Changing pace a little bit with this post. Diving into the trials and tribulations of dating while in a wheelchair. All of this is coming from my own personal experience and obviously dating with a disability is not the same for everyone. Ps – I curse and talk about inappropriate things in this post so beware. (Sorry mom and dad)
“No one is going to want to date me now”
It’s no secret that after becoming disabled my self esteem hit a crazy low. I feel like most people use their insecurities or things that make them different as an excuse as to ‘why I’m unattractive’. Let me just say, that is bullllllshit. There is literally billions of people in this world. Based on odds, finding someone who thinks you’re a dime is inevitable. You might just have to look a little harder.
You’re still a cutie with a booty. That booty just sits a lot.
Dating is hard enough. Add all the emotions of feeling different from most girls and it’s 10 times worse. “What if they judge me? What if they think the chair is too much? What if they feel like they’re settling with me until they find someone prettier who can walk?”
Not to throw a pity party for myself, but I’ve thought all of those things plus more. Until one day in college I said enough with thinking that I am the problem. If a person can’t handle me, wheelchair and all, why the hell would I want to be with them?
Sitting down or standing up, every person should own exactly who they are. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s fine. As long as you like you then you’re halfway there.
Meeting people is like… really hard.
I guess going out and meeting people that you actually want to date is difficult for everyone, not just people in wheelchairs. Who knew?
As surprising as it may seem, I am not a particularly outgoing person when out in public. Thankfully the technology gods were looking out for me because not too long after I got hurt, dating apps were popping everywhere. It took me a while to get the confidence to join any of them but with the support of my sorority sisters, (shoutout Edinboro ZTA), I downloaded Tinder and never looked back.
Voted most likely to be a Tinderella (true story, thanks again Zetas)
For those who don’t know what tinder is or never used it, let me just say that it is the worst and best thing that ever happened to dating.
You’re telling me that I can be sitting in my room watching Bob’s Burgers while i mindlessly swipe and converse with guys? And I don’t have to get dressed up and go out (I’m lazy)? And I can post my best pictures, showing my chair and everything? Yes. Sign me up.
It’s always funny to see how guys approach women when they’re not face to face. Especially women in wheelchairs. It’s bizarre. Lucky for you I’m about to list the types of guys I’ve encountered on dating apps as I’ve separated them into appropriate categories.
- The overly sensitive guy – The guy who handles me with kid gloves because I guess he thinks he’s doing me a favor and I don’t know how human interactions go because I’m in a wheelchair?
- The highly inappropriate guy – usually has some type of pickup line that sounds like “I bet I can fuck you so good you’ll walk again.” *unmatch immediately*
- The 21 questions guy – wants to know every single detail of how life in a wheelchair is. Crossing the line is usually inevitable.
- The rarest gem – the guy who acknowledges the chair but doesn’t make it the center of conversation. Realizes there’s more than the wheels
- The fetish guy – harder to spot than you think but they’re definitely out there. Best way to find out is to search them on Facebook and see if they have an abundance of girls in wheelchairs as friends
I’m not saying every guy on there is a bad. More times than not the conversation just fizzles out, you both aren’t looking for the same thing, they’re extremely rude, or they’re a huge creep you don’t know why you swiped right on. Ya know, normal dating things.
Are relationships wheelchair accessible?
The people closest to me know that once I put myself out there, I never really stopped. I’ve been lucky and unlucky in love but it’s not from a lack of trying.
Giving credit where it’s due, there are definitely some challenges that come with dating a person in a wheelchair. As the person in the chair, it’s MY job to let my boyfriend or whoever know how things work. Like sometimes you have to call ahead and make sure your date night spot is wheelchair accessible, or that even though you can walk, you might get stared at just because you’re with someone in a chair. As long as you don’t care, then I don’t either boo.
So…. can you still have sex?
Not going to lie, sometimes it’s a biology class with the guys I ‘talk’ to about how the human body works. They seem generally confused about how my ovaries still work even though my legs don’t. Or that maybe when they were doing my spinal cord surgery they also sewed my vagina closed? I don’t know. So let me just set the story straight, even though my family members might read this and be shocked their perfect angel is talking about sex.
Most people in wheelchairs have amazing sex lives if they so choose. With spinal cord injuries, people can still have sexual stimulation even below their level of injury. My favorite question guys ask is: “but what does it feel like?” Uhhhh… do you ask every woman what sex feels like for her? Are ya taking a survey?
Needless to say, disabled people may have to rely on their partner for help with positioning during sex and there’s many assistive devices created specifically for people with disabilities who want to get it on. Amazon has almost everything.
Regardless of who you are, when having sex be as safe as you can. I feel like adding an unexpected pregnancy or std on top of being in a wheelchair is not the way to go.
Are you ever going to get married and start a family?
I’m sure a lot of people in their twenties are sick of hearing this question and I’m right there with them. I think it’s natural to want to find someone you want to spend forever and build a happy family with. I’m in no rush. My standards are as high as they would be if I wasn’t always seated. Until then, let me keep checking Tinder, Bumble and respond to the guys sliding into my dms.