On Dating When You Have A Disability

I don't have the guts to approach a guy when there are able-bodied women around, let alone actually flirt with him.

Feb 4, 2013 at 2:30pm | Leave a comment

I'm not very good at picking up signals from guys.

When I worked as a cashier, on three separate occasions someone slipped me a piece of paper with a number on it. Every time I said: “What am I supposed to do with this? All our customer cards start with 26, not 06” and threw the number in my paper bin, only to realize days later that what does start with 06 are all Dutch cell phone numbers.

But lately I think I have been getting signals. Emails from men I met through volunteering or after being stuck in the same accessible train car, saying things like “I found you interesting, shall I come over and cook for you?” (The major hint that he wasn't saying this because he really loves cooking was that it was sent around 2 in the morning.)

Or, “If you need cheering up, because your recovery from surgery is taking much longer than expected, I'd be happy to come over.” (OK, I'm not sure about this one, but we also had several phone calls, that lasted for hours).

And then there was the one signal even I could read: “I'm in love with you” on my wall of a social networking site.

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Checking my inbox, again.

Of course, I could just be glad that my acne treatment seems to be working, but I think it's remarkable that all three of these guys are visibly disabled.

I probably know a few more disabled people that non-disabled people do, but this is mostly because disability access limits my options, so wherever I go, I tend to end up somewhere near the extra-wide doors and elevators -- with other disabled people.

However, even in my world, disabled people are few and far between. Since I know many more guys, roughly my age, who are not disabled, why aren't they the ones sending me emails in the middle of the night?

I briefly contemplated the possibility that non-disabled guys communicate in a way I just don't pick up, like notes with numbers, as they did back when my disability wasn't as visible as it is now.

But that doesn’t make a huge amount of sense -- guys with disabilities are still just guys, they’re unlikely to have their own, completely different method for communicating with the opposite sex.

So it seems like non-disabled guys are not flirting with me because of my disability. After all, when there are a lot of girls in their 20s around, why would you go for the one who is disabled?

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This article originally appeared on xoJane.co.uk. Read the rest here!