Maybe it's not a disability that falls under the legal definition and maybe it's not visible.But I have dated men who were weaker in character than I am physically.The biggest surprise of dating others with disabilities: I dated a guy with cerebral palsy for about a year.For some strange reason, I shied away from dating another person with a disability, as I thought it would be the only thing we would talk about.Relationships are complicated enough, and there is no need to make matters worse by showing up to a place with five flights of stairs or flashing lights for someone who has revealed to you that they have seizures. In the meantime, you just gotta pull yourself up and keep going.Come into all relationships with an open mind: Don't automatically refuse to date another disabled person, just because that's what people expect you to do. His experiences have been varied: I’ve met guys who are completely and totally open, guys who were apprehensive and curious, guys who were shamed into it, and people who were completely disgusted by it.I used to not disclose my disability on dating profiles because I wanted to see the most honest reactions to my disability. Disabled people should be acknowledged as viable partners and people capable of relationships, if they want them.Now, I fully disclose and it's taken a lot of the awkwardness out of the experience for me. If you’re dating someone with a disability: Be open. And take every stereotype you've ever heard about a woman with a disability and throw it away. Disability: Cerebral Palsy Job: Disabled rights activist, writer, and film historian.
How his first relationship changed his perspective: My whole life, I felt like I was never going to be desired.But many able-bodied daters may not know how to approach someone with a disability or what to avoid when asking a disabled person out. We talked to five people with disabilities and asked them about dating ups and downs, tips for other daters with disabilities, and what able-bodied people can do differently in relationships.Here’s what they said: Name: Ariella Barker, 35City: Charlotte, North Carolina Disability: Spinal Muscular Atrophy Job: Attorney, former law professor, Ms. How she approaches disability and dating: In my opinion, we all have a disability in some way.When I date someone, touch and affection are very important to me and these barriers make that nearly impossible.I have, however, dated men with other disabilities, like mental illness, and chromosomal defects.At the end of the day, we're all just looking for a connection in some way, and that's just human. His worst dating memory: Wait staff asking my non-disabled date what I wanted for dinner — that killed the mood for sure. When dating someone else with a disability: The most annoying part was the condescending attitudes of other people who felt it was their business to react, publicly, by saying things like, ' Isn't it great you found each other?