Growing up I have always been fond of romantic movies, music, and literature and one day becoming a husband and father. It might be in part to being French.
As I went through High School and College, I knew it would be hard already with my nerdy personality just to find someone, but I quickly learned that my disability made it even tougher.
It was tough seeing my friends getting in relationships and having stories of their experiences while no girl would give me a chance. Being defined by your disability and getting people to see past it is very tough especially when you are still discovering your identity. It’s worse now because I’m seeing my friends get engaged and married.
My biggest fear is ending up alone and sadly in the disability community it is a reality for many. I’ve seen many people with disabilities just give up entirely on dating and blame things like the friendzone, their disability, or women. It’s sad because most women don’t mind if someone is disabled.
Everybody should always be trying to find someone or improving themselves.
I have been trying online dating for the past year and a half on OkCupid and I have learned many things. I have messaged over 300+ women with barely any replies and no dates, but I have learned to continually revise my profile, much like a resume when applying for a job, to think about what my first message will be, and what I am looking for in a woman.
I don’t regret trying online dating and I would strongly recommend it to anybody with a disability.
One issue many people with physical disabilities talk about is whether you should hide that you are Disabled. I’m on the side that nobody should hide their disability and in my profile I openly say that I have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and use a wheelchair; it is tough not to think it costs me potential replies though.
Media has been great at showing dating with a disability through movies like “The Theory of Everything”, “The Intouchables”, and “The Sessions” and I think this will soon start getting society to see us as dateable.
I have learned that dating is pretty much all about how you present yourself. Nothing is more motivating than trying to work on your flaws to be your best self. My experience has taught me you have to show not tell you are dating material.
The best strategy truly is to live your life and keep working on improving yourself. Dating is simply spending time with someone, seeing if you are compatible with them, and if they have what you are looking for. Making it more complicated and stressful doesn’t help anybody and just makes finding someone even harder. I learned this the hard way after so many wasted opportunities and wasted time; I found myself always being “in the friendzone” because I never asked women to go out on dates with me.
As the social media tinder generation, dating is completely different than it once was. It’s sped up to unimaginable speeds. We literally swipe through people to find what we are looking for and want in a partner. It’s not necessarily about casual sex as older generations and some in the media like to present it as.
We are a passionate, dedicated, and motivated generation and we don’t want to waste time. We see dating as the process of finding someone who has what we are looking for and we are compatible with. Your teens and 20s are the years where you are supposed to discover your true identity and what you want out of life and love and this is how we approach dating.
I think the future of modern dating after Tinder will be more focused on meeting, interacting, and talking to actual people and I have several ideas for dating services I hope to pursue one day.
I’m going to work on meeting more women in person through friends, my career, and living my life. I have noticed showing you are a great person despite your disability gives us a much better chance. The internet has been revolutionary for connecting everybody and everything, but we are still humans and you can’t truly know someone without being with them in person.
Wish me luck in the world of dating. I hope to write even more articles about this in the future.
If you have any thoughts and opinions on dating with a disability, please comment below.