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We asked….and you delivered!

Earlier this year, we asked disabled people to tell us their stories of dating. In particular, around using dating apps as a disabled person. We received so many stories ranging from positive to negative, highlighting everything from app design to education needed, and how to disclose. 


Here are some of the stories we collected during the campaign:


“I’m going to tell you about a dating experience that I’ve had as someone who is visually impaired. I’ve had a few interesting experiences but a positive one that comes to mind was when I went on a date with a guy to the cinema. 

“At first, he was scared to ask if I wanted to go to the cinema because he didn’t understand why I would want to go to the cinema if I couldn’t see! But I like going to the cinema. He ended up being quite a cheap date because we had to pay for one ticket as we got a carer ticket for free.”

“I would say a lot of my dating stories have been quite similar. As a visually impaired woman, when I tell men that I have a disability their initial reaction is alright, that’s okay or if you need to hold my arm that’s fine. They don’t care so it’s been quite positive.”


“I decided early on to disclose my walking impairment on my profile to demonstrate honesty. However, I presented it playfully by saying, “I will still carry the drinks from the bar!” 

I avoided saying the actual medical condition as I did not want my potential match to jump down a Google rabbit hole and make assumptions.”

“When I did not disclose my disability I found when I did, I would be ghosted – which was not fun. I have received strange opening lines and two that will stick with me are “Do your lunges work properly?” and “I bet your disability increases attention.”  

“There is a lot of education and normalising of disability that’s required in this space.”

“One of the most important things to remember when dating with a disability is that dating is a numbers game. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find someone who is right for you. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find your soulmate right away. It takes time and effort to find the right person. 

If you keep putting yourself out there, you’re sure to find someone who loves and accepts you for who you are. I know these are words that have been overused but the right person will be able to accept the disability and the person.”


“I recently started casually dating again or at least I’m trying to. I did this before I was disabled but not since. I was prepared for some ableism but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of it.”

“I’ve had a lot of the classics: men telling me I’m sexy despite using a wheelchair, or people asking why I use crutches. I don’t use crutches as I use a walking stick. I’ve had people ask me about my medical history within the first five minutes of chatting.”

“I’ve had questions about whether I can have sex even though I am on a sex-orientated dating app. One time someone found out I was a wheelchair user and he made a joke. He said, if we met up and I didn’t know about you being a wheelchair user then I would have made a joke about you being a catfish.”

“From then on, I decided to have one picture with me in my wheelchair and one with my walking stick. I’ve had fewer matches but more intrusive questions. You just can’t win, why is it so hard?”

Dating and disability: A person using apps on a phone in one hand


“As a neurodivergent person, I often find the apps a bit overwhelming in terms of their layout as it’s unclear what to press or how to tell someone you like them. I’ve sent way more superlikes than I intended as a result of this.”

“It’s hard to know when to tell someone I am neurodivergent as my disability is hidden. On most apps, there isn’t  an option or a space to do this. I tried joining a dating app for disabled people which listed autism but no other neurodivergent condition. I gave up.”

“I did join a dating site for autistic people which had a wonderful option to list your stims. First date nerves are the worst so I like that you can go in knowing that someone knows what your soothing sounds or behaviours are ahead of time. I also loved that you can connect using your common interests too.”


“This is a little story about one of my recent dating experiences. The person I went on a date with has a brother with a disability. It was easy to connect with them and focus on the date rather than anything else.”

“These topics do come up and sometimes you have to define your disability and walk someone through what you go through daily. Certain things might come up during the chat that make it a bit awkward or a bit draining for us as people with disabilities to talk about.”

“With this person, in particular, we had a lovely conversation which was very entertaining. We had some ice cream and walked around London. It was very cute.”


“I openly share that I am a wheelchair user on my dating app profile, usually with a joke, to prevent people from seeing it as a tragedy, but this isn’t always enough. One day, I received a note from a person that said “Everything happens for a reason, right?”. I immediately understood that they were referring to my disability. I accepted their message request and told them I didn’t understand why they would say that and that everything in life seemed very random to me.”

“They replied with a very long message. In summary, they just wanted to say one or two words because I had shared a “special” condition. They kept arguing that life works based on cause-and-effect relationships, that people always use this as an explanation for the things that happen to them, and that if they can be honest with themselves, they can have the right perspective on life.”

“They said that they were thankful that I was hopeful despite everything and assured me that I brought light to their day. Finally, they wished me lots of luck and said goodbye. They seemed very confused about how to see disabled people but I had a chance to explain what was wrong with their approach. In this instance, they reacted with extreme guilt, apologising over and over again. The problem was not my disability but their self-centeredness; and isn’t this always the case?”



Were encouraging anyone with a story to comment, DM, tweet, or post using the hashtag #AppcessibleDating. We want all stories – positive or negative or both!

Well then take the feedback weve received to the dating apps themselves with a list of proposed changes and ways they can better support disabled people with their dating lives. 


Follow the Campaign

Follow our campaign by searching the hashtag #AppcessibleDating and join the conversation by connecting with us on Twitter @ETUKUndressing and on Instagram @UndressingDisability

Want to read more? Visit our blog on online dating as a disabled person