Some women who have a “disability” don’t like to use that term. They might prefer differently-abled or a similar euphemism. Others don’t mind the word disabled and embrace it.
Regardless of how you want to describe yourself, if you have a physical condition that marks you as different than most other women, you might be self-conscious about it. You may have a tough time dating or trying to seek out a potential partner.
Let’s take a moment to speak about some of the dating challenges disabled women can face, as well as how you might try to get past them.
First, Decide How You Feel About Yourself
Many people don’t find dating to be easy, regardless of their physical appearance or capabilities. However, if you have an atypical physical condition, you might find reaching out to someone even more of an uphill climb. That’s because:
- You might fear rejection
- You may worry they will see only your disability and not the person behind it
Some of this difficulty might have to do with whether you’ve had the disability all your life or whether you only developed it recently. For instance, you might have a different thought process if you had a recent car accident injury versus a situation where you’ve been unable to walk since birth.
Some women with disabilities state they’re more okay with who they are if they have had their whole lives to adjust to it. If you’ve never known anything else, there’s no painful adjustment period.
If you sustained a severe injury or developed your condition as an adult, you might need to take some time to get right with yourself before you think about dating. You may decide you want some therapy before you start trying to meet people at work or dive into the online dating scene.
You Might Feel Out the Person a Little Before You Ask Them Out
Maybe you’ve talked to someone online for a while, or perhaps you met them through some other means. Now, you feel as though you may want to take things further. Presumably, that will happen one of two ways. Either:
- You will ask them out
- They will ask you out
If they know about your disability and still ask you out, their interest is obvious. If you feel the same way about them that they seem to feel about you, there’s no reason not to acquiesce to a date and see where it leads.
If you feel like you need to make the first move, you’ll probably want to take a little time until you feel certain, or close to certain, that this person likes you in a romantic way. You might flirt with them a bit to see whether you two seem to be on the same wavelength.
If you are, pick the right time, and make your move. If they turn you down, it’s not the end of the world. You gave it a shot, and you’ll know for sure how they feel about you. You won’t have to wonder later about what might have been.
Make Sure They Are Not Fetishizing You
Some disabled women also talk about wanting to date someone who sees them as a person and not a novelty. Unfortunately, there are definitely some individuals out there who only want to date a disabled individual because it’s something different. They don’t like the person so much as they enjoy the unusual nature of the situation.
How can you tell whether your crush feels that way about you? It’s not always easy to figure it out, at least not in the early going. You’ll probably need to go on a few dates with them and spend some time together till you know one way or the other.
It’s often helpful to be very frank with them. You can talk about your disability on the first date. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject.
You don’t want to fixate on it, but you should also be clear that it’s a part of your life, and when they date you, that’s part of what comes with it. You might mention anything you can’t physically do so that they know about it, and it won’t surprise them later.
If they seem to be okay with the whole you as a person, and the two of you continue getting along well, there’s no reason not to stick with them to see how things progress. They could turn out to be the one.