Dating with a Disability: Part 1

Dating with a Disability: Part 1

Part one of a series.

Last summer, I was looking through some BioNews Services articles when I came across one about online dating. The young woman who wrote the article talked about how she never felt like she fit in at school and because of that, she hadn’t ever dated anyone. She went on to say how she was considering making a dating app profile. I empathized with her story because I had never dated anyone either. I’ve never really known how to interact with guys, and I didn’t dare try for fear of looking like a fool. That day, I decided I was done waiting for that Hollywood movie moment when some stranger would walk up to me and start flirting. The article gave me the courage to finally make my own online dating profile.

Of course, there were things that scared me about putting myself out there. I wondered what people’s reactions would be once I told them about my disease. I worried that men would think that I’d be easy to take advantage of. Another concern was how I was going to break the news that I was disabled. Maybe I’d include some pictures of myself in my wheelchair, but that could deter people from wanting to get to know me. Putting it in my profile description didn’t sound like a bad idea but what if that was still too soon? I certainly didn’t want to wait until the first date and surprise the guy. That, to me, just didn’t seem like the right way to introduce myself to someone.
I decided to research other people with disabilities who also struggled with dating. While cruising YouTube one day, I came across a dating coach with muscular dystrophy named Amin. In the video, “Online dating with a disability,” Amin answers a question from a fan about being on dating apps while having a disability. Amin replied that when telling someone about your disability, you should approach the situation with positivity.
I think that the key to online dating is the ability to take things with a grain of salt. Not once in the many times that people ghosted me after I told them I had a chronic illness did I take it personally. I realize that some people aren’t willing or able to be in a relationship with someone like me. That is perfectly fine, and it has nothing to do with me.
We all deserve to be loved. Whether you’re able-bodied or disabled, finding love takes perseverance, but it is not impossible.

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Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.

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