Dating and Starting New Relationships with Brain Injury

Stories of Dating and New Relationships

The following are stories of real life survivors of brain injury.  Clicking on the titles will take you to their actual story.

Doug Story Concludes Community Integration

Do you make friends on the computer? Doug state; “I’ve made a few, a few friends on the computer.” Does the computer provide you with a social environment, social network of sorts? Doug states;”It has now since I’ve joined Facebook a little, Facebook a little bit. Well I’ve seen some of my friends that, you know, that I haven’t seen since high school, what they’ve been up to.” Have you done any dating? Doug states;”No I haven’t.” Would you like to? Doug states; “Yes I would. Well I’ve been on online a couple times, you know, I’ve been online. I’m on all the time and there’s just, I could never find, you know. I think the fact that I cannot drive, that I use a cane and I think because the fact they’re not the same religion but that’s, but I know the, probably the big one would have to be the same religion. Well because I’m Lutheran, and a lot of the people on there that I’ve seen, met, they’re not really Lutheran, and that’s just, I don’t know, there’s just something about that, you know, I just feel that they have to be, you know, Lutheran.”

Lori – Sexuality After Traumatic Brain Injury

“And so that was really hard for me because as I was relearning everything. I would meet new people and there’d be new people in my world. And if new people were in my world and we got along, then I loved them. And if I told them I love them, in my mind that just meant my being thinks you’re a good person. But those were adult men that I was talking to, and if I said I love you, if I said I love you, a man would be like oh yeah.” So when they would come back with a sexual pass, did you know how to react to that?: “At the time that I had the affair, I wanted that reaction. But when other passes like that, I didn’t know. I didn’t know. And I didn’t know if that was a form of friendship.”

Lori – Learning to Put Things on Hold at Work After a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

When you manage to reestablish a meaningful relationship with your boyfriend, your fiancee, how did you regrow grow the intimacy and the sexual and the romantic feelings again?: “It never seemed, after that affair, I don’t remember there being difficulty with my boyfriend, husband. I learned from the affair about my expression of love, my verbal expression of love, and I learned about the physical communication or body language. And I learned, I learned about the difference between a non -loving physical relationship and a loving physical relationship. I learned that, and so I knew that that affair was not a loving physical relationship. So then when I was with my boyfriend, my husband, I knew that that was a loving physical relationship. I don’t know why, but it became easy for me to say, “Will you hold my hand?” He’s not a PDA person, public display of affection, and so I learned that I have to ask for that, and I think maybe it”

TJ – Finding a Social Life After a TBI

What risk factors do you see in him dating?: “I see that the problem is that once they get to know him that it’s not going to be good. He just had a girl that he started to have a little relationship with, and she has traumatic brain injury. But he got very friendly very fast with her, and she didn’t like that. She was pushing him away and then she finally had to say  “no more ” Do you think there’s an element of disinhibition on his side, anxiety on hers, in the way that relationship evolved?: “He wanted to, again, be normal, and normal is to have a girlfriend. He felt a boyfriend should, you know, put his arm around and hug and kiss. And she just, that was too much, too fast. She just wanted to be friends and watch a movie. And for him he wanted to watch the movie in his room, even though that wouldn’t have, in his eyes, was not, it was not going to lead to have intercourse at the end, but she felt like no, that’s prohibited because that’s your bedroom
so we come out here and watch the movie.”