Disabled Man Perspective on Millennial Dating and My Experiences

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.

Being Sick as an Entrepreneur with DMD

I’m normally never sick but when I am sick it throws my entire life in disarray. Without going into too much detail, I was sick from several different things at once and I was forced to put everything on pause for a few weeks. With my disease of DMD and my dreams of being an Entrepreneur, it put my entire mortality into perspective. Many of my friends and co-workers truly thought I disappeared off the face of the earth.

In the DMD community and those fighting other devastating diseases, each holiday, birthday, and new year is another gift and we never know when it will be our last. Any battle with the flu or pneumonia could kill us and any moment can be when our hearts stop.

Thanks to my family’s love and support, I’m back to normal and returning to my old habits with a new found understanding of embracing work life balance and where my priorities should be. I’d like to think I had an experience much like Don Draper had at the end of Mad Men before he came up with the I’d like to give the world a Coke campaign.

Don Draper Meditating

I have so many ideas for inventions, services, and companies that it’s tough choosing which to pursue especially knowing I have a deadly disease and treatments for me remain a year or two away.

We all like to think we’re invincible and nobody has work-life balance so why bother trying to achieve it, but stress is real and there’s a reason it leads to so many deaths. Even the best regret putting so much time in at the office. Dustin Moskovitz has a great article about this culture in Silicon Valley.

In startups, the anxiety of living up to your dreams, co-workers, and investors is more harmful than any customer complaint. We all want to be perfect even though perfect is impossible.

I hope everybody has an amazing 2016 and remembers to look back on what they accomplished in 2015. For me it was one of my best years ever- the Patriots won the Superbowl, I was chosen as a member of the first ever PPMD Adult Advisory Committee and served a huge role in the DMD community, finally started investing, and learned so much about coding, business, investing, startups, and finance.

I hope in 2016 to become fully financially independent, become fluent in Spanish, read more, travel more, and gain more experience as a public speaker

Here We Go

I am proud to be a Millennial and I hope to one day be remembered among the Millennial Visionaries who helped guide the future of humanity and solved tremendous problems like Climate Change, Cancer, ALS, Muscular Dystrophy, HIV, Parkinson’s, Space Exploration, Transportation, Accessibility, and creating the Energy of Tomorrow.

Right now we live in a world where we can communicate with anybody anywhere at the push of a button. Ironically our society has never been so divisive and politically correct and human rights like Freedom of Speech continue to be challenged as we are still adjusting to monumental changes in Technology and Economics.

Most people are choosing to approach this dichotomy with cynicism and I completely disagree with that philosophy. I am eternally bullish with everything, as you will soon learn, from my experience in life and battling a deadly genetic disease and I foresee a resurgence of deep independent thinking, philosophy, debate, and expression. I am betting on this happening with my current ventures and where I would like to invest my time and energy in.

We need to return to the days where everybody kept a journal, exchanged letters, took down notes of everything, had beautiful libraries in their homes, read the newspaper every morning, and read books before going to sleep. Not many people are realizing yet that apps like Evernote, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Feedly, Pocket, and Kindle are addressing these desires we have had our entire existence.

My friends and family have been telling me all my life to create a personal blog to share my life, thoughts, and opinions with the world. I have had the desire to be an Entrepreneur and Inventor since I was 6 years old and writing and reading have helped me understand how to make it a reality. Thanks to the technology of today, I have the same opportunity for success as anybody in Silicon Valley or the entire world even with my Disability.

I created this blog to share with you my journey, advice, opinions, philosophy, and what I am working on. I hope you learn many things that will help you succeed in your life and career. I hope to help other people with Disabilities pursue Entrepreneurship as well.

I do not know if I will be lucky enough to experience the next era of human achievement and what I will end up achieving in my life and helping solve, but I am going to put everything I can towards accomplishing my dreams.

Leonardo DaVinci Quote