Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dating With a Disability

For ages, even before I got sick, I said I wanted to start dating again. Sometimes I put my feelers out there just to check on what I might reel in. It's never pretty. I have an online dating profile up - for now. I deleted many replies there, texted a few back and forth, and never met any of them. Well, I planned to meet one but got blown off THREE times and had to put him in the deleted pile. I've been divorced for...almost 4.5 years now. I was still wrapped up in my own wishful world of the past. Then I got sick. Nothing was happening in my dating world after I got sick & I had to focus on getting better.

But they say that when you're not expecting it, it'll come. I think I may be open to it, but not actively looking for it. There is one potential. I just need to decide what I want to do with that potential, and if I'm ready. The major issue I'm having, outside of the lovely medication weight gain (seriously 40 lbs since May, wtf), is how or when to tell someone I'm disabled. I'm pretty sure seeing my handicap plates pull up on a date is going to give something away. If it's winter and snowing or icy, I have a cane to announce that I have some kind of issues.

So I obviously have to say something before a first date where it'll be obvious. I'd rather not spring it on someone as a surprise - like the guy who says he's 40 and shows up as 50. But I don't want to get into it on my dating profile and attract any weirdos either. So at what point between the first few emails or phone calls and a first date do I address my disability? I have mobility & strength issues. Not super obvious ones, but noticeable in certain situations. Something like a restaurant booth or bar stools are issues for me. If I sit too long I have issues standing up because my muscles stiffen.

Granted, if the person is someone I already know, then this isn't exactly an issue since they see me in person. But even then, they may not know what my issue is or how my polymyositis affects my daily activities. They may wonder about sex and not know how to ask if I'm willing and able! For the record, yes to both. I'm disabled, not dead for goodness sake. There might be mishaps or minor modifications but it's supposed to be fun, not some over-thought, be-careful-or-I-might-break-her situation.

So how to address awkward issues of my disability without going into my long, insane illness? I don't know. I'm going to have to think about it if I don't want to be bombarded by questions all about my journey on a date. I'm also hoping the issue of sex and my disability will weed out those too uncomfortable to talk maturely about sex. Something I despise. It's just sex. Really. If you can't talk about it like an adult, and not just "What's your fave position", we're so not having it.

I just wonder if I spring the disabled thing on them too soon will it freak someone out, or if I wait until we meet do I seem sneaky and untrustworthy? Thoughts?


Liz said...

My thoughts are to wait until you meet in person to share about your polymyositis. That's not being sneaky - I'm all about "in person" communication. I think it's the best.

As far as sex, I believe in saving that intimate bond for marriage. After all, if you give it up before then, then why marry? What's the point? God gave the pleasure of sex to the marriage bed -- if a guy can't wait to share that with you after committing himself to you, then he's not worth it.

Any guy that can't understand that is unworthy of your love, in my opinion.

Jennifer said...

I always look forward to hearing from you Liz! I hope you're feeling well.

I agree about waiting to have sex, but I'm not on the marriage bandwagon since my divorce. I'm also not that religious anymore to where the God aspect holds water for me. I'll definitely be waiting until I'm comfortable enough to get naked in front of someone new! Plus, as a single mom, I can't just get away and wouldn't have guys coming over for that anyway. Not my style. So getting to know someone well is definitely a priority.

I've been thinking about when to share about the polymyositis. I think to early might have some guys thinking I'm an easy meal ticket w/a disability check or think I'm a physical mess. But I also don't want to waste anyone's time if it's just not something they want to deal with. I have time to think about it. No first dates on the horizon yet anyway. :)

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