There are few dating taboos nowadays. People of different races can date each other without ridicule. You can date people of different faiths. You can choose who, where, and when you can date… These are just a few things that have changed in the 21st century dating wise.
Oddly, not much has changed when it comes to disabled people dating normal people. This is very much still a taboo in most countries. And it’s a situation that makes people uncomfortable, and sometimes disgusted.
If you’re ready to talk about it, keep reading.
When I was younger, I wanted to be just like my Dad. I wanted to get married one day, have children. The wheelchair was never an obstacle to my dreams.
Years later, in Jr. High, I started asking women out. (And endured many glares and looks of pity.) I had no luck. So naturally, I tried to join conversations with other guys about our girl problems. They looked at me with shock. It’s like they never expected a disabled guy to even be interested in women. (Worse they thought I was asexual.)
People still seem surprised to this day. I think this is mainly nurture rather than nature, due to the public’s perception of the disabled community as “inspirations” or “medical miracles”. Due to these perceptions, we aren’t considered normal, thus many people don’t treat us like humans but rather drains on society. (Attitudes started to change dramatically since 1990. Though many are still closed-minded.)
But I kept asking girls out at that school, and when half of the women in the school said hell no, I stopped asking anyone out. So I tried to figure out why I was being rejected.
I remember asking a relative why disabled people never get dates, and she said that it’s because people in wheelchairs smell too much. Then she said I’d have to hire a prostitute to get one… This definitely added insult to injury to a fourteen year old boy.
Then, there was what I call the “classic” response. “Women don’t want to be date you. You don’t have anything to offer!” I couldn’t understand the hostility and still don’t. Everyone has something to offer, no matter if they physically able to do certain things or not.
I haven’t had much luck as an adult either. Ignorance is a disease that seems to affect people from all walks of life.
I’ll never know why some people act the way they do about the idea of a disabled man wanting a relationship one day, or someone in a relationship with a disabled person. All I have is a theory. And it has to do mostly with human history.
Ignorance is a force that has been around forever, and always will be. And it’s what keeps taboos alive. Question is, what should we in the disabled community do about? What can we do about it?
Absolutely nothing. You can’t force an ignorant person to change. And changing a taboo is impossible. (Especially one that has been prevalent for a few thousand years.)
I say, let’s just live our lives. Forget the opinions of the ignorant. Let’s not get disheartened when we can’t get a date, and keep moving on. After all, that’s what we as humans need to do.
This phrase may be a stereotype, but it always applies; there are plenty of fish in the sea. Especially in places you can’t see right away.
Most of all, have patience. Treat the ignorant kindly, even though they are total asses. And also remember that no one ever gets a date right away… Be friends with people of the opposite sex. You never know if someone is open to dating you until you get to know them better.
So let’s get out there, and destroy this festering taboo once and for all.