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Dating and disability

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

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Kankurette

Yeah, having to engage with people - some of whom are socially awkward themselves - and pretend to be someone I'm not was draining. Sorry for the derail, Jockice.

Jockice


PlanktonSideburns

Some really interesting posts from jockie and kanks here, I'm glad you started this thread.

I don't THINK being disabled would affect who I liked and who I would pursue as a partner, though I'm happily married now so that's pure speculation. If I am free of any of the eye opening weird attitudes jockie describes here, it's probably due to living very closely with my grandparents growing up (one blind from around the age of twenty, and the other with a leg off at 16), rather than any actual revelatory empathy on my part

But who knows: my granddad had a brief bout of depression in his 70s whilst adjusting to loosing his wife, and he once tried to kill himself, and was scared out of doing it again as he had to recover in a psychiatric ward, and was appalled that he had to spend time with 'crazy people', who he felt should have been quietly asylum-ised out of sight and mind, an opinion he would find appalling if applied to anyone with a physical disability

With the 'being disabled is no excuse for being a cunt' thing, I dunno, if the world is biased against you at every turn, it's a better excuse than most physio/neuro typical cunts have. My grandparents presented as being really upbeat people despite loads of things in their life being a pain in the arse, and lots of people behaving as jockie describes to them. I suspect their good vibes came mainly from my gran, who went into becoming blind with an admirable level of bravery, but this was probably also informed by the realisation that most of the world in the 1940s would treat her as a sub human due to this thing, so maybe she thought being all tits and teeth about it would be a good survival tactic as a not particularly rich mother of four kids who just married a dirt poor one legged bloke from Swansea. Not everyone should have that expected of them. I've been a bit of a miserable git in the last two years, and I've more legs than many

shoulders

Quote from: bakabaka on January 07, 2022, 01:04:04 PMOne 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.

While I am not exactly an absolutely A1 problem-free Regular Dude I don't think I'm on the spectrum (unless everyone has just been polite this whole time) and can say for sure that in the past I had no idea why no-one would go out with me or what to do to improve my chances of starting a relationship so spent long periods being very lonely and isolated with little cause for optimism.

I take it that being on the spectrum has a compound effect on life experience and environmental factors though.

PlanktonSideburns

Maybe everyone was chockkers with sos during that time. There's often a lot of it flying round

PlanktonSideburns

Maybe you were a bit too extra normal, being neuro-Classic is clearly not everyone's bag, based on couples I've met

Jockice

January 08, 2022, 09:49:45 AM #36 Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 11:28:04 AM by Jockice
Quote from: PlanktonSideburns on January 08, 2022, 05:51:14 AMSome really interesting posts from jockie and kanks here, I'm glad you started this thread.

eye opening weird attitudes jockie describes here,

Thanks PS. Your family stuff is interesting too. Thanks for that.

One of the things I always say about disability is that it brings out every single piece of weirdness in some 'normal' people but if the disabled person reacts it's because they're a weirdo...

Anyway, just to balance out my original post, yes I have been friendzoned/shunned etc a lot but there have been occasions when women (and even the occasional man) have made it clear that they would go out with me and in public but I've turned them down, mainly out of insecurity and because of believing that I was so unattractive they must have some ulterior motive. I mean there was a girl at school* who I was really matey with, had my first ever snog with but was absolutely paralysed with fear at the thought of asking out. So one of my best mates (who went to another school) saw his chance, asked her out and they ended up staying together for three years. I didn't hold it against either of them even at the time and she later told me that if I'd asked she'd have said yes. Still, you live and learn. Except that I didn't.

I can think of two women in my 20s who were very keen on me but I turned down. One who I met at a party in Macclesfield (the only time I've been there in my life), later reconnected with in Edinburgh (I was there for the festival, she was visiting family) and it turned out she had a friend who lived in the city i live in, who she started visiting regularly. It didn't really occur to me that she was coming here so she could see me, and she ended up actually asking me out. I said no and although I wasn't really rude to her I sort of regret the way it happened. I'd still apologise to her today if I had the slightest idea how to get in touch with her. But hopefully she's totally forgotten I ever existed.

The other one I met in a club where we bonded over crutches (hers were temporary. Skiing injury) and had a couple of dates, at her request. But I just didn't fancy her (at the time. She is objectively very attractive) so it sort of tailed off without us even kissing. I'm Facebook friends with her and still bump into her occasionally, We're on good terms I'd say. She's recently been diagnosed with some form of autism. Good luck to her.

But both of these women could theoretically have changed my life for the better if I'd gone out with them and (apart from one which just stopped due to lack of interest on both sides) the relationships - and flirtations - I did have in my 20s should really have had warning tape around them. And big signs saying: "YOU ARE GOING TO GET HURT HERE! AND THEN DUMPED!" I reckon there was a lot of self-hatred on my part. There still is but I don't get involved in obviously doomed relationships anymore

And then came the woman who I thought was 'the one' in my early 30s after which I just gave up. I bumped into her for the first time since 1998 about a year and a half ago and practically the first thing she said was 'sorry.' Should bloody think so too.

Oh yeah, and lest I forget, in my late 30s there was the (non-disabled but lovely) woman who worked for a disability organisation in London and invited me to her leaving do and said I could stay at hers afterwards. That's nice of her I thought, but unfortunately her do was on a Friday night, I was down for working on Saturday and try as I might, I couldn't get anyone else to do my shift, so couldn't go. I found out about a year later that she'd fancied me so maybe her inviting me back afterwards wasn't just an act of charity. I'll never know. We even have the same birthday, so could have had joint celebrations for that.

So there we go. Another example of me rambling on about a subject of very limited interest to anyone except me for the sake of it. Regrets, I've had a few, but then again there are bloody millions of them...

(*Not my current girlfriend, who was my first teenage crush but who I managed not to say a single word to at school, despite us being in the same class for four years. And still never spoke to until fate drew us together at the age of 48. She too said that if I'd asked her out then she'd have said yes. Of course she knew absolutely nothing about my personality then....)

PlanktonSideburns

This is good rambling on, and interesting

Jockice

Quote from: PlanktonSideburns on January 08, 2022, 10:28:35 AMThis is good rambling on, and interesting

Ta again. Ican ramble on about much less interesting subjects though, take it from me.

Jockice

Quote from: shoulders on January 07, 2022, 12:47:00 PMMy 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. 

Got to admit I'd probably have stayed for that just to find out what on earth was going on and also even if I never saw the woman again I 'd have a great story to dine out on for years afterwards.

mothman

Quote from: shoulders on January 08, 2022, 09:05:16 AMWhile I am not exactly an absolutely A1 problem-free Regular Dude I don't think I'm on the spectrum (unless everyone has just been polite this whole time) and can say for sure that in the past I had no idea why no-one would go out with me or what to do to improve my chances of starting a relationship so spent long periods being very lonely and isolated with little cause for optimism.

I take it that being on the spectrum has a compound effect on life experience and environmental factors though.

Basically yes. All my life I've struggled with an inability to fit in, make friends, navigate social situations. Getting diagnosed in my late 40s didn't really change anything for me - I am how I am - but what I go find is I've become less likely to TRY to do those things. It's a handy excuse to not go to large gatherings. Compared to some people I know with autism, I'm probably actually quite high-functioning, able to take things in my stride, defer the feelings of overload.

bakabaka

Quote from: shoulders on January 08, 2022, 09:05:16 AMI take it that being on the spectrum has a compound effect on life experience and environmental factors though.
Yeah, it's not really a matter of scale/'everyone's a bit autistic' thing. It's that for the first 20-30 years of your life you don't really understand how any of it works, so dating is the same as everything else but with added hormones and social pressure (felt but not understood).

As an example, I was well into my 40's before I realised that 'Hippo' wasn't a term of endearment and that I had been bullied for years at school. Though it does beg the question 'Is it bullying if the victim doesn't know or suffer particularly?' but that's too much of a derail, maybe keep that for another thread.

Another example that you may have noticed is that I (like a lot of folks on the spectrum) don't tend to generalise much. We tend to use our own experiences as the examples because we can't be sure that any of the things we talk about are generally experienced or understood the way we do.
Which has the effect, I suspect, of making us sound egocentric as well as separate from the rest of society. Exactly the opposite of what is intended.

mothman

And we also tend to overshare or be over-familiar with people, too. We are literally TMI factories.

Jockice

January 09, 2022, 10:03:51 AM #43 Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 10:15:15 AM by Jockice
Quote from: bakabaka on January 08, 2022, 07:51:36 PMAs an example, I was well into my 40's before I realised that 'Hippo' wasn't a term of endearment and that I had been bullied for years at school. Though it does beg the question 'Is it bullying if the victim doesn't know or suffer particularly?' but that's too much of a derail, maybe keep that for another thread.


The more derailing the better if you ask me. I mean I know quite a bit about physical disabilities but not an awful lot about mental ones. I've had a bit of depression but don't think I'm autistic or anything (I've never been tested but I don't seem to fit the criteria). However I do have friends with quite serious mental problems and some of them have been diagnosed and so although I can't look into their minds I realise that it must affect their lives in many ways. However I will say that in some cases they seem not to 'get' how being physically disabled affects my life or make totally wrong assumptions. But that's life. I don't know exactly their thinking either.

But it makes me wonder if the reason I didn't click with the woman from my 20s who has recently been diagnosed with autism is because of some lack of understanding on my part. I mean, she was - and still is - lovely but there was just something missing that stopped me from wanting to go out with her. My present girlfriend admits she has some autistic traits but has never been tested for it and I do find some of her behaviour hard to understand (like as mentioned above oversharing personal information, often with total strangers) but I'm sure that happens with non-disabled couples as well.

Anyway, talk of derailing threads reminds me of when I used to post on a disability forum and we'd have students coming on asking questions which were obviously part of their coursework. Some of us would usually politely answer but the conversation would widen out and then - not all the time but in quite a few cases - the students would reappear and ask/tell us to stick to the original subject. To which our response would be: ''Piss off. It's our forum not yours and you're the one who came onto it. So don't tell us what to do. And incidentally disabled people don't just exist to satisfy your curiosity. We have our own lives as well."

So go ahead, derail if you want.

Jockice

Quote from: bakabaka on January 07, 2022, 01:04:04 PMBut we have it easy, because as your friend says, if a disability is invisible it doesn't count, right?

Only just noticed this, soz. Not at all. Visible and invisible disabilities both have their own disadvantages/advantages but neither is 'better' than the other. It was just one person's experience I was referring to in the original post. And  just to connect it with another person on this thread's experiences, she is now a sex worker, which seems to fit in with her life as a disabled person in a better way than a conventional job would.

mothman

I've wondered whether to start an autism thread given many here obviously have it to some degree or other, but wasn't sure what the point would be. As the saying goes, if you meet someone with autism... you've met one person with autism. It could end up just a long list of posts of people talking about themselves.

And there's the recent spate of celebrity autistics like Melanie Sykes. It's... good...? ... that the condition is becoming more visible, I guess, but will it lead to greater understanding, acceptance and tolerance?
Spoiler alert
No.
Spoiler alert
Duh.
[close]
[close]

Milo

Realistically speaking it's almost certain I'm autistic but my level of interest in talking to autistic people about their autism is less than zero. This may either be because I'm in my forties now and basically fine and not distressed about who I am or that autistic people aren't very interested in it.

Edit to add: just remembered that I think I started a related thread at some point while drunk and it either sunk without a trace, I instantly lost interest in the topic and didn't look at it again or both.

bakabaka

Quote from: Jockice on January 09, 2022, 10:53:48 AMAnd  just to connect it with another person on this thread's experiences, she is now a sex worker, which seems to fit in with her life as a disabled person in a better way than a conventional job would.
My first partner (also on the spectrum) worked as a dominatrix for a few years. It was perfect for her as she could choose her hours, got a good rate of pay and there was absolutely no physical contact at all (she's also tactile defensive) and playing the role was just more masking, so plenty of previous experience there.

And the visible/invisible comment was sarcasm as both are similar but different nightmares to live with.

Jockice

Quote from: bakabaka on January 09, 2022, 12:52:50 PMAnd the visible/invisible comment was sarcasm as both are similar but different nightmares to live with.

You're autistic aren't you? How dare you understand sarcasm!

canadagoose

In terms of autism, it'd have been nice if, when I was dating, I was aware that I was autistic, because it could have saved a lot of bother. I wouldn't have put myself down as much, and I wouldn't have bothered dating people who aren't like me. (Turns out my best friend / ex-partner is also on the spectrum, which he didn't know either at the time. Weren't the '90s great for neurodiversity?)

In terms of the other stuff, like the depression 'n' anxiety, chronic pain/fatigue/fibromyalgia, digestive troubles (IBS, gluten intolerance, gastroparesis) I find it's hard for other people to accept unless they've been in those particular boats. (I'm not on about my best pal here, he's good.) They seem to end up feeling resentment, then they explode on you, then you feel bad because you've let them down, then it all goes to fuck. Not worth the bother, IMO. I don't think I'll bother dating again; I'm very picky, and besides, my current arrangement is hard to beat.

Dr Rock

With chronic pain, and very decreased mobility, I've given up, VolCel. I have no social life and am not doing internet dating again, so can't see how I'd meet someone who accepted my condition, even if they were out there. Also our personalities would have to match. I can't be arsed to try, and luckily I'm not missing the sex (about two years since the last time, and the exertion always caused a massive pain attack to follow, so it's just as well) and I seem to be quite content with just my own company (plus, importantly, everyone here). It's not great but it's the hand I've been dealt, and I accept it try to make the best of it. I had a good innings, sex and relationship-wise. But it shows what disability can do, to add to the thread.

Blue Jam

I once dated someone with Asperger's. A friend set me up on a blind date and told me he was on the spectrum, just so I'd be aware and understanding, and I was totally fine with it. For the date we went to a cafe and he brought along a tabletop card game and taught me how to play, and while he was really, really, really into it, all the rules and stats etc, I didn't really get the appeal. Nice guy and good-looking but I've never been into tabletop games and we just didn't hit it off. Happily my friend had another friend who loved games and after she set them up on a date they ended up being in a relationship for six whole months of gaming cafe fun. Awwwww.

While I couldn't get into the game myself I did give it a good go and appreciated someone making the effort to teach me something. I still thought that was a really nice and original idea for a date.

RetroRobot

Currently in my 20s and struggling with this. Had someone last year blow up at me for calling them shallow for them saying they wouldn't date me due to my dyspraxia/autism.
Really don't relate to most people but find myself getting horribly lonely. My mental health had improved and I was working on myself but then my dad died in December, and he was the one person who could always relate to me and vice versa and its all gone to shit.
Rambling some more it doesn't help that I lost my mum a few years ago too and have only a few proper friends, I think it's all adding to this hopeless feeling at the moment, and I really do wanna find a partner but I don't see it happening any time soon.
Sorry that's a big muddled post, needed to get it out.

mothman

Sorry Retro, don't know what to suggest. Dare I ask... internet dating?

RetroRobot

Quote from: mothman on January 12, 2022, 12:19:58 AMSorry Retro, don't know what to suggest. Dare I ask... internet dating?

Yeah I can't keep smalltalk up online. Tried it, just never seems to go anywhere really? I'm gonna try going to more things and meet people that way.

monkfromhavana

A mate of mine was once quite desperate for a girlfriend and saw that a woman had broken down in her car opposite his flat. He went across to assist (to be fair, even if it had been a bloke he'd have went over to offer help). He was chatting to her and helping when he noticed that she had a prosthetic leg. At the end of the procedure he asked her if she'd like to go out sometime and her response was "are you a 'devotee'?". He had no idea what that meant and left it at that.

Jockice

January 20, 2022, 11:03:24 AM #56 Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 11:22:30 AM by Jockice
Quote from: monkfromhavana on January 12, 2022, 08:21:15 AMA mate of mine was once quite desperate for a girlfriend and saw that a woman had broken down in her car opposite his flat. He went across to assist (to be fair, even if it had been a bloke he'd have went over to offer help). He was chatting to her and helping when he noticed that she had a prosthetic leg. At the end of the procedure he asked her if she'd like to go out sometime and her response was "are you a 'devotee'?". He had no idea what that meant and left it at that.


As mentioned in this piece I found while internet surfing yesterday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoKQzAhXkbw

Actually, this is a top series, with similar pieces on things you shouldn't say to people with ginger hair, wheelchair users and those who have cerebral palsy (or in my case something that appears to be cerebral palsy) but forgetting my own personal life, there are lots of others covering disability, cultural, race and gender/sexuality issues and even (of special interest to CaB members) gamers and bald men. Any of you lot on this?. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG2qreoFRvI

I spent hours watching them last night. Great stuff. It's just a shame they missed out phimosis. Which incidentally I had as a child. Genuinely. It was quite a drawback.

jobotic

Quote from: Jockice on January 20, 2022, 11:03:24 AMAs mentioned in this piece I found while internet surfing yesterday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoKQzAhXkbw

Actually, this is a top series, with similar pieces on things you shouldn't say to people with ginger hair, wheelchair users and those who have cerebral palsy (or in my case something that appears to be cerebral palsy) but forgetting my own personal life, there are lots of others covering disability, cultural, race and gender/sexuality issues and even (of special interest to CaB members) gamers and bald men. Any of you lot on this?. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG2qreoFRvI

I spent hours watching them last night. Great stuff. It's just a shame they missed out phimosis. Which incidentally I had as a child. Genuinely. It was quite a drawback.

Laughed.

Those look really good.

Who the fuck would say "have you had the op?" to a trans person? Or ask anyone they don't know very personal questions? I remember people hilariously saying "did you know you've got a spot there?" when I had bad teenage acne - no didn't realise, it's not like I don't obsessively look in the mirror to check how bad it is.

I got a picture book out for my daughter the other day and the girl in it has vitiligo - but it's not mentioned and it's not what the book is about. That seems to be more common in kid's books these days - you'll have a character called Andy who has a wheelchair but it's not called Andy Has A Wheelchair.

Sorry, post all over the place and nothing to do with dating - related to the BBC3 videos Jockice linked to.

Jockice

January 20, 2022, 11:54:56 AM #58 Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 01:41:51 PM by Jockice
Quote from: jobotic on January 20, 2022, 11:42:57 AMLaughed.

Those look really good.

Who the fuck would say "have you had the op?" to a trans person? Or ask anyone they don't know very personal questions? I remember people hilariously saying "did you know you've got a spot there?" when I had bad teenage acne - no didn't realise, it's not like I don't obsessively look in the mirror to check how bad it is.

I got a picture book out for my daughter the other day and the girl in it has vitiligo - but it's not mentioned and it's not what the book is about. That seems to be more common in kid's books these days - you'll have a character called Andy who has a wheelchair but it's not called Andy Has A Wheelchair.

Sorry, post all over the place and nothing to do with dating - related to the BBC3 videos Jockice linked to.

Glad you liked it. I'm not usually funny you know. Well according to at least one other poster. I've just put the same joke as my Facebook status (not a single 'like' so far) but you got it first.

Yeah, even I was surprised at some of the things that had been said to the interviewees on those videos. And I've had a life that has taught me rarely to be surprised.

I'm glad that kids' books are like that nowadays. A definite step forward. I think youngsters today are being taught to be more tolerant. It's a bit like the trans stuff. As I've mentioned elsewhere, a member of my family (female, early 60s) has started posting quite terfy stuff recently. Yet she considers herself quite left-wing and tolerant. Not that I talk to people about this thing a lot (or to young people in general) but when it's come up in conversation with them nobody seems remotely bothered about what pronouns somebody chooses to use etc,

Gurke and Hare

Quote from: Jockice on January 20, 2022, 11:54:56 AMI'm glad that kids' books are like that nowadays. A definite step forward. I think youngsters today are being taught to be more tolerant.

I'd go so far as to say that children are naturally tolerant until taught not to be by cunt adults. I'm reminded of the 'controversy' around Cerrie Burnell being introduced as a CBeebies presenter. She was born with one arm ending just below the elbow, and there were a number of complaints about this from dickhead parents claiming it would scare the children, when she was in fact very popular with the children watching. Anyone who complained should have had their kids taken away from them and adopted by disabled black lesbians.