For Tim Rose, everything’s coming up roses as another Valentine’s Day approaches. What makes Tim Rose most happy, aside from being a successful entrepreneur, is that he is a person with a disability who is happily married.
Rose, a 29-year-old entrepreneur born with cerebral palsy spastic quadriplegia, met his wife, Natalie, through a mutual friend during the summer of 2010. Prior to meeting Natalie, he had attempted to have relationships with other women, but most of them weren’t interested because of the fact that he has a disability.
Natalie, like the previous women he approached, does not have a disability. Their relationship was confirmed one night when Tim and Natalie attended a party hosted by his brother. “She wanted to go with me, and we realized that we really liked each other.” After leaving the party, Natalie returned the feelings Tim had for her when she told him she had a crush on him.
“We hung out together a couple of times before I moved to England to attend university,” he says. With the exception of a three-week period, most of their communication during their first year together was done across the miles.
“It was tough at times, but it made our relationship stronger,” he says. When Tim returned to Toronto from the University of Nottingham in August 2011, he and Natalie dated for five months before proposing to her in 2012.
“I knew by the second date that she was the one,” Tim says. “I organized a scavenger hunt the night that I proposed to her. I think she knew I was going to propose but wasn’t sure how or when” he says. When he presented her with the ring at the end of the scavenger hunt, she said yes immediately.
I asked Tim what they like to do on Valentine’s Day since this interview was conducted in the days leading up to February 14. “We’re not huge Valentine’s Day people, but we always find time to do something together, either on Valentine’s Day or around that day. We may go out for dinner, play board games or do something not too extravagant.”
Tim says that since he and Natalie have become busy with their respective careers, it isn’t always possible to plan a date. Tim, however, stresses that they set aside a date night as often as they can, schedules permitting.
“We always want to maintain communication in our marriage,” he says. “We’re always talking and saying, ‘I love you’ to each other. We try not to hide too much from each other. We always find couple time during the day because it’s so important.”
While he is aware of the struggles people with disabilities experience in finding love, Tim has this advice. “A disability, while it can present challenges to dating other people, there’s also a lot of good things it can bring to a relationship.” He also adds that “once you find that one person, you find the advantages that having a disability can bring to a relationship. It makes you a better person, and more desirable in general.”
To learn more about Tim Rose and his consulting business, you can visit http://www.disabilitypositive.com/.