Dating confessions of a 20-something disabled guy: part one

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Dating is rarely straightforward, and sometimes less so if you have a disability. It certainly involves time and energy, often mishaps and embarrassments, but if you’re lucky and have humour, then you can find the thing we all desire… love. So there are bound to be some scintillating stories from this single  20-something, disabled guy, as he shares his dating diaries…

It’s 10.55pm and I’m sat at my computer, tabbing between Facebook and Gmail while I try to decide if this is a good idea or not. On the one hand, it’ll probably be a lot of fun. On the other, it might blow up in my face.

Here’s the deal:

I’m in my early 20s
I’m disabled
I use an electric wheelchair all day
I’m reliant on personal assistants for everything
I’m single…

… these are my confessions, written down in all their glory, for your pleasure.

So why am I doing this?

I have no particular desire to broadcast details of my life, especially not my love life. Instead, I’m doing this because somebody needs to tell the truth about what it’s like to date with a disability. Somebody needs to ‘lift the veil’ on how being disabled affects dating, whether it makes it more difficult, but also see how to overcome those difficulties.

For many people this is an emotional issue while others, usually those already in relationships, don’t understand what all the fuss is about. I have no interest in sugar coating things, nor do I want to make it more of a big deal than it is. I don’t know what to think so I’m going to find out through experiment.

Over the next few weeks you’ll be able to read all sorts about my misadventures. This is going to be an honest account, every word you read will be true. If you have a disability and are looking to date, I’ll share what worked for me so you can copy it. Or, if you’re just nosey (who isn’t?) then it’ll be fun to read too.

How is this going to work?

Every few weeks, maybe more often, you’re going to get an exciting update on my progress so you can get a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to date with a disability… all without getting your hands dirty, so to speak.

Listen, the honest reason I’m still single is because I’ve put no effort into finding someone. I’m ambitious, busy and I work from home so I don’t get much chance to meet people. The most direct way to get some results fast seems to be online dating so I’m going to hit that shit like a bullet train.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

1. Signed up on Plenty Of Fish (pof.com) because it’s free and has the largest user base.
2. Written myself a profile and added a picture, just a mugshot, not the chair!
3. Started messaging girls. So far I’ve sent messages to around 10.
4. We’ll see how many replies I get!

A short perusal of my ‘matches’ was a LOT of fun. Some of these girls are crazy I mean, have you read some of those things? They go like this:

“SUBMISSIVES ONLY. Hey, I’m a dangerously insecure nymphomaniac with borderline personality disorder and daddy issue. Only message me if you’re a small, hairless (preferably Asian) slave up for fun with whips and chains who will act like an alpha male in front of my dad.”

Or like this:

“I’m def a party girl; like totally only happy if I’m simultaneously drinking ecstasy with my vodka, giving a hand job to a guy from TOWIE and posing for one of those AMAZEBALLS branded nightclub photos. Message me for emotional blackmail, trash TV and Herpes. YOLO!!“

Or:

“Pleasingly plump, unwashed, former teenage-mum wants to meet sincere fun loving man to care for her and her lovely 18 children.”

Honestly, these are only slightly exaggerated versions of real profiles I found today. Does the quality, or lack thereof, of girls put me off? You’ll be surprised to hear, not at all. There are plenty of normal, even attractive and interesting people on there too.

The key appears to be to separate the wheat from the chaff, the dirt from the gold, the meth addict from the naturally skinny, the VD-ridden prostitute from the harmlessly slutty. I jest, but seriously, I’m enjoying this already!

The good ones are easy to spot, they stand out like the disabled guy at a concert.

INSIDER TIP: If you’re worried about your competition, check out their profiles, most of the guys I looked at are nothing special, total douchebags or worse.

Next time you’ll hear about my first interactions, maybe I’ll have even had a date!

Speak soon.

By “a 20-something disabled guy”

Check out…

 The Undateables: what’s it doing for disabled people?
 Faiza Siddiqui: my sex life after injury
• Disability and TV: is it time for our close up?

Dating or in a relationship and want to tell your story? Get in touch by messaging us on Facebook, tweeting us @DHorizons, emailing us at editor@disabilityhorizons.com or leaving your comments below.

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2 Responses to “Dating confessions of a 20-something disabled guy: part one”

  1. The Goldfish
    03/02/2014 at 2:17 pm #

    I share your hope that it doesn’t blow up in your face, but this isn’t a great start.

    Joking about women who are “crazy” and characterising women with Borderline Personality Disorder as sexually depraved is no more acceptable than jokes made by ambulant women about how they’d never date a wheelchair-using man because of their own stereotyped ideas about unmanliness, sexual inadequacy and financial dependency.

    There are weird people with high expectations about and it’s perfectly possible to talk and joke about this fact without having to be vile towards other disabled people.

    If you’re not interested in dating mothers or women with mental ill health, and have very specific ideas about precise level of sexual experience a prospective girlfriend must have, that’s all fine. But do remember that women who don’t meet your criteria are not “poor quality”, “chaff” or “dirt” – they’re just not a good match for you.

    I know this is all meant in humour and the author is very young. However, I am shocked and disappointed that Disability Horizons published this article as it stands.

    • Disabilityhorizons
      03/02/2014 at 4:53 pm #

      Hi! Thanks for taking the time to comment and sorry that you found the
      article inappropriate. We make it a point to never sanitise or censor
      people’s views as they are views and opinions from our community. For example, last year, we ran an article about a man who visited prostitutes in Las Vegas. Many people would argue that this man visiting a prostitute was a form of exploitation and morally wrong, and that we at Disability Horizons should not permit such views to be published. However, we believe that debate and openness is better, even if that means allowing publication of views that other people may find wholly disagreeable.

      Many of the author’s comments were made tongue-in-cheek / in jest and when read in context, some of the comments you cite, merely reflect
      the author’s surprise and humour at what he was reading on a dating
      site. While some may view this as extreme or prejudicial, the author may argue that he is likely to share views that other young men in their early 20s have, whether they are disabled or not.

      I’m sure the author will take on board your comments and am sure did not intend to cause any offence.

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