Dating is tricky at the best of times but dating with a disability is even harder. I can only speak from my own perspective, but there’s so much more to contend with, such as my wheelchair shaped barrier. As with any social interaction, there’s generally an instant sense of fear emulating from the other person. Like if they do so much as cough, I’d blow over, or if they were to utter a word in my direction, I’d burst into tears. This means I have to make the first move, which usually consists of a disability-related joke. I find it breaks the ice because it invites the elephant in the room to join the conversation.
My love life? Well, it’s somewhat non-existent. I can’t even say I’ve ever been in a proper relationship and the ‘things’ I have had have been far from Hollywood romances…
The Guy with Wheels
When the guy with the wheels asked me out, I thought, why not give it a shot. The problem was, I knew that he had a hard time coming to terms with his disability. Everything about him hoped that this would be an average relationship. Nothing about me is average, so that would never have been the case. I mentioned there would always be someone lurking in the background to ensure that nature didn’t inappropriately call, but on the flipside, we would always have a chauffeur. So, in my mind, it was a win-win situation. However, the day after we officially became an item, he took it upon himself to ask my PA’s permission to take me out. Honestly, guys, I’ve never willed the ground to swallow me up so much. Yes, there’d be someone third-wheeling from afar, but that didn’t mean he had to practically invite them for a threesome. It all got really weird, really quickly and didn’t last.
The Guy with Twenty Questions
You know when you’re trying to get to know someone, you tend to ask a lot of questions. I’m a curious person. I love getting into the nitty-gritty of what makes people tick, but twenty questions a minute is a little excessive. I’d known this guy for ages. We met when we were part of a disability rights group. And before you ask, no, I don’t have a fetish for disabled folks. We got on great as friends, but as soon as things became more serious, all he wanted to talk about was disabled things: How many hours of care did I have? How did my disability affect me? What was the one thing I wished I could do if I wasn’t disabled? The list goes on, and on, and on. There’s more to life than being a cripple.
Sometime after I wheeled away from Question Time, I realised one of the reasons behind my disastrous love life was that I was in the wrong woods, never mind barking up the wrong tree. It was time to give girls a go.
The Girl with Issues
By this point, I’d found the wonders of Tinder and began my swiping. I must admit there were some right oddballs on there, but this girl took my fancy and luckily (or not) for me, we matched. When we initially started chatting, she seemed quite normal and she was up for a laugh. It was time to arrange a date. As soon as I picked her up from the station, she offloaded her life story. Now, I know I’m a curtain-twitcher, but it was like I’d been hit by a sea of misery, despair and destruction. We hadn’t even got to lunch before I was privy to what her great-great grandad had died of. Every time I attempted to move the conversation on to the weather, she’d swing it back around by commenting on how uncannily similar the rain was to the day he popped off. After I’d emerged, relatively unscathed, from my Doomsday Date, she messaged me to say what a lovely time she’d had. We definitely weren’t on the same page.
On that note, I guess this is me stepping out of the closet. At some point I'll rock up with a hot chick and we'll both live happily ever after. Until then; Mum, Dad - spoiler alert. In the words of Carlisle Gran, who had an endearing level of naivety about such a subject, I’m gay…
“And I like a good time as well”.