people with LD. The question for those of us with
LD Histories, is how do we deal with that; and how do we find
a loving friend who accepts us with our strengths----and our weaknesses.

I find that some people think I am their friend, when I think they are an
acquaintance. And, I don't trust people to support me; I am self-reliant.
But those are some of __MY__ issues.

/signed/ Joe Tag

--- end ---

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