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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating with Disabilities > Disability Dating

Dating with Disabilities
by Melissa Blake

Disability Dating:
An Interview Outlining the Challenges of Dating when Disabled

For nearly a year now, you’ve seen me write about my lack of a love life and my search for one with a physical disability. This week, I got the chance to hear someone else’s story – a story that I could instantly identify with, and one that didn’t make me feel so alone in my aloneness when it comes to all things love. Meet 29-year-old Amanda Wilson from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who has had Cerabral Palsy since birth. I had the chance to chat with her recently about the struggles she faces in dating with disabilities.

At what age did you first become interested in men?
I really became interested in men at the age of twenty. My ex-husband, who also had Cerebral Palsy, taught me how to live on my own independently. On our college campus, workers in the college bookstore would ask one of us where the other person was at. My ex-husband knew I loved teddy bears, and he would bring them to me. His love name for me was “baby doll” and his name was “sugar bear.” That was the most amazing time in my life, and I would love to have that again.


What type of man will hold your attention and why?
My type really is the “geek.” I am sure that’s probably discriminatory. I like the man who lights a room up with his knowledge, humor, insights, and love for everyone he meets. I find a man who can talk to anybody in his life for hours about information he has read or seen to hold my attention.

Do you believe that many men overlook you as more than a friend due to your disability? If so, how do deal with that misconception?
My view is the right man for me will know if he wants to be with me from the “love at first sight” approach. I honestly don’t want to have to “teach” a man to look past the friendship aspect due to my disability. That would be degrading in a way. In junior high and high school, guys only saw my disability and low self-esteem. Now, I am glad that happened. I have met so many wonderful men from foreign countries, and the difference in their attitudes towards a woman on wheels is truly amazing. Their friendships have helped me to accept my disability better.

What is attractive in a man to you?
A man who knows what he wants in life, a man who has goals, a man who loves life with excitement and humor, and a man who is not bashful about expressing his feelings for me. What woman could want more?

With your disability - when you meet your soul mate - what will you have to teach him about special adaptations he may have to learn to be with you?
I would love to say that I won’t have to teach him anything, that he will just know how to adapt. Realistically, it took me over twenty-seven years to learn how to love my own body and know my needs. I would have him observe what I do in my daily life. Observation takes time. I love my independence, and my soul mate will have to understand that I won’t want him to do things for me much.

How do you picture your soul mate's first reaction to seeing you will be?
I picture his eyes on me as he walks towards me. Everything in the room stands still. No words will be spoken. We will smile at each other. We will say what our heart feels and not worry how it may sound. He will take my hand in his and not release it.

When you meet your soul mate, will you be the pursuer or the pacifist in the relationship?
In my younger years, I used to be the pacifist. Nothing positive comes from sitting on the sidelines. I still have my guard up in ways, but I have an open mind. I more than likely will be the pursuer in the relationship. I understand that many young men these days may feel intimidated by a woman who knows what she wants and has a plan to get from point A to point B.

What expectations do you have for your soul mate?
I expect my soul mate to be tall, dark, and handsome. I am kidding. I like the B.D. Wong type from “Law & Order: SVU.” The man is the department’s psychiatrist. When Wong interviews clients, he hangs onto words attentively. Wong’s characteristics are what I hope for in my soul mate.

How do personally you define "sexy"?
A man who knows how to treat a woman right is sexy.

Do you believe in compromising in a relationship and marriage?
I believe in compromising in some parts of daily living. If you keep having to compromise to keep the peace, where is the enjoyment of being with the other person? A couple needs to be compatible.

How do you picture your soul mate?
I picture my soul mate in much the way as Jay Gatsby in “The Great Gatsby” and Mystro in “The Phantom of the Opera.” These two intelligent
Men both loved their ladies to the fullest extent possible.

What would you never do for a relationship?
I will never give up my self-respect, self-esteem and religious views for a relationship.


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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