Have either of you tried online dating? do you think you need to be upfront about your disability (and risk putting people off!) or should you hide it, and surprise them later on?”
Hi James, I am so old that online dating didn’t exist when I was on the prowl, so it’s an unknown concept to me I’m afraid. However I have always been proud of my impairment and cannot see that that would change online. I know that is because I use a wheelchair so it’s not exactly something I can hide, but I also feel it is part of how I am and as I like myself I am out and proud. As a teenager I wasn’t so upfront, but found that I had to have “that chat” about what did and didn’t work on my body. Some of my partners reacted badly, and as I got older I found that being upfront from the start was easier for all concerned. So if I was single today, in the world of online dating, I would choose the open and direct approach. Who wants to go on a date and see “that” face, of someone who discovers you are disabled at a point when they feel they have to smile and be fine about it no matter what they really think. I mean, who wants to date someone who is put off by disability? Gonna be an awful date, if nothing else.
If I’m honest I have always seen my impairment as a filter that saves me from dating some people who would have not been, shall we say, a good match (polite eh?). We are disabled and if someone finds that a turn off then not being with them is better for all concerned. So if you use online dating, be upfront and that way you will only get those people who don’t really care. Sure it will cut down the number of responses but is that bad thing?
Us oldies can count ourselves lucky. We met in clubs and bars face to face. We could over come the stereotypes around disability in person and so it wasn’t such a big deal. One bit of advice I would give to anyone is that was the best way of meeting people. If you can creating an active social life leads you to situations where you meet people in an environment that allows relationships to form around who you are and not what you are. But that could just be the old man talking. Whatever you try, good luck and have fun. If you approach it as a laugh and not some serious search for love then you can’t loose.