Holly and Darren are a couple from Jonesboro, Arkansas who have been dating for two years. They are members of Self Advocacy Leadership Team (SALT). The Riot talked with them about what it takes to stay together in a relationship.
Riot: Where did you first meet?
We met at the Jonesboro bowling alley. We had a mutual friend who introduced us.
Holly: For me, it was love at first sight! I went home the night after meeting Darren and told my mom I was in love. However, Darren was dating another girl at the time. I had to wait about four years until Darren was single.
We were friends first and we really got along. We were in a lot of the same groups and we went to church together. Our moms knew each other. Since we have been dating, our moms have become really good friends.
Riot: Where was your first date?
We went to a Rascal Flatts concert on March 23rd. We had a basketball tournament the next day.
Riot: What does it take to stay together in a relationship?
Holly: If it weren’t for Darren, I don’t know where I’d be. He is my best friend. Sometimes he will ask me, “What’s wrong?” And I will tell him and I know he won’t tell anybody else.
We have our moments where we want to wring each other’s necks, but that happens to everyone, if you have a disability or not.
In some ways we are ready to get married and in some ways we are not. We want to get jobs so that we can really support each other.
Riot: What would you tell a self-advocate who is looking for someone to date?
Be careful and take it slow. Get to know the person before you think they are the one for you. Find someone who can help you. Ask people you know personally to introduce you to other people they know.
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