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If the fear of speaking in person is keeping you from finding love, take advantage of modern technology! We are in the age of technological communication. For people who stutter, this is the prime time to find love! As much as I am an advocate for face-to-face communication when it comes to


relationships,


sometimes a simple “hey!” over Facebook is the kick start you need.


Know this though… Typed words can only go so deep into the soul.


You need to let them in. You need to let them hear your imperfect voice. You need to let them love all of you.


A much as I love Austin for his kind, affectionate nature, what most fuels my admiration for him is the way he pushes me to become the best version of “Shelly.” When Austin first mentioned the idea of going up to Alaska to work as tour guides, my first response was “Um, you know that speaking is not my forte, right?” Of course he knew this. But that didn’t matter to him. He didn’t see this adventure as something that I “couldn’t do,” he saw it as something that I was MADE to do. He knew that I needed to prove to the world, particularly myself, that my speech impediment was not something to hide behind, but rather to grow from.


Love someone who pushes you to stretch


yourself in the most loving, gentle way possible. As a person who stutters, I know how easy it is to stay in a zone of comfort, always saying “I can’t because I stutter.” My husband has never accepted that answer. He has always seen me as something greater. Someone to be heard.


The reason I fell in love with Austin is not only because of how much he loves me, but because of how he makes me love myself as a person who stutters.


I know that “I am not my stutter,” but I know that my stutter has completely shaped who I am. If I didn’t let Austin into my stuttering world, he would never be able to completely wrap himself around my heart.


Falling in love means getting to know your partner in the deepest, most intimate ways possible. Your stutter is intertwined with every facet of your life.


You need to be 100% open with your partner


about your emotions regarding your stutter. How they react and choose to help you through those emotions is the most telling aspect of the bond you have together.


Your partner may not stutter, but that does not mean that they can’t love you completely.


Austin will never fully comprehend what it is like to have a stutter. But he works every single day to put himself in my shoes to be able to be as empathetic as he possibly can. He doesn’t feel what I feel when I break down over something as trivial as not being able to say just one single word. He can’t know. He


Shelly Evans is currently residing in Rancho Cucamonga, California with her husband, Austin. Read more of her writing at stutteringlifeofshelly.wordpress.com.


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It takes a special kind of person to love someone who stutters. It also takes a special person who stutters to let someone love them. Hold yourself to a high standard of love. Choose a partner who not only loves you deeply, but who also drives you to love yourself and to love your voice.


And settle for nothing less.


can’t feel what I feel concerning my stutter. He probably even thinks it’s not a big deal at all. It was just one word, after all. But he sits there, stroking my hair as I sob into his chest, and holds me until the very last tear falls from my cheek, saying “next time, you’re gonna kill it.”


Photos by Olivia Russell Photography


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