Bookmark and Share

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

Dating with Disabilities
by Melissa Blake

Memo to Men: Disability Misconceptions
(Part 1)

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: A very strong-willed woman
RE: Theories about your aversion to my disability
DATE: March 31, 2009

I recently sat flipping through my old journals. I immediately stopped when I got to a particular entry. it was from sometime during my high school heyday and my teenage self matter-of-factly wrote something along the lines of:

Guys just don't like girls in wheelchairs. Or with any sort of disability, it seems.

It read back to me like some sort of socially agreed-upon law like the sort that easily rolls off your tongue (First Amendment, anyone?). It was, or at least in my eyes, the sort of social code everyone had memorized, and I probably (OK, I'm certain) didn't think twice when I wrote those words.

But hasn't that always been my whole problem? For most of my life, I've been living out that law in some form or another: I have trouble talking to guys because I know all they're looking at is my wheelchair. I think a guy will think I'm the craziest girl for having the audacity to flirt - or even ask him out on a date. I sometimes wonder if any man would ever, could ever love me. The fact is, quite sadly, I've never questioned it. Any of it. I've even become so concerned with how men can't seem to look past my disability that I've completely neglected that other equally important question: WHY? Isn't explaining the possible reasons behind something even more important than the actual something, whatever it may be?

So in an effort to gain some sort of genuine clarity on the whole situation, I've devised these 'working' theories. Silly boys, maybe this will explain some things for you...

They're ill-informed: No, I don't have cooties and no you can't catch it by being around me. I have a physical disability called Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome (Google it – I dare you). It's basically a bone and muscular disorder (I think walking and running is highly overrated anyway....). There actually aren't that many of us, so it's probably best to scoop us up now while supplies last. I've had 26 surgeries to correct bone and muscle deformities, and I just celebrated my 10-year-anniversary of NO SURGERIES; though, I've always fancied the idea of a guy sitting by my hospital bed and holding my hand. A teardrop for added effect is optional, of course.

They're intimidated: Even I'll admit that I can be a lot to take in at first, so maybe that's sort of scary for guys. I think a lot of times, people expect me, a pint-sized person to have a personality that matches: diminutive, reserved and soft-spoken. When - HELLO! - they realize that I'm the exact opposite, it may throw them off balance for a bit. And of course, I'm not going to sit here and pretend like my wheelchair is invisible. Trust me, I wish it were invisible and not me who's invisible. I won't pretend like my wheelchair doesn't make them uncomfortable, at least at first. Maybe they don't know what to say or maybe they're afraid they'll say the wrong thing. But FYI, men, JUST PLEASE SAY SOMETHING! ANYTHING! I promise I won't break or bite. Really.

They assume I'm not interested: Maybe they see me, a girl who has been through her fair share of medical escapades, and figure I have bigger fish to fry. When your life is at stake, I admit, guys are about the last thing on your mind. And when I was younger and going through all those procedures, guys weren't even on my radar (well, except for a certain boy, but that's a whole different story). So why is it that now I'm ready to get out there on the single's scene, all the guys have ducked for cover? Sometimes all I want in life is the simple, medical-free, adventures.

They don't know me: Maybe they don't see that I'm just like every other woman. Some of my favorite things include, but are not limited to: Columnist, journalist/writer, blogger, Looking for Mr. Right (or his cute twin), collecting Chiquita banana stickers, breaking loose on the dance floor (and oh yes, it can be done from my wheelchair), glossy magazines, keen observer, sassy, sarcasm, oogling the CW’s Supernatural boys, obsessively reciting Frasier quotes, alphabetizing my CD collection, sipping a sweet soda pop, swimming, laughing, dreaming of life in the big city, leaving a hint of mystery behind me, being an absolute dork, perfecting my British accent, dreaming of my own reality show, daydreaming, smiling, being fierce.

Oh, and I also love to laugh. I play a mean game of Yahtzee. I can make small talk stretch for hours. I could just be the love of their life....I'm just saying.

So in case you've forgotten today's lesson by now: WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES DO DATE. IN FACT, WE'RE PRETTY GREAT AT IT.

The next time you see me, just come up and say hello. You never know where that might lead….


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

> - The best approach to find the one. <

All Online Dating Magazine content, including the content on this page,
is © copyright by Online Dating Magazine and may not be
republished or reused in any form. You do have
full permission to link to this article.

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Have
more to add? Submit a Letter to the Editor today or post a comment below.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Statement | Code of Ethics Statement
Bookmark Online Dating Magazine at

>View Online Dating Magazine Singles Travel Adventures<

Online Dating | News | Columns | Features | Dating Services | Niche Dating
Online Dating Directory | Dating Humor | Quick Tip Articles | Online Dating Industry
Industry History
| Online Dating Reviews | Reader Reviews | Dating Videos | Book / DVD Reviews
Reader Letters | Self Improvement | Experiences | Newsletter | Interviews
Top 10 Lists | STD Info Center | About Us | Advertise
Media Center
| FAQ | Search | Contact | Dating Promotions

Dating Cartoons | Dating Jokes | Funny Dating Videos | Dating Games

Online Dating Magazine Needs Your Help!

All content on this Website is ©copyright by Online
Dating Magazine. All Rights Reserved. The content
on this site may not be reused or republished.

Are you an online dating site Webmaster? If so...
If you are looking for free dating content you can republish, click here



Advertise on
Online Dating Magazine



Stay Up to Date:

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us on YouTube

Follow Us on Facebook


10 Most Viewed Articles:

Online Dating Tips
Opposites Attract
Online Dating Safety Tips
Rose Colors
Guys are Weird
Dating Games
Online Dating Reviews
Creative Date Ideas
Long Distance Relationships
Dealing with a Breakup

Other Resources:

These links will take you away from Online Dating Magazine.

Google (Google Your Date)
Research Dating Service)

MailOrderBride Guide

Note: Online Dating Magazine does not sell text links anywhere on the site, so please don't email asking about text links. Any links we have are affiliate links, resources we find useful, links to other sites we run or long-time magazine sponsors. We do have graphic ad options in our Advertising section.