A few months ago, my longterm boyfriend and I broke up. It was for the best, even though I didn’t see it that way at the time of course. However, this opened up a whole new can of worms for me – dating while really being disabled. What do I mean by that?
I started dating this guy in January of 2011. I wasn’t even using a cane at this point, I would just bump into a few things. He was with me through the progression of accepting that I need to use a cane, learning how to use a cane, etc. and then transitioning into using a guide dog. The huge difference for me was last time I did the “dating scene” I didn’t have a visible disability, and now I do.
At first, this really worried me. However, while I was dating the aforementioned ex, I had two really good friends doing the “dating scene,” both with disabilities themselves. One was an individual with blindness and a guide dog user and the other was an individual with bilateral leg amputations. Both these ladies are some of my best friends. However, they both were able to find amazing men, despite their disability. So this gave me a little hope.
I have had several good serious talks about dating with one of them, such as “don’t settle,” and “Many men will love you despite your disability.” That second talk is really important to me now because I am doing the dating scene for the first time in years and as I mentioned above, as clearly someone who has a visible disability now. And you know what I have found? There are many great people who ARE accepting of my disability and quite frankly, could care less, but at the same time help accommodate me in settings where I need help. That is huge. One of the major difficulties in all aspects of our lives as individuals with visual impairments is transportation and the fact that I either have to take public transportation somewhere, try and get a friend or family member to drop me off, or have the person come to me. And many don’t even care that they have to come to me. Such a blessing. 🙂
Nice to know that people out there can look past the disability, even on the dating scene. 🙂