Fighting Dystonia, Chronic Lyme Disease & EDS Type 3… any questions?

Disabled Dating; A Taboo?

Back in 2012 when I first became ill I was in a long-term happy relationship, however my partner at the time did not deal at all well with my disability. He soon ended our relationship. At the time I had not given a moment’s thought to the difference between dating when you’re able-bodied and dating when you’re disabled. The reason for this is because to me I have always believed that it is who you are on the inside that counts, to me it does not matter if you have one leg or six!

My views however are that of a minority of people’s it would seem. Whilst people are happy to get to know you, anything beyond friendship would seem to be forbidden. To many it is just too embarrassing to be romantically linked to someone disabled, simply because we differ from the norm. This idea, to me, was reinforced when several months ago I was approached by the TV programme The Undateables, to see if I would be willing to take part in their show or if I knew anyone else disabled who would. At the time I turned down their offer appalled that I was considered undateable simply because I am disabled. However now I sit here considering whether I was wrong to turn them down so quickly. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? After all I have been single for two years now.

An able-bodied person is much more able to go out and socialize and meet new people whether that’s at a club, restaurant, coffee-house etc. They have much more freedom and accessibility to choose to do this. I would love to meet new people. However take for example the fact that  I have no control, currently, over my left arm, I could hardly go to costa and have to apologise every few moments for hitting someone! I know some of you may think Online Dating to be the perfect solution. For some people I won’t deny this may be a fantastic idea but not for me, as it doesn’t take away the above issues which often can put people off when you inevitably meet. I want potential partners to get to know my personality and learn to dodge to my spasming limbs at the same time.

Society’s view on disabled dating is a hideous one. If two disabled people date, or marry, they tend to be rather harshly judged. You often hear and read comments on how they are unable to care for each other, or if they choose to have children that the child’s needs will be neglected as the parents will be unable to care for him/her. These views that are often voiced loudly and publicly are completely ignorant. The owners of these opinions in nearly all cases have never met the people involved so cannot make these judgements.

Able-bodied/disabled couples are also criticised. When out in public a lot of people will presume that the able-bodied partner is a nurse/carer/sibling. They rarely come to their own conclusion of the actually reality of partner/date. Again these relationships come under fire, especially online where people state that they should not get together as the able-bodied person will just end up being a carer. These opinions have been voiced with what I expect to be no insight.

I’d like to question these people who claim us disabled people cannot date either able-bodied or disabled persons. I want them to imagine they became ill and could not be cured. What would they say then?

Naturally I defy these naysayers.  I believe that I’ll get my fairytale ending, just with a few more spasms, falls and laughs than originally expected!

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Comments on: "Disabled Dating; A Taboo?" (9)

  1. Great text! I was wondering the same thing a while ago.. piss me off people thinking disabled are undateable or whatever, sometimes I question myself if guys are “afraid” to date disable girls…

  2. Sadly, physical disability is often equated with mental disability (although this is obviously not always so – and, even then, we all have needs…), but on-line dating might be a possibility!

  3. I am able bodied and married a disabled woman (spina Bifida/wheelchair) sadly she died last year., but she gave me the happiest 4 years of my life.

  4. I was diagnosed with limb dystonia in December 2014. Met my guy in 2010. Before the dystonia was a problem. He has taken well with the diagnosis. I am grateful for him.

  5. I was engaged when I was diagnosed with Dystonia. Shortly after my diagnosis, he became emotionally abusive and controlling. I think deep down, he felt I should be lucky to have him, because who else would want me? He would yell and scream at me, then laugh when I had a Dystonia attack. When I had trouble walking stairs, he would fuss at me and tell me if I would lose weight, I wouldn’t have a problem going up the stairs (I weighed 103 lbs and was 5’6″). He was a perfect gentleman in front of people, but a monster behind closed doors. I stayed for a long while, because I did feel I was lucky to have anyone that would put up with my illness. Thank goodness, a pastor basically told me to run after we went through pre-marriage counseling. I eventually ended it. I had other boyfriends afterward that would literally run and not answer my calls after seeing me have a Dystonia attack. It was hard. I am now married. He is a good man, but still doesn’t totally understand my Dystonia. Dating and marriage is hard in the best of circumstances, but I do feel throwing a disability in the mix is hard.

  6. I am disabled, I use sticks to walk if it a short distance or a wheelchair for longer distances.
    And guess what? I get married in two weeks!

    My fiancé is wonderful, and he’s caring, and yes, he’s also able bodied.
    When I joke away things like my spasms, he will laugh and joke along with me as if it’s no big deal. And when I’m upset and struggling he will hold me and care for me.

    I’m determined to walk down the aisle without my sticks!
    And the registry office has arranged chairs for us both for the ceremony, so when I have to sit down he can sit alongside me.

    So for those of you who wonder if you can have a fairytale ending when you’re disabled, the answer is yes you can!

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