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10/31/2022 “Pros and Cons of Dating When Both Individuals have a Disability” By Kaylee McGrath

As most of my readers know, for just under one-year I was active on an online dating app with limited success. Additionally, I believe in “Full Disclosure” of my disability and either mentioned what I have prior to meeting someone or found the appropriate time during a first date to share about my disability. Much to my surprise, if I didn’t already suspect that the man I was communicating with or meeting in person, had a disability, after I shared my challenges, they in turn shared what they had. In some cases, being open led to going on a third and fourth date, or it ended abruptly. I’m happy to share that out of a total of 60 plus matches, I have successfully gained and kept good friendships with fifteen men that I was matched with. I enjoy meeting them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, going to parks/beaches, the bay to take photographs, or inviting them over to watch a movie and ordering take out. We sometimes share our difficulties and challenges of various things and offer a shoulder of strength to lean on that only someone with a disability can sympathize with and understand.

There are so many misconceptions about dating someone with a disability especially if both individuals have a classified disability. So far, I’ve dated as well as I have friendships with men with the following disabilities:

• ADHD (4)

• OCD (2)

• Dyslexia (9)

• Bi-polar disorder (4)

• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (1)

• Autism Spectrum -high functioning (2)

• Learning Disability (1)

• Epilepsy (1)

The men I’ve dated as well as have friendships with share something in common with one another, and that is, they hold very high professional positions and achieved higher education degrees (5 have Masters Degrees and one is a lawyer). Only two men did not complete college, but started their own professional successful companies. All fifteen men have stated that since I embraced my disability, I have achieved so much despite my challenges and feel the future will continue improving for me.

So, what are the Pros and Cons or why relationships don’t work out when both individuals have a disability?

Con’s (listed below are true answers to questions/conversations I’ve had with dates and male friends with disabilities):

• The pressure and negative comments society and families put on us is overwhelming and it is too difficult to continue with the relationship

• Parents are afraid and embarrassed of what others might think of the match or even worse, if the relationship develops to a possible marriage or living together

• Parents are afraid of the various help that might be needed in the future even if their son or daughter is highly educated, have a professional career, and independent

• Parents are afraid of what genetically might be passed on to their grandchildren or greatgrandchildren

• What co-workers may think if your date shows signs of a disability at a business event, again judging/embarrassment

• What friends think of the match/relationship and they feel the need to share their thoughts when honestly, it sometimes is not needed, or wanted

Pros:

• Always having someone that knows completely what you have gone through and what you might be going through in the future

• Having someone that can anticipate and respect the personal space that people with disabilities often need

• Taking the time out to educate and fully learn about each other’s disability to build a lasting meaningful relationship

• Respecting an ongoing solid ground for communication and the openness for adventure within both individuals’ capabilities and comfort zones

• Having a special unique connection and bond that no one else can get in the middle of, but sometimes they want to


Closing Statement: I believe that society, parents, family members, and friends of individuals with disabilities should be more openminded to accept and support the uniting of two disabled people to date and to have and build meaningful relationships, and/or get married. Sometimes too many opinions interfere and ruin something special, and that is not good!

Source of Information: Personal experiences and discussions with dates and friends


Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!


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