Buckle up cause the goss you’ve been asking for is finally here. As you may know, a few months ago I announced I was officially dating. I’ll let you read the post but it was a big deal to me. It felt scary and overwhelming but I’m so glad I did it. I mean, I’m nearly 30 – it shouldn’t be that shocking. But the world was telling me subtly, that it wasn’t “normal” to see disabled people dating. It made them feel uncomfortable so I did too.
So here we are a few months later – I thought I’d give you the run down of just some of the types of men I’ve met so far. Please be aware this is riddled with my sarcasm, #NotAllMen and all that – but seriously, it’s been a giggle. So here we go…
The “I don’t even see your disability” man
Now at first glance, you may be thinking “isn’t this nice?” A man who just gets on with it and sees me for me. Which, yes at first I thought this too. But there is something rather uncomfortable about someone not even acknowledging the largest part of your identity. It gets to the point where you wonder if actually they are really a little bit too into it (and therefore being the second type of person) but don’t want to let on. If you can’t see my 14 stone £24000 wheelchair hun, I think you need to go to Specsavers. (Obvs not talking about visually impaired pals 😅 but even then you’d hear my chair beep or something, come on).
To put it plainly, this is what it says on the tin. The person who sees you as you are and is not shy about telling you. They are loudly inquisitive about your sex life and make it known they’d like to have sex with you too. A tick box you may say. Obviously for some people that’s great – if that’s what you want to do and everyone’s aware and consent is there, brill. For me, it felt weird though. I want to meet someone who wants to get to know the real me. Me who’s disabled and a lot more. Me who likes sarcasm, cocktails and Netflix dramas.
One man actively asked me so many wheelchair questions – I’m pretty sure he was more attracted to the fact I have suspension on my chair than my body in it. Yep. I’m not joking.
The “you teach me so much” man
And finally, this is the trickiest one for me. Because the good intention is there but it’s a bit of a mind eff. It’s kind of the opposite to the first one. We all know the type of man following one genre of woman on instagram who’s conventionally beautiful, white, cis, non-disabled who speaks about women’s rights (which is obvs great btw but #intersectionality and all that), and therefore labels himself a feminist. He wants to learn from you, finds ableism terrible and you fascinating. But that’s weird in itself and you feel almost like a spectacle. You’re getting attention but a warped version of it. There’s a balance to find and that is certainly not it. I’m not a teachable moment thank you very much ✋🏼
So there you go, there’s me dipping my toe into sharing what it’s like dating as a disabled woman. Don’t worry I’ve had nice experiences too, but I’ve been waiting to publish this for aaages. It’s really important to me to share this, as I would have loved someone to talk to and hear more about others’ experiences as a disabled woman years ago. Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one experiencing these kind of situations and you really have to trust your instincts. The more we talk about this (if you feel able), the more “normal” it will be.
Meeting new people is fun after all! (You’ve just got to filter out the above people 🙃)
What would you add to the list? And if you’re non-disabled did you think it would be this complex? 😅 let me know in’t comments below!