Romance and disability: My love story

Being disabled doesn't mean I am unworthy of being loved

Lara Govendo avatar

by Lara Govendo |

Share this article:

Share article via email
banner for Lara Govendo's column

For a long time, the relationship between romantic love and disability was complicated for me. It’s taken time to heal from my traumatic experiences with dating. I honestly didn’t know what romantic love was until I met my fiance, Christopher.

Because of my chronic health conditions, I was led to believe that I was hard to love and labeled “too much.” Some guys wrote me off, believing I would never measure up to able-bodied women because of my cystic fibrosis (CF).

I believed these lies for a long time. I was scared of rejection, even though my health issues were beyond my control. I wanted so desperately to be seen for the person I am, rather than simply as someone with a disability.

But I began to learn with a combination of therapy, amazing loved ones, and a whole lot of Jesus that my worth is not tied to my abilities, or lack thereof. I know now that I have value because I’m a human being. All that matters is how God sees me. This has been a game-changer in walking confidently in my identity.

Through the years, I held on to the hope that someone would see my value as a person, celebrate all that I’ve been through, and stand by my side no matter what.

Recommended Reading
Main graphic for

Marriage Isn’t Hard Just Because I’m Sick

Finding my ‘forever person’

I’m happy to announce that I am now engaged to such a man. Not only is he handsome, but his character radiates kindness, gentleness, and love.

Lara and Christopher stand in front of a lake, both smiling and wearing jackets. It appears to be fall, as the mountains in the background are partially covered in snow, and a section of the foliage has turned gold.

Lara Govendo and her fiance, Christopher Grell, during an adventure together in Utah. (Courtesy of Lara Govendo)

Chris is my best friend, confidant, and the love of my life all wrapped up in one person. He’s taught me how to love in a way I didn’t know was possible. Chris has made me feel safe on every level. I’m able to share everything with him without fear of being judged, including about my health.

Chris has been consistent since I met him. He’s always followed through on his word and been the most dependable, kind-hearted, loving man I’ve ever met. He’s shown up in every circumstance, never failing to be there to offer support and encouragement.

In this season of my life I’ve learned that real, authentic love isn’t glamorous. It doesn’t look like the characters in Disney movies or the fancy lifestyles of Hollywood. It’s not based solely on feelings, nor is it surface-level.

True love is so much deeper and better. Love means sleeping in hospital rooms beside the person you love because there’s no other place you’d rather be than by their side. Love is talking about embarrassing human functions through health crises (“How are your bowel movements?”). Love is having hard conversations because you can trust he won’t leave.

I wish I’d made better choices in my past. I wouldn’t have wasted my time tolerating toxic behavior that made me feel like I was in someone’s debt because they dated me despite my health issues. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have dated these types of people.

I take solace in knowing that Chris is the greatest redemption story in my life and I’m so grateful to have found my forever person. He is a rare gift and I’m the luckiest girl in the world that I get to marry him in a few months!

My advice to those who are disabled and want to find love is to not settle for someone who doesn’t treat you well. There are people in this world who will see your value and love you exactly as you are. Nobody is perfect, even the able-bodied. Remember you are worthy of love and your disability won’t ever change that truth.

Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.