We all know that dating can be hard. But it can be even harder if you’ve recently become disabled. 34-year-old Amanda has been an amputee of five years. She recently joined DatingAmputees.com to find love. Here, she shares what she learnt about dating after limb loss to encourage and inspire others to get back to dating.
Finding true love is one of the most challenging things a person can do. In this day and age, when everything is consumable – people included – opening yourself up to someone, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of then, takes some serious guts.
Add limb loss into the equation certainly doesn’t make things easier, but it is very much possible. That sense of belonging to someone else, letting go of your inhibitions and expectations, and surrendering to your loved one is worth the trouble.
As an amputee of more than five years, I know what it’s like to put yourself out there, to get rejected and to try time and again. However, amputee dating has taught me that I’m much more than my amputated limb. Anyone can get a prosthetic to replace their arm or leg, but if they don’t have a good heart and soul, you’ve got nothing.
After lots of attempts, I’ve managed to find someone I can call my own. Here’s what I learned along the way. I hope that by sharing my experiences I will inspire others to not give up.
1. Restoring confidence is difficult but possible
Reaching and maintaining a high level of self-confidence is difficult for anyone, but it’s particularly hard for an amputee. As someone who hasn’t always lived with limb loss, it was hard coming to terms with how different I looked.
To rebuild my confidence, I focused on the things that matter. I found that simply living and enjoying my life ultimately made dating much easier.
Work on being a positive person that people want to hang out with. A person who inspires others. A person whose values and outlooks on life are ones that others aspire to have.
The essential parts of you are still there – your heart, soul and your brain. You can love someone who’s missing a limb, but you can’t love someone who’s missing a heart!
2. Rejection will happen but it’s not personal
Rejection happens to the best of us, in every sphere of life. So it’s only natural that it happens in dating, whether you have a disability or not. People reject each other for all sorts of reasons. It certainly happened to me, and to everyone else, so don’t take it personally.
But if someone rejects you because you’re an amputee, they’re absolutely not worth your time. You wouldn’t want a person like that in your life anyway because they’ve clearly got issues.
If someone can’t see past your amputated limb, they’re insecure and shallow. You don’t have time for such trivial and childish games – you’re busy living your life, not pretending to be something you’re not.
3. Talk openly and comfortably about your amputation
If you think tonight is the night that you will reveal that you have a prosthetic limb to your date, practice what you’ll say beforehand. Go over their potential questions in your head and prepare a few answers.
They’ll certainly ask you a few things, and the more comfortable you are talking about them, the more comfortable your date will feel. Be prepared to talk about how your limb loss happened and what your daily routine looks like.
Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of being an amputee, talk about the positive sides too, such as your proudest moment when regaining your independence. When you’re comfortable talking about your life, your date will feel relaxed about it too.
4. Be confident
The more confident you are about yourself, the more attractive you’ll be. Talk about what makes you the kind of person that you are.
Just like anyone else, amputees have successful careers, participate in sports, have hobbies and interests and lots of friends and family. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be one of them.
Keep your head up knowing that you won’t find what you’re looking for only! So be yourself and have faith – you’ll get there.
By Amanda for Amputee Dating
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