06/06/2022 “To Disclose or Not to Disclose….is the Big Question” By Kaylee McGrath
Updated: Jun 8
This week I wanted to update my experiences from a previous article I wrote and published on October 18, 2021 with my roller-coaster ride and limited progress with using a dating app since September of 2021. This particular dating app also has a BFF feature to meet other women to ultimately cultivate friendships based on mutual interests.
So far, I have matched with approximately 40+ men and corresponded with most of them using text messaging via the app or on other social media platforms. Usually, the messaging stops within a few exchanged messages (3 or 4 days). The men do follow my social media stories and react/like the various photos I post. An interesting observation I’ve discovered is, many men on the app are already in relationships. I find their social media pages or photos they are tagged in by their girlfriends or families. Either these men want to end their relationships and seek out other women to date or are interested in hooking up in addition to their current relationships. Other men are simply on the app solely for the purpose of hooking up and do not want or have the desire in building a meaningful relationship, or want to date casually. Two men admitted to me they signed up with the app for the free 30-day promotion to gather several potential hookups to have on hand for the future. I have only met in person 13 men. Nine of the dates did not go past the first initial date, two dates went as far as a second date, and the other two went to 5 and 6 dates. The majority of these men still follow me on various social media and occasionally say hi, ask how I’m doing, like my photos, with no mentioning of ever wanting to meet me in person or would like to get together again.
All of the men that I did meet in person, I shared I have a processing/learning disability and had scoliosis surgery (the reason for my delay in driving). Only three men understood and were not bothered, or felt uncomfortable about my challenges. The reactions were the same with some men that currently I do not drive, but were happy to hear I’m studying to take my learner’s permit. There have only been three times that I shared this information with men that were planning on meeting me but in the end they either cancelled or, I was stood up (three times) with no phone call or a text message explaining why they couldn’t or no longer wanted to meet me. I can only assume they were uncomfortable to meet me because of my disability and that I didn’t have a driver’s license.
To date, my experience has been most men cannot handle or want to handle my challenges or want to be inconvenienced by always picking me up and driving me home. Instead of discussing my personal challenges directly, these men simply just run away as fast as they can. Additionally, at least two of the men I met in person showed distinct signs of social anxiety and clear indications of possibly being on the autism spectrum (Asperger's). I witnessed first-hand how some of the men who hold very high professional and technical career positions clearly lacked the ability to effectively socialize, communicate, and lack eye to eye contact when talking. Most of the research I’ve done has indicated, individuals with higher functioning autism show positive signs of being socially awkward, sometimes lack empathy, have an all-absorbing interest in specific topics, have difficulty with eye-to-eye contact, and most are addicted to computer games (gaming).
On the BFF side of the app, I’ve matched with 7 women and only corresponded with 2 after the initial match. Once again, if and when I need to disclose my challenges and I do not drive, the women either cancel our plans to meet, I’m ghosted, or they block me on the app and on various other social media. I’m hoping to meet one of the women very soon to go shopping and to have coffee or lunch afterwards.
I have now watched all 6 episodes of the Netflix series “Love on the Spectrum US” and it is just as good as the original Australian version. In one of the episodes, it was discussed if it is good or bad to disclose to potential dates or on a first or second date to reveal that the real-life characters have Autism. Although I do not have Autism, I can surely relate to having various developmental disabilities. For me personally, it is better for me to disclose this information than not to. My reasoning is…it can be extremely devastating to both the man and myself if the relationship would grow and sincere feelings would develop… and then to find out the man would be uncomfortable or not be able to handle all that was disclosed. I have also realized that many men and women because of their lack of direct face-to-face communication skills cannot handle dating or relationships and just solely rely on hookups. To me, this is very sad and cold! I have mentioned in past blog articles that it is unfortunate that real life socialization and various relationships have been compromised due to the misuse of social media. It would be wonderful if my generation can overcome this and start enjoying the value and experiences of true meaningful relationships, friendships, and face-to-face social interaction instead of relying on online interaction and relationships built only on social media.
Source of Information: Personal Experiences
Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!