5th June 2017 geri

Dating!!!

Let’s face it dating is tricky at the best of times, but this on top of adapting to a newly injured spinal cord and a society who still aren’t completely accepting or educated about disability makes dating a challenge to say the least!! Nevertheless, at twenty nine years old and two years into my injury I felt justified to still want to meet someone with the view to building a life together. So I did what any self respecting single twenty something year old would do and I took to Tinder App! Biting the bullet, I decided to brave the audience and put up pictures of myself in my new wheels. I’m not going to lie; the response rate was few and far between. So as a social experiment and embracing the scientist in me, I decided to delete and reactivate my Tinder account next time round opting for older able bodied pictures of myself or head shots minus my latest accessory. The responses were far more positive than before with a considerable selection of responsive suitors.

Wedding fun 2017 with besties!

 

The painful reality was evident and clawing at my skin. Their unfair assumptions about me and my disability superseded everything else which was hard to take. It wasn’t their refusal of courtship that hurt but more the apparent stigma that surrounded dating and the reluctance of dating someone with a disability. Perhaps they felt they would be shackled with permanent care giving responsibilities, or assumed that I’d be a burden. Maybe they perceived that life cannot be complete with a life partner plus a disability because in their minds disability equates to problems. Or perhaps I was far less attractive in a seated position. Tired and defeated I retreated from the dating scene for another six months until slowly and reluctantly I began to toy with the idea again this time around with abit more acceptance of my injury. I decided it would be unfair to show up in a chair without letting them know ahead so I put up the new version of myself and secured dates.

Flashback to my Brother and Sister-in-laws wedding in Rome; Good times!

 

For a large part, I found despite being well educated with interesting life experiences somehow the conversation always came back to my disability, as if it defined me. I no longer started on an even playing field but rather from a lower ground, constantly trying to dig my way out. My longest relationship to date was four months since my accident and on paper he did everything right. He was a true gentleman, complimenting my smile, holding doors open, offering help when needed while enjoying each others sense of humour. But nevertheless, I knew deep down he wasn’t right for me and even though this gut wrenching feeling remained before breaking up with him there were a number of assumptions – both said and unsaid – that surrounded me. I did think wasn’t it better for me to compromise when someone was ready to ‘accept’ me? With a spinal cord injury did I really have a choice? Would anyone else ever like me again? But we are all guilty of under valuing ourselves sometimes and losing sight of the many qualities we possess. I had to remind myself that I am much more than my disability, I am a person of value and no disability or otherwise could take that from me. I’d rather wait for someone who’ll compliment me fully as a person than settle for the sake of it despite my “struggle”

 

2017 Wedding Fun!

 

 

 

Comments (6)

  1. Maria

    Yes Geri, I fully agree with you . You have to feel it’s the right person.
    You also probably know that finding the right person for most of us (and I don’t mean ‘perfect person’) is mostly down to good luck , timing , circumstances and compromises.I’m able bodied and also haven’t found my match. I think you should make sure to keep up your profile and get out as much as possible and of course not compromise too much and ,like me ,wait and see what happens ! You certainly will be a good catch for some lucky person in the future . All the best .
    Maria

    • geri

      Thanks Maria, that’s very true; Dating is complicated at the best of times!!! You too, I wish you love, laughs and health!!! Thanks for reading.
      Geri

  2. david

    Why not to find a way to show sci as an asset, an extra. In the same way we can see exciting to meet a person of a different race, culture, age. Or even blind, deaf or obese. Different people provoke us a king of curiosity. In my case I am off the market, but, no offence, I find you much more hot and desirable now than before. That mixture of fragility but determination. Wow!!

    I know you are talking here about long term relations, not in becoming a magnet for sex scouters, but I think sci people use theirs differences as bait. Not very romantic, but I am sure there is a lot of people who prefer to think about compromise and deep bounds much later.

    • That’s an interesting take on the situation David. Thanks for your nice words.

      I’m not sure about sci people using their differences as bait? I know I certainly don’t and I haven’t met any others in a similar situation who have but maybe you have encountered this in the past???

      • david

        That is the point. Most of the people with quadriplegia I know has assume they will not be accepted as sexed-up individuals by people without mobility limitations.
        Some of them (mostly males) are even considering sexual assistance (an euphemism for prostitution, to me) as the only way to have intimate relations.

        An this is the tendency we need to break. It is great to have sympathy and considerations from others, but what everybody really needs is to feel the desire and curiosity from others for what we are right now, and for that thing in what we are different.

        I believe collective imagination is still waiting for sci people to take their role in affective and sexual relationships. No fishes if you do not launch a net.
        And this net (what I called before “bait”) is what we need to knit.
        A sci body is complex, with sharp contrasts, with boundaries to discover. But at the same time is essentially the same that any other body. A sci body can not be simulated. It is just unique. So it requires to leave back conventional approaches.

        But I wonder how many people with sci would accept someone who confess he or she feels intrigued, attracted and even exited by their physical condition.

        Let´s learn to boast, to provoke, to slip away, and to counterattack.
        Let´s face any person we like and tell them “I can give you something you will not find anywhere else. I know you want me. So go for it”

        Sorry to preach like this. But I really think sci needs a completely new standpoint.

        • Sean

          Brilliant response and very refreshing Geri. Guy with the beards one lucky sapien.
          I have an odd feeling you would beat me at scrabble, and most probably in anything else bar bull staring. I would actually sit out a cat.
          Correct to take the measure of things, and how you reflect, adjust and re-direct is just pure military.
          Like your style, my congrats amigo.

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