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 Luthion
Joined: 12/1/2008
Msg: 1
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Disability and DatingPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I would like to stress something before I continue writing this, because I know how easily stuff like this can get misconstrued and misinterpreted on here... this is *not* a pity post. I am not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me, to come across as some sort of victim, or expect a perfect answer. I am genuinely looking for advice regarding my situation, even if the answers aren't necessarily what I'd like to hear.

So, long story short, I have been dealing with a progressive physical disability over the past two years that has been increasingly limiting my ability to walk and get around. Some days it is okay, and I can get about like any normal person, but 9 days out 10 I'm limited to my personal residence. It is a very pain inducing disability, and it screws with my focus on concentration a lot during the worst flare-ups.

It is very likely something that is not going to go away, so I have to accept it as part of who am I. I've talked to people despite this thing, gone on a few dates, and even made some long term friends, but I haven't developed anything too serious with anyone in a while. But I've always had a few people tell me straight up that my disability was too much baggage to deal with.

Is it wrong of me to put myself out there for dating / potential relationships? It *does* limit what I can give. I know I have a good heart and a lot of genuine qualities to give someone, and nobody wants to be lonely... but I just don't know if it is fair of me to expect someone to deal with it.

Again, I'm looking for honest answers, not pity. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this and reply.

Thank you.
 Indira46
Joined: 8/19/2012
Msg: 2
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/16/2013 7:44:36 PM
It is absolutely not wrong to have yourself out there dating. Explain your situation to your dates. If they are not interested, so be it. Just from reading your posts, I can tell you are a very intelligent man, both emotionally and...I can't find the word, but you know what I mean. You have a lot to offer and someone will see that.
 LiterateHiker
Joined: 11/30/2012
Msg: 3
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/16/2013 7:54:41 PM
I think you need to say something about your disability in your profile. Without mentioning your disability in advance, you are setting up women for an uncomfortable experience when they meet you.

A progressive disability is one that is expected to worsen. That does not mean you can’t have a satisfying life. However, it does mean that you need to adapt to your changing disability and plan for how things may be different in the future.

Many disabled men in wheelchairs enjoy good marriages and have children. These men have have engaging, fun personalities that draw people to them.

Get involved in activities you enjoy where you will meet women. You might consider joining a dating websites for disabled people. A quick search showed at least 10 options for you.
 BelleAtlantic
Joined: 11/7/2012
Msg: 4
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/16/2013 7:55:18 PM
That depends on your view of dating.

It sounds like you are asking if you can expect a relationship to flourish out of dating, given your limitations. I see value in meeting people and getting to know them whether it leads to something or not. Their ability to "deal with it" is their choice, but how would you know if you stop dating due to considering it unrealistic?

Is the expectation realistic? It's as realistic as people falling in love with people no matter what. Just be upfront about it if you see that dating someone is leading to 2nd and 3rd dates. I wouldn't say anything during the first date, the first date is not a tell-all, more will be revealed with time.
 Luthion
Joined: 12/1/2008
Msg: 5
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/16/2013 8:03:39 PM
@Hiker, I used to have in it my profile, but then someone suggested that it would only put people off by mentioning it straight off the bat. The opinions I get on it keep going back and forth. Some say I should tell people after a few conversations, others say I should mention it right up front. I would never not mention it before meeting them though - that would be unfair and selfish.

"However, it does mean that you need to adapt to your changing disability and plan for how things may be different in the future."

Yeah, I agree. It's been a lot of change in a very short span of time. I'm not going to lie, it's been a difficult adjustment. I feel its selfish of me to expect someone to adjust with me.

@Belle, Yeah, that is a good way of phrasing it. I don't go into relationships with any inherent expectations, but settling down in the near future is a nice thought.

It's the kind of disability that is pretty up front though. Depending on the severity on the day, I will either be using a stick or a chair, so it isn't really something that one can hold off on pointing out until a second or third date.
 theanswerguy2
Joined: 4/3/2013
Msg: 6
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/16/2013 10:05:05 PM
Sorry to hear of your misfortune.



Is it wrong of me to put myself out there for dating / potential relationships?


Absolutely not. People in wheelchairs date and get married, blind people date and get married, etc. There is even a woman on POF who was born with no arms and no legs. As long as you are upfront about the situation, no one can claim to be deceived. Best of luck with your health and your search.

If it is any comfort, I have always been in excellent health , and still am, the healthiest person I know, and there is no line forming at my door either.
 import_from_UK
Joined: 3/20/2013
Msg: 7
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/17/2013 3:23:00 AM
It's not wrong of you to put yourself out there. Few of us are the perfect human beings in the perfect situation.

That said, it seems you already are being realistic about understanding that your pool is limited - just as is the case for each and everyone one of us.

Certainly, some people will have no interest in dating you due to your health issues - if I'm honest, I'm not sure I would date someone in your situation as it seems that your level of dependency on a partner will increase and I already have dependents to take care of - physically and financially. Although of course, I understand life doesn't come with guarantees and any one I date may develop health issues, just as I might, there's a difference when starting a relationship with that situation. Just as your health eliminates some from your dating pool, my status as a sole parent eliminates many from mine. It's just the reality and neither of us can change our situations any more than others can change aspects of theirs.

But just because most of us don't have a large pool of people open to dating us, that doesn't mean there isn't anyone and it doesn't mean that we aren't entitled to try and find it. You only need one person - just the right person.

Meeting a partner for any of us in down to sheer chance anyway. The odds of crossing paths with the right person are slim. If you consider the many hundreds of people we all meet in a life-time, all of whom were put in our paths by chance. Every single person who matters to us, we met by chance. Family members are there because of the chance they happen to be born into the same family. Friends are there because by chance they happened to be in the same place at the same time as us - school, work, a party, the mall but every one a chance meeting, where we interacted with one another and liked/enjoyed the experience enough to keep that person in our life. So we meet hundreds of people and choose to hold on to a few - and even fewer we decide to date and maybe develop a relationship with.

You can't control who you meet. You can't control how well you gel with that person. You can't control their reaction to you or your circumstances. But you can control your willingness to be open to them if they happen along.

Who cares if others think you it's wrong for you to seek a partner. If it's what you hope for, you do it. Sure, the odds of it happening are slim but they are slim for us all. We only fail when we stop trying.
 motown_cowgirl
Joined: 12/22/2011
Msg: 8
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/17/2013 4:52:33 AM
Is it wrong of me to put myself out there for dating / potential relationships?

why would it be wrong? we all come into this world with our own limitations (self-imposed or otherwise) and looking for the one person who fits our lives for all the important reasons. and whether that ever happens or not is based mostly on a whole bunch of stuff you'll never be able to control directly. you can influence things one way or the other, a little bit or maybe a lot. you can tweak the edges of the thing. the most you can ever really do is just make as many opportunities for yourself as possible, and then see how those opportunities bear fruit. so it's not a question of right or wrong, but just a statement about the way things are. your feelings about it one way or the other are not the same as the facts, but feelings harden into attitudes, and attitudes determine the opportunities you either create for yourself, or miss entirely because you were too distracted by your own attitudes.


I just don't know if it is fair of me to expect someone to deal with it.

your expectations are secondary and insignificant. your expectations just feel like they're right up in front because you already had them.

it's not really a question of fair or unfair. if somebody doesn't want to deal with it, they simply won't. i know there are lots of things about other people i don't want to deal with, and nobody is going to convince me to change my mind about it.

it doesn't really matter whether you disclose the disability on your profile, or wait until later to tell them; because they will find out (insert scathing judgment about whether you didn't tell them soon enough OR whether they didn't give you a fair chance), and then they'll either tell you "straight up", or they'll make excuses. and in that respect, this is no different than what all of us go through here.

"putting yourself out there for dating / potential relationships" is a perpetual exercise in the process of elimination and the practice of making the kinds of judgments we all demand to have the unrestrained liberty to make, but loathe to be on the receiving end of. when you recognize the ego in that equation, you don't have to be attached to the results. lots of men think being 5'7" or not having enough $$$ is a disability. for women, the standard disabilities are being too old or insufficiently attractive. meanwhile, everyone is sitting around saying no and never having a problem with that, but kvetching about hard it is to get what they want out of somebody else they don't even know and have never met. that's the childish, demanding ego..... it's an absurd little emotional leech. it will suck all the joie de vivre right out of you if you let it. people become possessed. nobody is going to die if they don't get a relationship.

"wrong and fair"... makes me wonder if maybe you're stuck in a judgment mode about others' judgments about the disability. (???)
 Deadliest_Snatch
Joined: 10/25/2012
Msg: 9
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/17/2013 5:13:16 AM
I dunno.

Maybe online dating isn't the best venue (though there are "disabled" sites).
Everything about online seems to be geared toward seeking the disqualifiers.
Can you commit to something outside the home?
If your pain/ condition makes it hard to follow through with plans, that's a challenge.
 LoneScottishBoy
Joined: 2/13/2012
Msg: 10
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/17/2013 9:51:17 AM
I would tend to view it as an extra filter.
Although it plays INITIALLY as a negative, it will also help to filter out those who are "less understanding". I think that might play out as a positive at the end. The gal who can make it past that filter knows what she is capable of doing. I understand the challenge that this will bring up for women, and understand how it might be a tough thing to present. But you are what you are.
Nothing will change that.

Above all else, I dont think it's ever a bad idea to be honest.
 MsMaggieMay
Joined: 2/2/2013
Msg: 11
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/17/2013 12:38:13 PM
We have a pretty similar situation,but I would say that you are worse off then I am physically. Once you tell people about the issues you have to live with every day they either tuck tail and run or ask way too many personal questions to the point of wanting your medical records. I'm sorry but If I have only talked to you a few times online I'm not going into great detail about my medical records. After awhile you begin to feel that you may as well not be alive anymore,well at least I feel that way,you may not. Most days I just don't see the point in continuing what will be a lonely existence on top of going through what I have to go through.
 lostnfoundluv
Joined: 1/10/2009
Msg: 12
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/17/2013 2:17:08 PM
If I was in your condition I would definitly mention in my profile what I was suffering from and at the same time I would list different ailments in others you are ok with Like someone in wheel chair or hearing loss or spastic or whatever you are comfortable with .
 jc91607
Joined: 1/21/2013
Msg: 13
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/17/2013 7:56:31 PM
If you want something, go for it. You are far better off going for something and getting rejected than wondering to yourself , "What if?"

You are probably aware you may have to lower your standards and are going to get a lot more rejection than guys who have no disabilities, but that does not mean you have to give up trying to live your life. Think of love as a casino. Most guys with 2 good legs have to spin the roulette wheel 30 times before they win and you will have to spin the wheel while you may have to spin the wheel 60 times or 100 times. But unlike the casino, you are not going to go broke spinning the wheel. So go out there and spin that wheel and spin it often!
 dobbie101
Joined: 1/24/2011
Msg: 14
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/21/2013 7:14:32 PM
It seems to me that just about everybody has a disability of one sort or another....yours is in that category...one sort or another. Fibromyalgia...Leprosy...ADD...Body Dysmorphic Disorder...Small nose...Big feet....
(Primarily...maybe..) it seems that the idea in dating is to be seen to be perfect, and then find someone who can accept that perfection...imperfect though they may be. So you are imperfect...shout it from the rooftops...don't hide behind it. No (normal) person wishes to visit disability upon themselves...it is simply a matter of genetics or accidents...whatever the cause of the disability is not particularly important. If a person does not wish to date you because of your disability...big deal...their loss....
One small thing to consider though...If you do not tell the truth up front, you may very well be considered a liar at best and a manipulator at worst.
 Jerilyn
Joined: 1/13/2012
Msg: 15
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/21/2013 7:28:04 PM
You deserve to have someone in your life just as much as anyone else does.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 16
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/22/2013 7:29:37 PM
If you were to do a thread search, this topic has been discussed countless times. Just the name of the poster and specifics of disability have changed on each thread. The responses boil down to the same type of answer in all cases-most abled body people won't, but the trick is to find the one or two who will. As for the question as to putting it on your profile, my answer would be most definitely. Springing it on to somebody after making contact and during initial conversation is deception. You don't have to give details of how limiting it is. Just put down the name of the disability and let people do their own initial research on it, so that they know what to expect.
 Luthion
Joined: 12/1/2008
Msg: 17
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/24/2013 4:54:51 AM
Thank you to everyone who replies to this thread.

I would love to respond to everyone directly, but there's been so many replies that I wouldn't even know where to begin. I have read and considered the perspective of every last one of your comments, and I appreciate the compassion, respect and (above all) honesty of them all.

I agree that I should state it in my profile. I like to pride myself on being an honest and genuine person, so its the right thing to do. If someone isn't able to openly accept my limitations and imperfections, they wouldn't really be the sort of person I would want to know anyway.

I would rather be damned if I do than damned if I don't. Hahaha.
 midable
Joined: 5/19/2013
Msg: 18
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/24/2013 9:58:25 AM
Another option is to seek out others who share your disability or are in a similar situation. There are also some niche dating sites.
 dmzvisitor
Joined: 3/25/2011
Msg: 19
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/24/2013 10:30:04 AM
Go for it. Keep it in your profile--only women willing to consider it will reply/contact you. Full disclosure, plus a statement about what you expect to be able to plan and handle on your own, will demonstrate that you view this as your responsibility and do not intend to burden another with it. By showing that you are thinking ahead, you make it easier for women who are interested in you but perhaps concerned about taking on more than they can handle.

You would want to discuss long-term implications, of course, with anyone considering a long-term involvement. Being open about what the possibilities are, and how disabled you might become/what you plan for that stage, again are things to be thinking about and preparing for now, as a way of showing your respect for anyone with whom you might be involved. The "I plan for you to figure it out and take care of me" approach just won't cut it. You should know, and be willing to disclose, how much care you may need in the future and how much it will cost, as well as how you might be able to afford it (if at all).

You have every right to enjoy life as much as anyone else. There are plenty of people who do not consider a disability to be a "deal breaker." Some will choose not to get involved--probably more a reflection on them, or their current situation, than anything else. Others will not see it as a big issue--esp. anyone who has been raised or otherwise lived with someone with a disability.

Don't shortchange yourself or assume the worst about others. You sound like you have taken this incredibly hard knock with a lot of grace and someone will find that attractive.

And good luck!
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 20
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/25/2013 12:48:25 PM

Is it wrong of me to put myself out there for dating / potential relationships?

No. It is not.
Be HONEST about your limitations, not apologetic. The Universe doesn't owe ANYBODY "fairness"-but why don't you let other people you encounter make their own decisions about what they consider to be "fair".
I think the worst mistake you could mak would be to act defensive, apologetic, or seem to be begging for a chance at a relationship. I also cannot support suggestions that you confine your "search area" to only other disabled or disadvantaged people. And I certainly cannot support any suggestion that you accept a relationship with someone because you think you have to "settle for" anthing that falls your way.
Living life while dealing with challenges to health and functionality is difficult enough, without adding a "settled for" partnership to further complicate your life.
I suggest that you seek some advice from your medical care team, your family(if possible),and whatever community resources as to planning for your care and well-being should your illness become significantly limiting,that way you can assure anyone you happen to date/fall in love with, that it IS all about love, and not about you lining up a caregiver...and then YOU won't be worried that you'll become burdensome to your SO.
Cindy O
 dingbat77
Joined: 11/20/2011
Msg: 21
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/29/2013 9:54:22 AM
I agree with what has been said some people can see past the disability but to others it is a handicap for "them" .
In my case I have Arthritis some days It is hard to tell if anything wrong with me , on others I can walk about 500yds before I get severe pain in my back from wasted muscles and have to sit down. walking hand in hand is difficult as I walk quite slow. I have always been up front and have told them my limitations

My last two relationships have ended after a few months , it has gone the same way , the gals have tried not to not let my disability get in the way, but both were quite active ladies and enjoyed walking and sightseeing etc.

The last one started talking about planning a walking holiday to the far East and a walking holiday with friends in the UK , so it was only a matter of time before I got the "Can we just be friends" text.

So whilst some people can ignore the disability, if it starts impacting on what they can do with a (new) partner ie types of holidays then in my experience it may end quite quickly.

It is easy to date in Winter ,when no one wants to walk far , but come summer or holidays then it becomes an issue :-)

So there is some merit in meeting someone with a similar disability or maybe a filter on here with the number of yards one can walk.
 IAmTheGreatCornholio
Joined: 6/7/2013
Msg: 22
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/30/2013 6:20:34 AM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with you wanting to date, just be upfront about your disability. I have a friend who, just out of high school met a girl online with a disability. She's confined to a wheelchair and his limited use of her arms. They have been together almost 15 years and he loves her and takes care of her despite that. Don't let your disability keep your from finding the one for you. There is somebody out there!
 dingbat77
Joined: 11/20/2011
Msg: 23
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/30/2013 4:52:26 PM
Nothing wrong at all , but from my own experience, if disabled one is more likely to meet that special someone in the real world than online where the other person can get to know you socially and see past the disability.

Not saying it can't happen but looking at the profiles , most who date online have a long list of wants and expectations and are unlikely to choose someone who has a disability unless the person has some real wow factor.

In my opinion it is no different to someone searching online for a new car , in my case why would someone choose one that breaks down every 500yds and needs to be re-started over the several hundred fully working models.

Yes one may be lucky , like in the above example but one has to be realistic and not get ones hopes raised, most people I know who have disabilities ( one missing a leg, the other confined to a wheelchair) and have found partners have cracking personalities which may not come over online.

Difficult if you can't get out but I have had more success by joining Meetup/Social groups than dating sites.
 jc91607
Joined: 1/21/2013
Msg: 24
Disability and Dating
Posted: 6/30/2013 10:50:59 PM

It seems to me that just about everybody has a disability of one sort or another....yours is in that category...one sort or another. Fibromyalgia...Leprosy...ADD...Body Dysmorphic Disorder...Small nose...Big feet....
(Primarily...maybe..) it seems that the idea in dating is to be seen to be perfect, and then find someone who can accept that perfection...imperfect though they may be. So you are imperfect...shout it from the rooftops...don't hide behind it. No (normal) person wishes to visit disability upon themselves...it is simply a matter of genetics or accidents...whatever the cause of the disability is not particularly important. If a person does not wish to date you because of your disability...big deal...their loss....
One small thing to consider though...If you do not tell the truth up front, you may very well be considered a liar at best and a manipulator at worst.


Some disabilities are pronounced than others. Some disabilities have such a profound impact on a person's life. Some of us have disabilities we can work around or hide to all but only the keenest of observers. Others have disabilities which are readily obvious to all and can lead to various social stigmas.

You are right. None of us is a perfect human specimen. We all have flaws. However, there is a big difference between someone with a mild case of ADD who had a little difficulty staying focused during their high school geometry class and a quadraplegic. There is a big difference between somebody who is missing a ligament in their arm and has a little problem throwing a baseball and a person with severe mental retardation.
 dingbat77
Joined: 11/20/2011
Msg: 25
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Disability and Dating
Posted: 7/1/2013 4:02:35 AM
Indeed quite a lot of people are rejected for being overweight or too short or for not being in the right income bracket , so one has to be realistic about the chances of matching if you have an obvious disability
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