Living and Thriving with PWS


Romantic Relationships Part 1

Many people believe that individuals with PWS can’t fall in love or shouldn’t be in a romantic relationship. Research states we can’t have children due to infertility, which also makes people think that we can’t fall in love.  Also, the assumption is we’d never be able to live together because we can never live independently. I’m here to tell you that while for some people this is correct, it doesn’t hurt to give everyone a chance to try.  We, as individuals with PWS, have our own feelings. If we express that we really love someone and want to eventually live together, it is important that we get an opportunity to make the relationship work.   

I’ve always been the one to DREAM BIG!!  I learned to never say that I can’t do something, but rather to do it and keep improving at it.  Growing up I’ve been setting pretty high standards for myself.  I would like to live as normal a life as possible and never be denied anything.  I told myself that graduating high school was important because I planned to go to college to continue my education.  Also, I told myself that eventually I would have my own home, and fall in love.

Since 2008 I have been in two relationships. My first relationship, with Mary, was long distance and I was determined to make it work. While this relationship was successful I learned over time that perhaps Mary wasn’t the girl I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. Fortunately, since breaking things off with Mary I’ve met another woman who I look forward to spending time with.

Meeting people as an individual with PWS can be difficult, but meeting someone to date can be even harder. It is important to me that we have the support of our family and friends when seeking out these relationships because even though it is more difficult for many reasons, love is something everyone deserves to feel.


Derek M. is a 24 year-old Latham adult resident with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) who has resided on Cape Cod for over three years in a home managed by Latham Adult Services with fellow residents also diagnosed with PWS.  

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