Julian and Theresa met many years ago. So many, they can’t even tell you how long it’s been, but it’s clear talking to the now married couple that they beam in each other’s presence. They love going for coffee, holding hands on long walks, and spending time together at home. Julian does the vacuuming and Theresa loves to cook and clean. They are like any other couple, really.
They got married, then moved into together. They share a basement suite in a home with a caregiver upstairs who supports them with daily chores and getting around. Julian and Theresa have been supported by their community to build a relationship and nurture their love for one another.
Duncan and Kenny too have talked about their partner relationships, both current and past. Over the years they’ve learned to listen to what their partner wants, spoil them rotten and do things together that make them both feel good. Smiles adorn their faces as they talk about spending time with their girlfriends and the special things they like to do for them.
We all seek and crave love. It’s hardwired within us. Our lives can be made full with rich friendships, a strong social network, and a deep connection with that special someone.
As support staff and family we all have a role to play in creating a community of support around an individual or couple to help them flourish. We may fear unhealthy relationships and abuse, but loneliness and isolation come with their own negative impacts: anxiety, depression, poor physical health and early death.
Every person has their own path to love, has their own desires and needs. As support staff and family we can work with individuals to determine what kinds of relationships they are looking for in their life, think creatively about what is possible, and make a plan to fill the skills and opportunity gaps to make their dreams a reality.
Because - Love is Love. And we all deserve it.
Check out our online workshop for more information and resources on how to support intimate relationships.
And visit the online workshops page for our full list of video resources.