What’s it like using Tinder with a disability?
Here is some of what disabled online daters experience, according to their own experiences:
Once he saw I was in a wheelchair, he immediately wouldn’t look me in the eye for the rest of the night and we basically spent the whole date ignoring the elephant in the room. It was the most uncomfortable date I’ve ever been on and felt really forced, so toward the end of the night, I finally just brought it up and said, “Are you OK? You seem like there’s something wrong.” He just said, “I just don’t know how to talk to someone in a wheelchair. I just don’t know what to do.” And I said, “Well, I don’t know what to tell you, because we’ve already been talking for two weeks, so the conversation shouldn’t be any more difficult at this point,” and then just asked for the check. It was the most bizarre thing in the world.
But then there have been a few, more idiosyncratic matches. There was your average male in his 20s, not disabled, who began to ask me very personal questions about my disability ending with the grand finale, the question of all questions, “Can you have sex?” I replied, quite seriously, “Can you?”
But Hall remembers the positive responses just as much. “There was a great guy from Tinder I dated last March. We went to see Jurassic Park on a date and I had a fit in the cinema. I vomited on myself and him!” she laughs.
“His reaction wasn’t: ‘Oh, my God, that’s disgusting.’ It was: ‘Oh, my God, how can I help her?’ You don’t expect that, but it’s nice when it happens.”
It taught me that I don’t want to settle for someone shallow enough, immature enough, or blind enough to not see (or at least be open to learning) how awesome I am.
It taught me that I don’t have to waste my time to be appreciated.
It taught me that I define beauty, and I am freaking beautiful.
It taught me that even amongst the sleaze, there are some really decent people out there, and we’re all in the same boat when it comes to just how mucky the waters of the dating pool are.
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About Jordan Murray Jordan is a journalist who has written extensively about dating and lifestyle for multiple publications.