I stared at the message before it rang: “Sorry, I was passing by and saw the frame you mentioned and decided this was not for me. Even so, thanks!
already at the cafe, my walker (Kaye Walker) sits in a corner, discreetly – well, for me – put away. I didn’t even see him walking towards me.
And I don’t know why, but it was the word “thx” that really bothered me. Even though he saw my frame before he saw me (I turned my back on it) and only ran before saying hello.
This basically sums up my dating life in 2022. Full disclosure: he knew I had mild cerebral palsy (CP) and I told him I could carry frames, so no surprise.
What’s interesting is that he had many opportunities to retreat before I arrived, but chose to do so when he arrived (and he came because the bartender saw him, his reaction and gave me two free coffees to cheer me up).
The above is one of many knock-backs in over 10 years of online dating. I’m 35 and have been turning apps on and off since I was in my 20s. I lived in Dublin and London at the time and tried Tinder (it’s never coming back on phones), Bumble and Hinge.
The second one I like to use the most in London — it’s the most fun. With Bumble, I felt like there was too much work to do to get a match. Tinder was fine in my 20s but I got over it quickly. So when it comes to navigating the rocky terrain of disability and love, some wisdom has stuck.
First, ‘it’s a numbers game’ doesn’t work with a disability. When I was chatting with First date‘ Mateo Saina in February about trying to find love as a woman with a disability (for another feature), he said ‘thx’ rejections are rejections that you should be discarded. It’s a numbers game, he said, and if you don’t make up the numbers, you have less chance.
But even getting a number is hard when it comes to disclosing your disability – when I was open about CP early on, absences, ghosting or rejection go hand in hand even before the first date. first. So the information tells you, it will take longer to get your number. Growing a thick (and fast) skin is indeed the way forward.
I also learned that getting creative with profiles makes a big difference. To disclose or not to disclose? I’ve tried both and had terrible experiences when I didn’t tell first because you can’t see my flaws until I’m up.
Video of the day
One guy told me it was “disgusting” not to say it first, another managed and spilled his drink on me when I got up, he said it was just a “shock”. “. So from then on, I uploaded a picture with help. Sometimes on my profile, “yes CP, swipe for more info” and sometimes not. It all depends on who you match with.
The two female friends, also with CP, said nothing until they first dated and married both men (separately). If you feel nervous about disclosing it before the relationship is established, it is best to disclose it early.
I’ve also found that the right mindset will get you out of bad dates. 2016 Census figures show that one in seven people in Ireland has a disability, so more people than you think know or have dated someone with a disability. We all have bad dates, but online dating with a disability means you’ll end up with more bad dates than good in the first place.
There was a guy who was so drunk that he burst into tears at the end of the date because he felt sorry for me and the other took his ex with him (without telling me in advance) because he didn’t know how he felt about CP at the last minute. “.
He assured me they wouldn’t hang out again when I called him out. She would only have one person and, since he was “a little more relaxed” about CP seeing me, we could “come back to our date later”. It was the strangest experience.
But I’ve learned that thinking helps. A friend who works with CP advises, “It’s not your fault if they have a problem with their disability – it’s their problem if they have a problem.” If you date with this mindset, you’ll be less concerned when bad people show up. And when you don’t care, you shine.
It also helps to prepare answers to awkward questions about sex. You will be asked them. You know you can do it. “Can you do it, really, I mean ‘the right way’?” “Which location, why not this location?” Or comments like “I don’t really like you but I want to see what it is like” (block these people unless that’s your vibe). Have your answers ready. My favorite sentence is: “No, it’s okay, I’ll teach you.” I am either blocked or dated.
I think dating people with disabilities in general is down to luck and being in the right place at the right time. Did I mention I’m naturally unlucky? But I have met some kind, funny, interesting men through perseverance and luck.
And in the words of Mateo Saina: “Remember, when you’re not interested, you’re the most attractive person in the room.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/dating-with-a-disability-one-guy-got-so-drunk-then-cried-because-he-said-he-felt-so-sorry-for-me-42206426.html Dating a disabled person: The guy got drunk and burst into tears because he said he felt ‘sorry’ with me