I write this with the important caveat that online dating has at times worked, and some women from my life might say with a weary laugh, “Yeah, his disabilities definitely weren’t the problem.” I have as many personality flaws as anyone and it’s almost a relief when my romantic failures can be blamed on me and not my body. That said, though, it’s hard to escape the thought that my disabilities play a role in my being single.There are also things that have to be present for a relationship to spark. Earlier this year, after going weeks without a match, much less a date, I removed from my dating profiles any pictures that made my disabilities apparent. After weeks without a match, I made several within an hour.
With my visible deformities, I’m seriously handicapped right from the start. There are people I rejected, and who rejected me, because after one date or several, it was obvious those were missing, and that’s just the way it goes.
I’ve had people in my life that have made me feel like I was a burden for asking them not to use certain products around me.” Disabled people need our partners to put in their share of the effort around unlearning harmful stereotypes and assumptions about the disability community, accessibility, and accommodations.
Their first step should be to listen and empathize.
These chats were light, flirty, tinged with sexuality. Growing up, I so often thought I was missing out on an unobtainable normalcy, as if there were a door to the life everyone else experienced that was locked to me.
I could see and hear the good life beyond, but I couldn’t participate.
She accompanied me on my first few trips out of the house using it, and when we navigated public transit together, I felt safe and confident that I had a great support system on my side.