Relationships & Sex

How to spot and deal with dating a disability admirer

Disabled dating sites are not just popular among disabled individuals, but are sometimes used by people called ‘disability admirers’. Admirers are those drawn to disabled people for a variety of reasons, some of whom don’t have the best intentions or value the disabled person for who they are, not just their disability. 

Here, disabled dating site Meet Disabled Singles, talks through the considerations if you do decide to date one, as well as spot the red flags that they’re someone you should avoid.

Don’t tolerate someone they don’t appreciate you

If you fear that someone is approaching or dating you purely because they’re interested in your disability, be cautious.

Let them know that you want someone who will love you for you, not simply because you have an impairment they find fascinating or even a turn on.

If, on the other hand, they do appreciate you as a person, but also particularly admire your disability, you can be open to a relationship, but make sure you’re clear early on about what you want and set boundaries.

Be clear about what you’re looking for

Admirers sometimes simply want a casual relationship or sex, so this can be a sign that they’re only interested in your disability.

That isn’t always the case though, so if you too would rather just have some fun and take your time figuring out exactly what you want, then don’t feel you have to dismiss them.

If, however, you want a long-term commitment, then someone who just wants a casual relationship is not going to meet your needs.

Either way, if you can, make it clear from the get-go that compatible wishes are crucial for you to make any relationship work, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

If the other person decides they can’t give you what you want, you definitely shouldn’t waste your time with them. If you feel you can’t meet their needs, be honest and say so.

Make your feelings known

As your relationship progresses, it will become that much easier to understand each other. But in the early stages, communicate that you want to be loved just like anyone else.

You don’t want pity, help or advice on your health, or for them to call you ‘brave’ or a ‘hero’. Someone regularly using these terms or displaying this behaviour could be focusing too much on your disability.

Tell them to treat you in the same manner they’d treat any other able-bodied individual.

To you, these are all pretty obvious things and anyone with just a little bit of common sense should know them. But, in reality, some able-bodied people need to be told how to act around you, and sometimes more than once.

Assert your independence

Most people are altruistic and want to help someone in need. The trouble here is that you’re not in need. However, an able-bodied person, particularly an admirer, might not see things that way.

In their mind, offering to help you shows they care, so remember that. It doesn’t always mean they’re patronising you.

However, if it’s frustrating or upsetting you, make your feelings known. Tell them or, better yet, demonstrate how independent you are.

If they continue to ‘help’ despite your wishes, it could be time to reconsider the relationship.

Your partner wants to be needed

If you find yourself dating an admirer – or in fact, anyone – it can be helpful to understand where they’re coming from.

Often, admirers are people who are attracted to vulnerability as they yearn to be needed and appreciated themselves. If your partner feels safe around you and you love that, then there’s nothing wrong with it. Not all admirers are predators or looking for people who can’t fight back.

It’s also important to note that disabled people usually aren’t portrayed as sexual beings, so when a person is attracted to you and shows sexual affection, it can feel unnerving or make you feel cautious.

If you’ve been open with them, made it clear what you want and showed that you are more than capable of taking care of yourself, it could be worth exploring the relationship.

By Meet Disabled Singles

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