What online dating with a disability is like. | #bumble | #tinder | #pof | #onlinedating | romancescams | #scams

We all know that there are creeps out there. I only talk to the guys with kind eyes that don’t seem to match the eyes of murderers I watch in true crime documentaries. 

Given the imbalance of power my disability brings to a relationship it does make me more vulnerable to another person’s actions. 

I mean, I literally can’t run away if I’m not in my wheelchair. So, to say that I am careful when dating online is an understatement. My safety is a high priority. 

Lucky for me though, the only sort of men that seem to ‘accept’ my photos showing my disability, are overtly creepy. 

To these men, I seem to be an exotic animal. I am sure it isn’t a surprise to you that I’m not thrilled to be treated like a piece of meat. I quickly get that ick feeling in my stomach. My head and heart are on the same page. BLOCK HIM. 

When the photos of your disability only seem to attract creeps on the internet, finding a nice ‘normal’ guy seems impossible. So, my efforts on these apps are generally very short-lived. 

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up in my quest to find Mr Right. 

Everyone tells me I will meet someone, probably in person, which I believe too. 

Meeting in person does come with its own hurdles. The people I meet, regardless of gender, seem to have to realise that people with disabilities are on the market to find their perfect match too. 

People with disabilities are at a complete disadvantage when competing for love. My single friends, who don’t have a disability, don’t have to explain when they meet someone that they are a person. 

I believe that when people first meet me, they don’t think of me as a person. Only a person with a disability and there is not a chance they see a female that has normal wants and desires. 

When I meet someone, I have to educate them. Go right back to the basics.

First, explain what my disability is and spell out that I still do have a life, despite my disability. 

Only then can I go on to make them see that I am a person. The fact that I am a single female is about 1000 more steps ahead in the process.  

In a dating system with endless options, millions of fish in the sea, I am often ‘friend zoned’ by default. If I had a dollar for every time a man said to me, “You’re a lovely person, but I just don’t see you like that” well, I would be on the rich list with Jeff Bezos. 

I look forward to the day where people with disabilities are considered attractive. That is the sort of equality I look forward to. Until that day, I’ll keep giving myself every opportunity to meet someone. A someone that likes all the photos I post online. 

Feature Image: Supplied.

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