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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
5 Damaging myths about dating someone with a physical disability

 
Myth 1:
If you date someone in a wheelchair, you won't have a fulfilling sex life, if you can have sex together at all.
Fact:
This is probably the most common myth out there, and it is 110 percent false. If you have a body and a brain, then you can have great sex. Through the media, we are often fed the image of how sex is "supposed" to look, and that image involves people with perfect bodies engaged in rigorous porno-style sex. This is very damaging for everyone, disabled or not. Creative thinking, imagination and good communication are actually the key ingredients of having a completely satisfying sex life, and these are possible for everyone.

Myth 2:
The date will be very awkward, and I will do or say something stupid or offensive.
Fact:
This myth stems from the fact that many able-bodied people still view people with disabilities as essentially different from them. Not only are one in every five Americans affected by some sort of disability, but we also need to keep in mind that everyone has issues. For some, the issues are very visible; for others, the struggles are more internal. Having a disability is like dealing with any other curve ball that life throws our way. With these facts in mind, you will see how "normal" living with a disability can be, and that your date is just like any other.

Myth 3:
It will be a real drag to date someone with a physical disability, because they are "damaged" people. You will have to take care of them physically and mentally.
Fact:
Many people with physical disabilities do not view themselves as "disabled," let alone focus on this and/or let their disability get in their way. In fact,the majority of people with disabilities live extraordinarily full, intrinsically satisfying lives.They have great careers, killer social circles, and supportive families. They are also very skilled at being independent. When they are unable to do something for themselves, they hire someone to do it for them, just like everyone in Manhattan.

Myth 4:
My friends and family won’t accept us.
Fact:
Friends and family can pose the biggest obstacle. Often, they, like many others, have simply not been exposed to someone with a physical disability. That doesn't mean that they would not be open to accepting your romantic partner as someone who makes you happy. A little explanation and myth-debunking on your part is usually all that it takes.

Myth 5:
We won’t be able to live a normal life and do fun things together.
Fact:
From my experience as a sexpert and public speaker, I have had the pleasure of meeting many people with disabilities from all over the world. I have met actors, models, politicians, mothers, fathers, doctors, athletes, world travelers, husbands and wives, all with physical disabilities, most in wheelchairs. Being their romantic partner would not only be fun, but possibly would offer some of the best experiences of your life, with continual discovery and adventure waiting for you around the corner. With some creativity, strategy and communication, any activity is possible, and both parties can experience the world to the fullest together.
Dating is tough for anyone. When we exclude a certain group of people from our dating pool, we limit ourselves and reduce our chances of finding our "soul mate" or "partner in crime." Hopefully, with a better understanding of these five myths, your mind will be opened to new types of dating experiences. You never know who will be your next great love, and it would be sad to let a wheelchair get in the way, especially when it isn't even an issue for the person with the disability.
Have you dated anyone with a disability?
Do you perhaps have a disability and what's your approach to dating in respect to it?

Share your experiences and perspectives.
 

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I've never dated anyone with a physical disability, and your thread kind of hinges on the question if I have done so, or if I am disabled myself. That probably explains the lack of replies. Edit it and add questions that ANYBODY can answer, even if they are not disabled and have never dated someone who is disabled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've never dated anyone with a physical disability, and your thread kind of hinges on the question if I have done so, or if I am disabled myself. That probably explains the lack of replies. Edit it and add questions that ANYBODY can answer, even if they are not disabled and have never dated someone who is disabled.
Its too late for edits! X'(
The holy 24 hour limit has been exceeded.

Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
 

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I have ADHD Primarily Inattentive and a developmental delay, as well as a speech disorder/impediment, as well as a small hearing loss as a result of being born a preemie, the smallest baby at the time in the hospital's neo-unit in fact. I think I might have physical disabilities, as I am frail and weak physically and can't gain much muscular strength or muscles. My ex once insulted me being disabled, which was very hurtful. I have been discriminated against by some professors in college and was body shamed by a female and male student(s) in college. I sometimes feel like I am treated like a freak by most women and society in general because of me being shorter, weaker and having a speech impediment in which they may wrongly think I am intellectually/mentally disabled. I do in the future fear that I will be treated as a burden by women because of the extent of my disabilities. I had some gastrointestinal issues in the past, including abdominal blockages, which I were rushed to the hospital. I had some UTIs partly due to me having a hypospadias. Every now and then I get bloating, but nothing like blockages. I had surgeries in the past to correct medical issues in regards to emergencies related to abdominal issues. I feel like I am generally treated as I don't exist by most people in person and on dating sites. I do not know how women would react that I am dating if I reveal my physical disabilities issues regarding my surgeries in the past.
 

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I have a disability (Fibromyalgia) and I know it can be a drag to date me, and often people's families get worried about my health. They fear that I'm going to try to force my partner to support me financially and physically. And sometimes I really can't go out and do fun things with my partner.

But that being said, there are plenty of people who are willing to put up with all of that. I try to make the most of my life when I'm not sick or in flare. Some people find it extremely off-putting that I have an illness... They say things like, "Wow, you spend a lot of time lying in bed" or "I can't handle seeing you in pain" and those are the types of people I can never date. It takes a certain strength of character to date someone who struggles a lot in life, to have to watch that struggle and feel the weight of it. My current partner is diabetic, so he understands what it's like to have health problems and is very sympathetic. Sometimes dating other people with disabilities is best, since "normal" people can't really understand and are often very upset by pain. But sometimes people with disabilities don't handle their situation very well and can be downright manipulative, cranky and depressive. People like that are poison to me, because rather than empathising and sharing each other's pain, they will try to one up me and become angry when I get special treatment and they don't.
 

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MOTM Feb 2016
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5 Damaging myths about dating someone with a physical disability

 


Have you dated anyone with a disability?
Do you perhaps have a disability and what's your approach to dating in respect to it?

Share your experiences and perspectives.
I've never been with anyone with a physical disability before, but I've been with people who suffer from some kind of mental illness. In either case though, I don't think it detracts from who they are and I think the sooner those sorts of social barriers are broken, the better.
 

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i never have, but it's interesting to consider that it's more socially acceptable to date someone (as another alluded to) if they have a mental illness... or at least if they act in such a way, through their life trauma, as exhibit a mental illness. it gets explained (the actions of those a person dates) away with what amounts to a social myth ("bitches be acting cerzy!"), but it's an altogether different matter if the person's problems are physical + limiting...
which actually makes less sense in the practical world, as our world still allows for the functionality of people who are afflicted with physical ailments, but doesn't exactly do a whole lot to heal those with mental/emotional problems (and again, those "problems" are usually seen as being "normal" in their own right, in which case, nothing ever needs to be done).


i think the biggest problem is that, even if a disabled individual does not see themselves as being in a position that requires another to constantly take care of them, many will always see themselves as a potential care-taker to that individual... which, unfortunately, sets the stage for an uneven dynamic (or at least, an 'uneven dynamic' that is not favored in most cultures--others are: child bride, etc).

... well that, and the social stigma attached. as calloused as it is to say, a lot of our choices in mates have to do with how we see ourselves, and even more so, how others will see us and what value they will give to us, based on our choice in mate.


most people will not be open-minded enough to question their own judgement on the pairing, and it'll take a strong person to not care. (they're out there though... :)).
 

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My disabilities are strictly developmental and maybe slightly personality disorder-y related to developmental difficulties. I was in learning disability classes for a lot of my public school career. It's not something that is easy to explain, and sometimes I don't even like to see these things that way...to the point of denial....but it's good to acknowledge them ultimately. I don't know how to do it seamlessly yet to develop a relationship or even date...there are many other areas I need to work on first, I think.

On my OKC thing, I wrote that I have "developmental difficulties" with some my hopefully constructive-ish opinions about it in my "Most Private Thing I'd Admit" section. Granted this could get overlooked or glossed over especially with OKC's layout.

I haven't dated for awhile, but I've been talking to some women now and then. I've been in two relationships, our communication was usually a problem...often I was misunderstood or I did not communicate conventionally(maybe missed social cues or was just too severe [and black and white] in my interactions, too literal)...as a person on the autism spectrum. There's probably many other reasons why these relationships didn't last, but that's one. I wasn't really too open or was in denial about my difficulties while dating them...so that wasn't good.
 

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There is a lot of stigma attached to the dating of someone with a physical disability. I liked to read this article, and it gave strong counter-arguments to the first things that come to mind. A lot of us can do great things without not being able to do everything, and I think that can make someone a stronger person at times. That's an attractive quality. I think having a physical disability is probably more difficult than a developmental or other kind of disability because it's easy to see...and sometimes that becomes a label for a person made up by others. Anyways, most of these points were brought up...but yeah...

I haven't dated anyone with a physical disability, but I have dated someone who could have a label thrown on them instantly. And she was very self-conscious about it too. It was a challenge, and my dad pointed out the label in a way that really disappointed me...but I should have expected it...anyways...it takes time to get to know someone, and to appreciate things....but I don't have the point now...so that's all I got....
 
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My ex hubby gave himself a brain injury by jumping out of our moving vehicle that I was driving when he was drunk. It was very serious he was airlifted to the hospital and bleeding all over the place then in a coma for a few weeks with amnesia.

He was never cognitively the person I married again. He refused to go to any classes that assist in brain injury damage like anger management or cognitive training to try and repair memory.

I married a fully cognitive person who gave themself a brain injury by jumping out of a moving vehicle drunk. Why did he jump out of a moving vehicle because I was pregnant and did not pull over so he could go into a bar that was already closing anyways. I took great strides to try and care for him initially but during that time I myself was pregnant and was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma the first time and cervical cancer. He did get to the point he was able to fully physically function and seem over all normal. But he did basically loose all his rationality in terms of the specific side of the brain injured mainly effected decision making process which is why they strongly encouraged anger management classes for the brain injured as well as a class to help manage with frustration.

In short I was fine adjusting overall. What I was not fine with tho was how insecure he became as a result. Everything I ever said he was defensive and thought I was talking over him. It was emotionally draining to try and give him the benefit of the doubt while having everything deflected on me constantly. Not sure if I am explaining well. But some how every frustration got deflected back on me. I guess about 4 years in after the brain injury I stopped trying I was tired of doing all the work (i.e. basic life management, taking all the responsibility emotionally).

I am not going to lie I have wondered how much different things would have been if that dip shit did not jump out of a moving vehicle and literally self inflict making himself literally a dumber human being with no patience. I think maybe I would have always been fine had I been feeling things were mutual. But I just felt like I had an extra child not a mate. I probably could have managed with the brain injury if their were validation in some area. His denial of his brain injury basically made it impossible for him to recover or improve. Cannot fix what you will not acknowledge. The anger issues were too much by the end when I had already checked out emotionally that only pushed him more over the edge he really did not know how to address things with out blaming me routinely.
 

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I am partially deaf (fully deaf left ear, partially deaf right ear) I wear hearing aids (left one talks to the right one so I can hear what someone is saying from that side and it enhances my hearing in my right ear), I also have issues with tinnitus, which sometimes gets so loud that I cannot hear over it despite having hearing aids which means that I have to ask things to be repeated especially if there is a lot of background noise. Because of the way my hearing aids work, I can't directionalise so if someone is talking to my left ear, will automatically look to my right as that is where I am hearing things.

Dating wise it has been a real pain in the arse, I haven't always been deaf (suddenly deaf last year) so it is something I am getting used to too. I try not to let it affect what I am doing but I find it difficult to hear what people are saying in places with a lot of background noise. So going to a pub for a drink or a busy restaurant just isn't going to work. Also when people find out that I am deaf, all of a sudden they have no idea how to act around me, they start talking to me slowly and loudly, which as you can imagine, is really patronising. I often get people "dumbing down" the way they talk to me. I'm deaf, not an idiot.

I was with my ex partner of 3 years still when I went deaf and he found it difficult to adjust to it, I think in the end that is why it ended. I had just found out that I had lost 75% of my hearing at 20 years old and he just got angry with me when I couldn't hear him, would treat me like an idiot when I didn't catch something that he muttered and would walk away while talking to me and then would shout at me for not listening. Dude, seriously, I can't friggin' hear you!

Generally though, I try not to mention it, some people don't notice it because I am sly about lip reading. Also, rather than talking loudly when my hearing aid isn't working, I talk really quietly which most people just take as me being shy.
 
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