Dating a disables woman
But many able-bodied daters may not know how to approach someone with a disability or what to avoid when asking a disabled person out. We talked to five people with disabilities and asked them about dating ups and downs, tips for other daters with disabilities, and what able-bodied people can do differently in relationships.
Here’s what they said: Name: Ariella Barker, 35City: Charlotte, North Carolina Disability: Spinal Muscular Atrophy Job: Attorney, former law professor, Ms. How she approaches disability and dating: In my opinion, we all have a disability in some way.
Name: Cara Liebowitz, 23City: Long Island, New York Disabilities: Cerebral palsy, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and asthma Job: Freelance writer and blogger Her biggest dating challenges: Honestly? It’s really hard to maintain a romantic relationship (never mind sexual), when you hardly ever see the person. Will I have enough battery power in my scooter to get there and back?
So whenever I make plans, I have to plan it with military precision: Where are we going? Even the closest relationships, geographically, can feel like long-distance relationships to me because it takes so much planning and so much energy.
Relationships are complicated enough, and there is no need to make matters worse by showing up to a place with five flights of stairs or flashing lights for someone who has revealed to you that they have seizures. In the meantime, you just gotta pull yourself up and keep going.
Come into all relationships with an open mind: Don't automatically refuse to date another disabled person, just because that's what people expect you to do. His experiences have been varied: I’ve met guys who are completely and totally open, guys who were apprehensive and curious, guys who were shamed into it, and people who were completely disgusted by it.
Unless you want to get dumped — that’s a great way to get dumped. If you relax and stop worrying so much, you’ll find people who accept you for who you are. Disability: Spastic Cerebral Palsy Job: Marketing/digital media professional, Twitter muse Her biggest dating challenge: I've been dating since I was about 22.
The mantra wants disabled daters to know: I’m invoking Elsa here, but “Let it go.” I’ve met so many disabled people who think there’s no way a non-disabled person will ever be interested in them or that a non-disabled person will never truly accept them, period. You’ll also find people who don’t but those people aren’t worth your time. I've been in one serious relationship (it lasted about a year) since I began dating.
How his first relationship changed his perspective: My whole life, I felt like I was never going to be desired.
Relationship experiences have been positive: I have so many good memories from all of my relationships.
I think my favorite memories are those memories where my disabilities and access needs were really accepted and accommodated. But it’s presented as ' This non-disabled person could have gotten anyone, and they chose a disabled person.' It’s objectifying as all hell.
In a world built for the able-bodied, disabled people face countless barriers in their everyday lives.
Dating can be even more challenging, then, for the woman who has to spend every first date explaining how she “ended up” in a wheelchair or the man who receives pitying glances as he gives his date a rose. Census statistics in 2012, one in five people Americans has a disability and more than half consider their disability severe, but physical and cognitive limitations don't stop those with disabilities from enjoying dating and having meaningful, lasting relationships.
Or the next Stephen Hawking, who has taught us more about the universe than any other human.