The topic of love and relationships can be a delicate subject for anyone.But for someone with a disability, it can be particularly fraught and is often laden with many deep and dark “what ifs.” Meeting the right someone is challenging in a day and age where people are so heavily consumed by their jobs and attached to social media that they forget to go out and enjoy themselves and the company of others in an environment free from the intrusion of technology.In a world where judgments on a person’s worth seem to be made within the first 30 seconds, having a pair of crutches, a walk similar to Pingu and often a wheelchair in tow can mean that the odds often feel stacked against you right from the offset.That being said, in early 2014 I decided that if I can’t beat technology, I might as well join it.Hopefully when someone meets me, they will realize that despite my disability, I have an awful lot to offer and can be quite good fun!I can wholeheartedly vouch for the success of this option, with all guys I went on a date with telling me that they appreciated my honesty prior to meeting up, and if they were successful in securing a second date, telling me that Googling spina bifida is scary!
This is something I tried early on in my online dating adventure and controversially I must admit that it was not my favorite option!Without wanting to sound arrogant, I was immediately quite popular and was enjoying the attention greatly.However, when it came to meeting up with people, I began to get nervous.Different people hold different opinions about how best to deal with this scenario.
Broadly speaking, there are three options: 1) Don’t tell your date until you meet them in person. Having been on the receiving end of that split second recoil and look of shock (followed by the awkward silence) when standing up and reaching for my crutches after having been chatted up at a bar, I feel this is a bad idea.
Furthermore, I really do not feel that it would be fair to the guy that I was meeting, as it immediately puts him in an unfairly awkward situation.