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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating with Disabilities > Crushes

Dating with Disabilities
by Melissa Blake

Crushes Every Woman Needs

I had just turned 15 when I started The List. It was a secret file on my computer that I just prayed no one would find. I rationalized it in my mind: Doesn’t everyone make these sorts of lists? After all, it wasn’t anything dirty (my early-teen mind had just been scared stiff from a semester of health class and Lifetime movies); instead, it was innocent and little did I know at the time that what started so private would turn into such an eye-opening experience.

Over the years, the list grew and grew. And though nothing ever materialized beyond putting their names on the list, it didn’t matter. I didn’t just fantasize about these men from afar, I fell headfirst over the edge and into a deep, shallow ravine – a ravine of obsessing, analyzing, and of course, there was some drooling in there too.

But once I managed to claw my way out of that bottomless pit, I came to see that each guy signaled a rite of passage of sorts. From the artistically proportioned nude model/life guard to the decidedly younger guy, each one had earned its rightful spot for a reason: To help me figure out who I like, who I don’t like, and most importantly, who I am. Let’s face it, there are just certain guys that need to come into a girl’s life, if only ever-so briefly, because in the end, a crush isn’t really just a crush, is it?

So grab a pen and see if you can check off these five dudes from your own guy checklist.

A.K.A, the Stud, this guy is the ultimate man’s man. Ah, there’s nothing like the good old All-American standard: Tall, muscular, blonde haired and blue eyed and tan. I fell for this guy one summer when I was 16. He was the lifeguard at the local pool, and let’s just say I burned off a lot of calories that summer by balancing swimming back and forth with oogling his sculptured physique: His toned boy, tan, broad shoulders and that hot tattoo that moved every time he flexed his biceps. It didn’t help that he worked as a nude model too. My father was appalled; I was enthralled. Gosh, it was the best summer of my young life.

These guys are your Seth Cohens or your Steve Urkels. They may carry pocket protectors and sport an extensive collection of Superman comic books, but have you noticed how sexy it suddenly is, especially with those horned-rim specks? The mind can be a very sexy body part. Now instead of passionate kisses and candle-lit dinners, I dream of someone reading to me in bed as we lie in each other’s arms.

I once knew two comedians: one in high school and the other in college. The one in high school had a dead-on Chandler Bing sense of humor that could light up a room. The other one in college had a sarcastic, flirty sense of humor. Both could make me laugh on the spot, and I used to sport a somewhat odd aversion to PDAs – public displays of animation. It takes a certain type of humor to make me laugh in public, and they both had the charm and wits about them to do it. Every single time. We all need a jokester in our lives to bring a smile to our face and make us forget about our crummy day when everything goes wrong: work, being reprimanded by your boss, your mother on your case again. It just so happened that both high school jokester and college jokester were writers. Go figure.

I once knew a girl who dated a guy who was the perfect gentleman. He’d bring her a flower on dates, open doors for her and seized little moments to hold her hand. OK, that girl was my mother and the guy was my father. Even his awkwardness at all these attempts was cute. We women are feminist, of course, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to indulge in some good old fashioned chivalry every now and then. It doesn’t always have to be these grand gestures all the time, either. A little love note here, a bouquet of roses for no reason there. A little bit goes a long way here, guys...

I had the pleasure of experiencing this for the first time last year. An old friend and I reconnected after a few years. We’d gone to high school together and our parents knew each other, and out of the blue, he emailed to see how I was doing. We started corresponding – I’d laugh at his attempts at jokes and he’d tell me how much he liked my columns – and before long, I wanted him to like more than my wittiness as a writer. I was falling for him. Hard. Things got even tougher a few months later when I found out he had a girlfriend he neglected to tell me about; from what I can deduce, it must have slipped his mind. But falling for the friend isn’t all bad: We can test out our flirt techniques without risking looking like a complete dork, we can smile out of the blue just thinking about him and we can act like a schoolgirl again.

Who are your top crushes? Let me know if I’ve missed anything on my list…I’d love to hear your story.


Dating with Disabilities is published every Tuesday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Melissa Blake. Melissa is a freelance writer and columnist. Her work has been featured in Redbook, Pregnancy magazine and the Chicago Tribune. She can be reached at

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