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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating with Disabilities > Mean Girls and Mean Guys

Dating with Disabilities
by Melissa Blake

Mean Girls and Mean Guys

Putting your thoughts out in cyberspace every week for the whole World Wide Web to see is risky. I know that. People from Alaska to Antarctica can read your words, and then naturally, however few words they read, they assume they know your entire life story.

That’s sort of how the whole daunting dating world seems to me. While my life hasn't received the level of scrutiny as that of a certain Julia Allison, former dating columnist for Time Out New York and otherwise media maven around the Big Apple, I can sympathize with the girl. I've had a few people post some not-so-nice things about me (and what a coincidence, they posted their thoughts anonymously). In fact, like Julia's "fans," my "fans" said I'm inconsistent too. Apparently, in the dating world – and in life in general – consistency is the key to everything. Oooops, I'm sorry. I didn't know I wasn't allowed to be human. I didn't know I'm supposed to be a machine spitting out precisely the same things like a damn robot. Especially with respect to my disability, these "people" don't know what it's like to live life from a different vantage point, and even when I try to explain it to them, if they don't get the answer they want, apparently everything I say is incorrect.


I'm still on a journey in understanding my disability's full impact on my life, and contrary to what some people may think, there's no magic pill that will make me 100 percent OK with it. Yes, there are some days I get frustrated with it. Yes, there are some days I wonder what life would be like if I were able-bodied. It doesn't mean I feel sorry for myself or I hate myself and my disability; it just means I'm looking at the scenery as I travel on this journey.

So maybe it's not really a human being some people want to see; maybe they want to see a talking doll. Pull the string and she'll say one of 5 programmed phrases? Would that make your life "easier"?

Two things:

1. People aren't static - we change, we evolve, we're not the same people we were 10 years ago. Life goes on, and so do we. I have feelings that, shockingly, do change - sometimes more than once during a single day. Heck, sometimes they change by the hour, even by the minutes.

2. You don't personally know the person you're writing about, so who the hell are you to judge?

Now, I’m an honest person – sometimes brutally honest, or as my mother says, a TMIer. But there’s a difference between being honest and just being plain rude and mean. I’ve encountered my fair share of meanness lately, too. And the saddest part is that it came from someone I had quite a good amount of respect for. Don’t you ever wonder what these mean people’s deal is? People who, frankly, have nothing better to do with their time than sit behind their computer and put others down for the sole purpose of making themselves feel just a little bit better. It's sad. It's pathetic. And you know what? It's a waste of time.

My point: What you think you "see" in a person is really only a small glimmer of who the person really is. It’s sort of judging a book by its cover; the inside might just be more magical than you could ever imagine.

Maybe it's time to turn those deep analytical skills inward? It's just a thought.

So Julia, if you're reading this (or anyone else who lets others’ harsh stupidity get them down, in dating and in life): I'm with you. They're not worth it. Always remember that you are worth it.

And, guys, if you want something you know will never change, will do everything exactly how you want, might I suggest you invest in a life-size cardboard cut-out of the love of your life. I’m sure that would be easier and cheaper for you than dealing with an actual human and her silly, old feelings.


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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