News:

Registrations are currently delayed due to a spam wave, please bear with me.


Dating and disability

Started by Jockice, January 07, 2022, 12:14:41 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Jockice

January 07, 2022, 12:14:41 PM Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 12:44:00 PM by Jockice
Now here's a topic I've been meaning to talk about for a while but have been prompted into due to reading Daisy May Cooper's autobiography during which she describes finally meeting up with another teenager she had been in contact with and had hoped to have a romance with only to find out that neither had been honest about their looks. And he only had one arm, which he hadn't mentioned in their previous phone conversations.

Now I've never been in that sort of situation, but I did have a friend once who went through a dating site and met up with a bloke who it turned out neglected to say he had mild cerebral palsy. She was outraged that he hadn't told her beforehand. But if he had would there have even been a date? I know from experience that people will make all sorts of excuses not to be seen as close to an obviously disabled person. And just to make it even weirder it turned out that she hadn't mentioned before the date that she was bipolar. Well, why should she? You can't see that.

Now, as you may know I have a girlfriend but before that came a lot of heartbreak and betrayal. I didn't just have my oft-mentioned 17 years of singledom/13 years of complete celibacy just so I could mention it on a comedy website years after it ended but rather because I'd been hurt so much in so many ways I just gave up. I'd even mentioned some of them on here, which is why I was rather surprised to find out that I was a woman-hating incel when I said that I hadn't always been treated fairly. Like females pretending to fancy me as a 'joke' or because they saw me as a pathway to non-disabled friends they did fancy. Or those who really did like/fancy me but were too ashamed to be seen with me in public or if they did made sure that everyone knew we were only 'friends' even though we were actually sleeping together. Note the plural case I used there because all these things have happened to me more than once. And I know from reading disability websites that disabled females have similar things happening to them. Or there's this from the BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/3fd6b74d-e71e-4327-b2f7-3257e6a3c1ea

Anyway, we've been together approaching eight years but there are still times when she'll say or do something that makes me think 'she still really doesn't get it,' which is why we had a rare big row just after Christmas. It was my physical problems v her mental health ones (part of the reason I haven't posted for a while. She's really been suffering in the past year). Neither won and we haven't split up.

And there's also other people's attitudes. Like the friend of mine who took her aside and informed her that she'd end up being my carer (it is possible but not probable and I do my fair share of caring for her), the friend of hers who told her I was playing up my impairment to get sympathy so I could use her for sex (after a polite ten-minute conversation in which disability and shagging weren't mentioned at all) or the acquaintance of hers (a carer for her parents) who tried to set her up on a date with someone else despite knowing she was in a relationship with me, and even having met me.

So I'd like to know a few things here. Have posters on here ever dated a disabled person? Would you? And if not why not? (You can be honest here. I really have heard it all before). Or if you're one of the few disabled - physically, mentally or both - people on here, what sort of experiences have you had. I can offhand think of one who is settled and another who has sworn off relationships forever. And having said that I do know at least two people who are more physically disabled than I am and have found lifelong partners and even had children. So maybe it was my repugnant personality and extreme sexism that stopped me after all.

And be polite please otherwise I might have one of my legendary temper tantrums (as all disabled people do. We're just incapable of controlling our emotions, as indeed redheads are too) and tell you to fuck yourself.







shoulders

I only imagine how difficult it must be to have anything that may be superficially off-putting for people as a continual obstacle just for getting a fair hearing.

There are degrees of embellishment/absence of disclosure I could handle and work past but I would be immediately put off if I found out on the day that the person had clearly lied or failed to disclose a fundamental aspect of themselves, regardless of their motive or circumstance. I can't imagine a meeting which is in aid of a potential relationship getting off to a worse start, personally.

My brother had a date where the woman that turned up was literally another person from the pictures they had used. He turned around and walked away. I think that was justified.

Perhaps something which places the people you are referring to together in person and in a non-committal way is a better bet than banging against a brick wall of rejection or ignorance online, I really don't know.

To answer your question I would certainly consider dating and having a relationship with someone with disabilities. To a very mild extent I am already doing that, though really not anything comparable. As for dating someone with a severe disability I couldn't possibly know how that would be until I had the experience but am open minded.

bakabaka

I've had four relationships, the shortest of which was two years and the longest is ongoing at 30+ years.
I didn't disclose to any of them that I am on the autism spectrum and none of them disclosed that they were too or that they were ADHD as none of us knew at the time. Except one who didn't because they aren't either. From all the conversations I've had with others on the spectrum I've had it very lucky to have had anyone persist in chatting me up long enough for me to realise and respond, let alone multiple times. My first partner going on about how good our sex life was may have helped with the next two, in that respect.

One of the hard parts of being on the autism spectrum is that you very rarely know why no-one will go out with you or what to do to improve your chances of starting a relationship. So most spend long periods being very lonely/isolated with little cause for optimism.
But we have it easy, because as your friend says, if a disability is invisible it doesn't count, right?

Jockice

January 07, 2022, 01:07:28 PM #3 Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 01:50:57 PM by Jockice
I will say here that near the start of the century I did have a couple of dates with a disabled woman (a wheelchair user, while at the time I used crutches) and while I didn't turn her down I didn't make a move either. She seemed to think it was because of her wheelchair but it wasn't. I just didn't really fancy her, was also still trying to get over being dumped by the woman I thought was 'the one', and although I wasn't averse to being friends and seeing what - if anything - happened she wanted an answer - and presumably action  straight away.

She got in a huff with me and a couple of weeks later was boasting about how she'd met a non-disabled man online and was going to meet him. They're still together and we're still vaguely in touch. Good luck to her. But it was a bit of a tables turned situation to be accused of not being interested in someone because they were disabled.

Paul Calf

Wait...you have a girlfriend?

You should have said.

madhair60


Jockice

Quote from: Paul Calf on January 07, 2022, 01:09:20 PMWait...you have a girlfriend?

You should have said.

I'm sure I did. Circa 2015. Think it was a Tuesday lunchtime. But the topic just hasn't come up in conversation since then.

Jockice

Quote from: madhair60 on January 07, 2022, 01:11:05 PMA female girlfriend to boot

If I try booting anything I fall over, I'll have you know.

willbo

I think men with genuine disadvantages should be able to speak openly without being called incel or misogynist. But people really don't wanna hear it. I just accept now it's just not something people want to hear.

Jockice

Quote from: willbo on January 07, 2022, 02:02:03 PMI think men with genuine disadvantages should be able to speak openly without being called incel or misogynist. But people really don't wanna hear it. I just accept now it's just not something people want to hear.

Indeed. I know. The thing is I'm a fairly gregarious person (or was until my speech started really failing), objectively not terrible-looking (I hate the way I look but that's because I get singled out for it a lot. But I haven't got two noses or suchlike) and at one point had a fairly prestigious job (I was actually pretty well-known in the city I live in) yet I still got completely disregarded if not treated with total contempt when it came to romance and relationships. Not all the time but I'd say the majority of it. I can't say that it hasn't had an impact on me, but it seems that it's seen as okay to hurt and even dehumanise some groups in society but not others.

Jockice

[gnore. Don't worry, I'm used to it...

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Jane Austen considers rewrite.

Kankurette

My last boyfriend was autistic and I'd say his inability to talk to me like an adult drove us apart, as well as his immaturity, but I don't know how much of that was down to his autism and how much of it was just him. Not been out with anyone with physical disabilities, but that's not to say I wouldn't. I would be pretty hurt if I had a disabled partner and someone accused me of being a pervert with a disability fetish or assumed I was a nurse/carer, as has happened to other people in relationships with physically disabled people (there's a bit in Our Bodies Ourselves about disabled women's relationships, with both men and women). I hate the idea that a disabled person is automatically unloveable and unfuckable. My dad's cancer fucked up his body but Mum never stopped loving him because of it.

I also feel that because of my autism, people see me as a sexless creature. Like, not being able to conceive me being in a relationship or having sex. I mean, I'm not exactly pretty. I used to do porn (just online homemade amateur fetish stuff) and I had to compartmentalise a lot because it just felt weird that someone would find me sexy or want to fuck me. I also have a lot of problems with relationships because of it - I find small talk difficult and I wish I had the guts to meet people for hook-ups, but having to do the small talk and arranging it and making sure they're not an axe murderer or whatever is a nightmare, and I also have very low self-confidence.

Jockice, if you don't mind me asking, what is the nature of your disability?

willbo

Quote from: Jockice on January 07, 2022, 03:06:34 PMIndeed. I know. The thing is I'm a fairly gregarious person (or was until my speech started really failing), objectively not terrible-looking (I hate the way I look but that's because I get singled out for it a lot. But I haven't got two noses or suchlike) and at one point had a fairly prestigious job (I was actually pretty well-known in the city I live in) yet I still got completely disregarded if not treated with total contempt when it came to romance and relationships. Not all the time but I'd say the majority of it. I can't say that it hasn't had an impact on me, but it seems that it's seen as okay to hurt and even dehumanise some groups in society but not others.

I think the problem is women are only human and human beings, ON THE WHOLE, (with some exceptions), tend to want to date people who fit the norm and look at least average in public. But the reality is we've had a human history full of men enslaving and r*ping women, so people don't want to hear about a man who can't get laid, even if his issues are a little valid.

Dex Sawash


Glebe

Quote from: Jockice on January 07, 2022, 12:14:41 PMthe friend of hers who told her I was playing up my impairment to get sympathy so I could use her for sex (after a polite ten-minute conversation in which disability and shagging weren't mentioned at all) or the acquaintance of hers (a carer for her parents) who tried to set her up on a date with someone else despite knowing she was in a relationship with me, and even having met me.

Fucking hell. Cretins.

I have mental health/emotional problems ("NO!! Really Glebe?!?") but I manage to be calm, reasonable and rational most of the time. Still I'm sure I'm a pain in the arse at times.

Jockice

January 07, 2022, 05:01:27 PM #16 Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 05:16:33 PM by Jockice
Quote from: Kankurette on January 07, 2022, 03:29:48 PMor assumed I was a nurse/carer, as has happened to other people in relationships with physically disabled people (

I also feel that because of my autism, people see me as a sexless creature. Like, not being able to conceive me being in a relationship or having sex. I mean, I'm not exactly pretty. I used to do porn (just online homemade amateur fetish stuff) and I had to compartmentalise a lot because it just felt weird that someone would find me sexy or want to fuck me. I also have a lot of problems with relationships because of it - I find small talk difficult and I wish I had the guts to meet people for hook-ups, but having to do the small talk and arranging it and making sure they're not an axe murderer or whatever is a nightmare, and I also have very low self-confidence.

Jockice, if you don't mind me asking, what is the nature of your disability?

Been there! On one occasion at a social event we were cornered by a woman who insisted on telling ********* how good she was caring for me. Even after being told we were partners she continued and gave my girlfriend a scarf for looking after me. I actually found that quite funny, because this woman was so bloody earnest. I think you know who prefers being thought of as my carer than my mother though, which has also happened a few times. She's four months younger than me!

I've also had the asexuality bit thrown at me several times. I would play up to it sometimes though. Especially when people started telling me about their alleged sex lives expecting me to be impressed, jealous or both. I wasn't interested in their tales anyway but it amused me greatly to pretend to be bemused at people wanting to have sex at all. One of my most highly-prized talents is the ability to keep a straight face. It's just the rest of my body that isn't.

Plus it's often assumed that disabled people are either not even aware of the existence of sex or are sex-crazed maniacs with nothing in between. I must have mentioned on here the time a young woman from work told me that she'd moved near me but refused to tell me which road - the obvious question I'd have thought - because apparently I'd 'come round.' I am to this day absolutely mystified as why she thought I'd start stalking her. I hardly knew her and as far as I was aware all I could have said to make her think that was that a few months earlier I'd said she looked nice on an office night out. That was it. I didn't say 'if I ever find out where you live I'll be banging on your bedroom window at 3am.' I think the problem there was hers not mine. And I don't even know how she knew where I live.

Anyway I'm rambling on here. The nature of my disability is a neurological one that's never been fully diagnosed. I started limping aged about five for no reason as far as anyone can work out, ended up having to use crutches in my mid-20s (then had a complete stranger fall down a flight of stairs and land on me, fucking up my back) and have used a wheelchair for about 15 years, permanently for the last five or so. I've been tested for all sorts of things but they've never been able to make an accurate diagnosis. The nearest they can get is a rare syndrome but that doesn't usually affect your speech. Or cerebral palsy which most people (including at least one doctor) think I have but practically never just appears spontaneously or isn't detected at birth. It's very weird but it's me and I'm stuck with it anyway.


bgmnts

I dont think having mental health issues gives you a pass to be an absolute bellend. Most people have mental health issues because the world we live in is fundamentally unhealthy to us, so you don't get special dispensation because a doctor has decided to dump some anti depressants on you.

Probably the same with a physical disability too.

Jockice

Quote from: bgmnts on January 07, 2022, 05:10:54 PMI dont think having mental health issues gives you a pass to be an absolute bellend. Most people have mental health issues because the world we live in is fundamentally unhealthy to us, so you don't get special dispensation because a doctor has decided to dump some anti depressants on you.

Probably the same with a physical disability too.

Not denying that. I've met plenty of disabled people during my life and a proportion of them are bellends. Although I would say in some - not all - cases that they've become bellends because of the way they've been treated. What I'm talking about here is being denied what is a normal part of life for many 'normal' people and then being called 'entitled' (and that's one of the nicest ways of putting it) if you dare not to be happy about it and just accept it as your lot in life.

oggyraiding

I'm autistic, but mask quite well, so I've had some (limited) success in dating. My current partner is very understanding of my needs as an autist, such as sometimes needing to sit alone in a dark room, or to not go with her on a big night out or a family social event, so I am very lucky. My first girlfriend was a fellow autist, it was not a good relationship, as when you took out the autism, we're were too different. I don't really have any qualms about dating a disabled person, but I suppose I can to some extent understand why people do have issues with it but maybe that's some sort of internalised ableism.

bgmnts

Quote from: Jockice on January 07, 2022, 05:30:50 PMNot denying that. I've met plenty of disabled people during my life and a proportion of them are bellends. Although I would say in some - not all - cases that they've become bellends because of the way they've been treated. What I'm talking about here is being denied what is a normal part of life for many 'normal' people and then being called 'entitled' (and that's one of the nicest ways of putting it) if you dare not to be happy about it and just accept it as your lot in life.

Yeah no that sucks balls. There is a very slim notion of what is considered desirable and people with certain disabilities probably don't fit into that mould, which fair enough would lead to some resentment.  It's one thing being rejected due to being a cunt, another thing being rejected because you don't fit the acceptable physical standard.

And people really don't care either. They can give to charity or advocate as much as they want.

Jockice

Quote from: bgmnts on January 07, 2022, 06:08:35 PMAnd people really don't care either. They can give to charity or advocate as much as they want.

Indeed. I've mentioned disabled people being cunts but there are plenty of cunts who 'care' about disabled people too. Some of them even have certificates to prove it and work for disability organisations too.  But as I found out (at one place in particular, although I've come across a similar attitude elsewhere) if a disabled person starts asking politely for (not even demanding) the equality the organisation espouses you can see the panic in their eyes...

flotemysost

Not specifically to do with dating, but socialising in general - as I've seen from a couple of my friends' experiences, if you're a young woman whose fibro means you need to use a stick sometimes but you have the audacity to look stylish and dare to attempt a social life after dark, cunty door staff and venue managers can get a bit funny about actually believing you're disabled.

I've known quite a few autistic mates to have very active dating lives, and there must be loads of as-yet-undiagnosed neurodiverse people who at least aren't held back by the perceived label of a condition, though I'm not saying they wouldn't encounter any difficulties necessarily.

I've never knowingly dated anyone with a disability, but obviously you don't have to disclose everything to a partner in the early days - I certainly don't think anyone owes it to anyone else to share that information about themselves (especially thinking about disabilities which aren't immediately visually obvious). Obviously there are some circumstances where it might make sense, but at the same time you might also be putting yourself in a highly vulnerable position by sharing it, depending on the situation and the person.

I read an article recently about how a lot of people with disabilities and/or chronic pain, fatigue etc. find that sex work suits them well as you can be more flexible with your working hours and in control of things in a way that set shifts or a 9-5 wouldn't allow for, which makes complete sense, but I'm sure it's probably not a line of work that many would naturally associate with someone who has a physical disability (but then I'm sure many just assume that no one with a disability can have a job at all anyway).

Tony Tony Tony

Has it ever crossed your mind that your comparative lack of success with the opposite sex is nothing to do with disability?

Could just be you are a massive knobend?

Despite that you are loved here.

mothman

I wish I had some words of wisdom to impart, J. But truth be told, me and MrsMoth have been together 21 years. We were always pretty open about our medical problems - me with just partial hearing loss, her with heart problems, (at the time) occasional epileptic seizures (they've faded away apart from if her blood sugar ever drops too low), only one kidney, meningitis survivor... (I could go on but you get the idea). For me at least, her issues were just a part of her. I guess making a life with someone just means accepting them whatever, whether it's quirks of personality or failings of physiology.

Jockice

Quote from: Tony Tony Tony on January 07, 2022, 07:51:57 PMHas it ever crossed your mind that your comparative lack of success with the opposite sex is nothing to do with disability?

Could just be you are a massive knobend?

Despite that you are loved here.

Fancy a fuck?

Kankurette

Quote from: flotemysost on January 07, 2022, 06:21:13 PMNot specifically to do with dating, but socialising in general - as I've seen from a couple of my friends' experiences, if you're a young woman whose fibro means you need to use a stick sometimes but you have the audacity to look stylish and dare to attempt a social life after dark, cunty door staff and venue managers can get a bit funny about actually believing you're disabled.

I've known quite a few autistic mates to have very active dating lives, and there must be loads of as-yet-undiagnosed neurodiverse people who at least aren't held back by the perceived label of a condition, though I'm not saying they wouldn't encounter any difficulties necessarily.

I've never knowingly dated anyone with a disability, but obviously you don't have to disclose everything to a partner in the early days - I certainly don't think anyone owes it to anyone else to share that information about themselves (especially thinking about disabilities which aren't immediately visually obvious). Obviously there are some circumstances where it might make sense, but at the same time you might also be putting yourself in a highly vulnerable position by sharing it, depending on the situation and the person.

I read an article recently about how a lot of people with disabilities and/or chronic pain, fatigue etc. find that sex work suits them well as you can be more flexible with your working hours and in control of things in a way that set shifts or a 9-5 wouldn't allow for, which makes complete sense, but I'm sure it's probably not a line of work that many would naturally associate with someone who has a physical disability (but then I'm sure many just assume that no one with a disability can have a job at all anyway).
It definitely didn't suit me, but that was mainly mental issues - if I wasn't autistic and mental, and more confident, I'd probably still be doing it. I do still beat myself up for not putting out more content and not enjoying it as much as I thought I should. I was lucky in that I didn't have to do it to survive, because I could only do it when I was in the right mood. Without going into too much detail, my chronic pain did cause me some problems on that front as well.

I hate the idea that disabled people aren't allowed to have social lives or dress up. Sorry for not wanting to sit at home all the time, I guess.

mothman

Being autistic, I really don't know what other people think of me. And that extends to matters of sex as well. I've always struggled to connect with people in that (or indeed any other) way. I know I've missed occasions when I could well have been in because I failed to spot obvious cues. So I do not know if I've ever been viewed as sexless. My wife says she finds me sexy, though I don't know quite how - but then it's the same vice versa, I think she's fucking hot while she says she can't see how I can what with her being short, and a bit chubby, and with some epic scars.

I just feel like I'm rambling and there's some point in trying to make but never quite getting there. So no change really...

Malcy

I've thought for a long time that if I ended up in a relationship with someone with a disability, no matter what that is that it just wouldn't matter and why should it? It shouldn't define them or restrict them from happiness.

If it meant that down the line it would mean extra responsibility and hardship to care for that person then so be it. Stares or comments from people? So be it. It shouldn't matter at all. If you love the person then you love them with their disability.

I see Rosie Jones got a fairly disgusting comment thrown at her the other day. Just no need for it.

https://mobile.twitter.com/josierones/status/1478773867543941126

I get that maybe people don't want to be forthcoming about any kind of disability when it comes to dating as they probably think it will put people off but if it does then it just gets one more dickhead out of the way in the journey to find the right person so every cloud and all that. Just a shame it has to be that way for some people.





flotemysost

Realistically if you're in a relationship with someone into old age then at least one of you will most likely experience potentially significant changes to physical and/or mental ability over the years, I suppose. Not that that's helpful to anyone experiencing prejudice now, but I guess it's something many people will inevitably have to contend with at some point along the line in their relationships, even if they previously would have rejected someone for having a disability.

Quote from: Kankurette on January 07, 2022, 08:30:10 PMIt definitely didn't suit me, but that was mainly mental issues - if I wasn't autistic and mental, and more confident, I'd probably still be doing it. I do still beat myself up for not putting out more content and not enjoying it as much as I thought I should. I was lucky in that I didn't have to do it to survive, because I could only do it when I was in the right mood. Without going into too much detail, my chronic pain did cause me some problems on that front as well.

I hate the idea that disabled people aren't allowed to have social lives or dress up. Sorry for not wanting to sit at home all the time, I guess.

I've never done it but I get the impression that one of the issues with things like OnlyFans is the amount of effort towards engagement with audiences and relationship-building required, which I can imagine could potentially be quite mentally draining and stressful (for anyone), apart from the physical side of it.

And yeah, fuck this notion that disability is only legitimate if you're a meek lonesome wallflower.