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dating with a disability

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi all,

I'm a good looking and very confident 30 year old single guy from London.

After being in a 7 year relationship from the age of 19 we amicably split 4 years ago and still remain very close friends. I haven't had a serious relationship since then and I thought being single for a while would be healthy. I hadn't met anyone that I fancied being that close with but have still had loads of fun along the way. I now feel that I would like the closeness and intimacy a relationship brings.

Like I said I'm good looking and am very confident but I have Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed when I was 20) which has now started to show itself in the last few years - my leg muscles have 'forgotten' how to run and I have really bad balance so for the last 2 years I have been using two tall walking sticks to get me from A to B.

I get on really well with women and have loads of female friends and have recently signed up to 2 dating sites and have lhad oads of attention. I've been out on 3 dates so far and have had a great time each time. Problem is I've only ever mentioned my MS when we've met up. I only keep in contact with 1 of the 3 girls I met as despite having no chemistry, we had a laugh and have become really good friends As for the other 2, well they loved the way I look but couldn't get away quick enough at the end of the date and have not been in touch at all. To be honest their reaction tells me all I need to know about them - shallow and very narrow minded ? hardly the sort of person I would want as a girlfriend so they did me a huge favour.

I'm now thinking that maybe I should've told them about my MS before meeting up in order to reduce the shock effect. At the same time I think that I shouldn't have to explain myself, I am still the same person, that's all that should matter. they've met up with me because they like the way I look, my personality or both.

I've recently been emailing another 2 girls and want to take a different approach to my first 3 dates and tell them about my MS. Don't know how to even begin explaining. I know that if they are genuinely nice girls they will accept me the way I am but I still feel that I shouldn't have to explain myself.

all feedback appreciated.

thanks for reading

RA77
«1

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course you shouldn't have to explain yourself. However, you could look at it as a vetting process, in part: let them know about the MS before you meet, so that they know and therefore if they're the sort of person who can't handle it, they'll make their excuses and that's the end of it. Just be honest; say succinctly that you've got MS and that you only mention it at the start because you know people have different reactions.

    All the best.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i definitely think you should tell them about the MS in advance. Its a big part of your life and likely to affect your future . A woman is likely to have all sorts of worries - maybe worry that if it became serious with you, she could end up as your carer and as much as she likes you, she might not feel capable of that. It would take a special sort of person to get past that.
    If you told someone in advance, they may be able to research it and see if they still wanted to give it a go. You might have less options, but at least the ones you do have will be more viable.

    Good luck
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course you shouldn't have to explain yourself. However, you could look at it as a vetting process, in part: let them know about the MS before you meet, so that they know and therefore if they're the sort of person who can't handle it, they'll make their excuses and that's the end of it. Just be honest; say succinctly that you've got MS and that you only mention it at the start because you know people have different reactions.

    All the best.

    absolutely it's a vetting process!

    i've met loads of girls when out with groups of friends and these girls have been facinated by my unwillingness to let the illness get me down. I would even go far as to say that judging by their reactions and body language that they were 'interested'.

    I'm very very positive and always put things in to perspective - there is always someone worse off - it's not like i'm a father of 10 in africa worrying about when it's gonna rain so i can sell my crops to feed my family! that, in my opinion, is a problem. my MS is an incovienience but i manage it very well. at the end of the day i can see, i can walk and i can talk!

    sorry just went on a rant there!

    yeah i will mention my MS to these girls and see what happens....
  • PearlyPearly ********* Posts: 345 The Mix Regular
    Hello,

    When I commissioning this article on Dating and disabiliities I came across a really fantastic organisation called Outsiders, which may offer you more advice when it comes to dealing with new partners and talking about your disability. You may also want to speak to someone on the Sex and Disability Helpline, which is also run by the founder of Outsiders, Tuppy Owens, and offers advice and information - 0707 499 3527.

    On a more personal note, I think that it's totally up to you if you don't want to mention it immediately when you meet someone, as like you say, they should get to know you without having preconceptions about your illness. At the same time, it's probably best to talk to them about it not too late into the relationship so that they feel they can trust you and that you are open and honest. I'm sure there's millions of girls who wouldn't be put off by it and will want to be with you no matter what. And if they don't, you just have to think, it's their loss!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest I don't think you should have to tell people before hand but then maybe it's true what the others are saying about it being a vetting process.

    I don't tell people the big things that affect my life before I meet them though. I mean...they can either accept it or not..why should you have to to feel you need to tell them before hand?

    And as you said, the people who are going to let your MS affect their opinion of you aren't worth worrying about!

    If I was on a date with you, I'd like you to tell me about it but I would also ask you to explain about it a bit more and personally, I would try to find out information for myself as a lot of peoples problem is just lack of education about the subject...or ignorance not bothering to research it.

    But good luck and personally, It would not put me off, I know this as my brother is currently trying to set me up with a date with his friend who has MS and I can't wait! :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I personally would mention my disability beforehand (don't think I'd go into loads of detail before I'd met the girl, just the basics).

    You can generally see my wheelchair in photos though. Good luck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is a difficult one.

    I, personally, don't think I could date somebody with a disability as I tend to lead a very active life, and would want my partner to be able to keep up with me, or at least join in, in that respect. It's not being shallow or narrow-minded, it's just how I feel.

    I do have the view that if somebody doesn't have the guts to be up front and honest about their feelings on this to you, then they're not worth knowing, but if they do have the balls to tell you that they're not OK with seeing you due to your disability, then you can't really fault them as they've been honest. I also feel that you should mention at least something about your condition beforehand. It just means that none of these particular people are right for you.

    It's down to personal choice, and some people, me included, just won't be able to get past it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    g_angel wrote: »
    This is a difficult one.

    I, personally, don't think I could date somebody with a disability as I tend to lead a very active life, and would want my partner to be able to keep up with me, or at least join in, in that respect. It's not being shallow or narrow-minded, it's just how I feel.

    I find this very odd! Surely in a relationship you have different interests and spend time apart doing different activites, therefore how would this affect you doing the things you want to do? Also, if you find someone who you do end up falling in love with, you can compromise on the activites you choose to do together! Isn't that a part of being in a relationship?

    Sorry that was not totally in keeping with the thread title 'dating' but I felt an important point to bring up.

    Besides the fact MS doesn't mean you are necessarily less active as there are different levels of severeness surely? I find that to be quite discriminating.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In a way I'm kind of with g_angel. I love watersports, in a million and one different forms and me having a serious relationship with someone who had no interest in them or couldn't do them for one reason or another (too terrified of water, couldn't swim and had no way of compensating) wouldn't work.

    My active outdoors/watersports life is far too much of my life as a whole for someone not participating in that to be my partner. Apart from anything else I'd never see them.

    As for mentioning the disability, while you shouldn't feel yuo have to mention it, equally I feel yuo shouldn't deliberately mention it. If you've been chatting online before meeting up to the extent that you know a bit about each other then I'd be a bit pissed off as it would seem you'd been deliberately hiding it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    firesilk wrote: »
    I find this very odd! Surely in a relationship you have different interests and spend time apart doing different activites, therefore how would this affect you doing the things you want to do? Also, if you find someone who you do end up falling in love with, you can compromise on the activites you choose to do together! Isn't that a part of being in a relationship?

    Sorry that was not totally in keeping with the thread title 'dating' but I felt an important point to bring up.

    Besides the fact MS doesn't mean you are necessarily less active as there are different levels of severeness surely? I find that to be quite discriminating.

    It's not odd in the slightest. Yes, we would certainly have different interests, but having an active life is important to me and if a person's disability wouldn't let them join me in this, then it wouldn't work. There is only so much compromise one can make, and this is something I would find it hard to compromise much on, if at all. Simply put, I wouldn't ever be in a situation that I would fall in love with somebody where I would have to make this kind of compromise.

    Don't start with the discrimination stuff. :yeees: I didn't say MS in particular, I said 'disability', so if somebody was unable to walk (for example), then they wouldn't be able to join in with me. Perhaps that is discrimination in some sense, but that is also fact, and how I feel. It's not like I am refusing to date somebody because they are not white.

    I just would not be interested in somebody I knew not to be able bodied for whatever reason, the same as I wouldn't be interested in somebody suffering from a serious mental illness.

    It gets a bit tiring hearing people called 'shallow' and 'narrow minded' because they don't like something that somebody else thinks they shouldn't have a problem with. It's just life, and it certainly isn't fair at times.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    g_angel wrote: »

    Don't start with the discrimination stuff. :yeees: I didn't say MS in particular, but if somebody was unable to walk (for example), then they wouldn't be able to join in with me. Perhaps that is discrimination in some sense, but that is also fact, and how I feel. It's not like I am refusing to date somebody because they are not white.

    I just would not be interested in somebody I knew not to be able bodied for whatever reason, the same as I wouldn't be interested in somebody suffering from a serious mental illness.

    Why should I stop with the "discrimination stuff" when it clearly is?

    Anyway, you have your opinion and I have mine, I agree to disagree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    firesilk wrote: »
    Why should I stop with the "discrimination stuff" when it clearly is?

    Anyway, you have your opinion and I have mine, I agree to disagree.

    Because it's a whole huge can of worms. Not being interested in somebody for almost any reason can be discrimination. I wouldn't be getting crap from you if I said I wouldn't be interested in somebody very tall, for example... But because we're on about disability, then it's all "OMG, he's such a bad man!!!"

    Yes, we'll leave it at that as there is no way we will see eye to eye on such an emotive subject. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    g_angel wrote: »
    Yes, we'll leave it at that as there is no way we will see eye to eye on such an emotive subject. :)

    Agreed :yes:

    And I just say what a refreshing change it makes for someone to say that and not turn it in to a full blown argument! :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    firesilk wrote: »
    Agreed :yes:

    I added a bit more to my original response just saying why to leave the discrimination line.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really think the term discrimination can be used in a dating/relationship context. Apply it slightly differently, a straight girl wouldn't go out with a gay guy, that's not discrimination, that's taste. G_Angel wouldn't date someone who woudn't join in their active lifestyle, again that's not discrimination, that's taste and I'm sure would equally apply to couch potatoes as people with limited mobility.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really think the term discrimination can be used in a dating/relationship context. Apply it slightly differently, a straight girl wouldn't go out with a gay guy, that's not discrimination, that's taste. G_Angel wouldn't date someone who woudn't join in their active lifestyle, again that's not discrimination, that's taste and I'm sure would equally apply to couch potatoes as people with limited mobility.

    Oh SOOOO agreeing with you here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really think the term discrimination can be used in a dating/relationship context. Apply it slightly differently, a straight girl wouldn't go out with a gay guy, that's not discrimination, that's taste. G_Angel wouldn't date someone who woudn't join in their active lifestyle, again that's not discrimination, that's taste and I'm sure would equally apply to couch potatoes as people with limited mobility.

    I agree with everything you have said but don't really think the straight girl going out with a gay guy applies because surely they wouldn't choose to go together in the first place.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    g_angel wrote: »
    Because it's a whole huge can of worms. Not being interested in somebody for almost any reason can be discrimination. I wouldn't be getting crap from you if I said I wouldn't be interested in somebody very tall, for example... But because we're on about disability, then it's all "OMG, he's such a bad man!!!"
    )

    Haha, I'm afraid you would be getting crap off me if you said it was because of a tall man! Or someone with ginger hair, glasses, someone with acne etc... I find it all discriminating perosnally. I suppose I was a little like that when I was younger but I seem to have grown out of it and take people for who they are now.

    And I never implied you are a bad man, as my previous post states, you just have a different opinion to me which is just the way of the world.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    I agree with everything you have said but don't really think the straight girl going out with a gay guy applies because surely they wouldn't choose to go together in the first place.

    :yes: I agree there's a mutual understanding between a gay guy and straight girl that a romantic relationship is off limits, which doesn't apply here.

    As for g_angels view, I don't think it's discriminatory as such and actually a brave view to express. All I'd say is that you never know what life is going to throw at you and so any form of restricted view on things can be challenged at some point in your life.

    While it's really good to know your own head and boundaries, sometimes it's more beneficial to not have a fixed view on something like this as until you've experienced something, or really known something through others close to you (although you might have already) it's not necessarily an educated judgement. I don't mean to be critical, just some of my thoughts on the subject.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    firesilk wrote: »
    you just have a different opinion to me which is just the way of the world.

    :yes: :)
    Haha, I'm afraid you would be getting crap off me if you said it was because of a tall man! Or someone with ginger hair, glasses, someone with acne etc... I find it all discriminating perosnally. I suppose I was a little like that when I was younger but I seem to have grown out of it and take people for who they are now.

    Don't get me wrong, I do take people for who they are. But when it comes to dating and personal taste, if somebody doesn't float my boat for whatever reason, then there's no amount of personality that can change this. I don't believe personal tastes are discrimination in this context. You're simply not going to go out with somebody you're not attracted to!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **Helen** wrote: »

    As for g_angels view, I don't think it's discriminatory as such and actually a brave view to express. All I'd say is that you never know what life is going to throw at you and so any form of restricted view on things can be challenged at some point in your life.

    While it's really good to know your own head and boundaries, sometimes it's more beneficial to not have a fixed view on something like this as until you've experienced something, or really known something through others close to you (although you might have already) it's not necessarily an educated judgement. I don't mean to be critical, just some of my thoughts on the subject.

    Yup, all fair points. Unfortunately, I've some experience in a lot of what has (albeit briefly) been discussed, and so I am writing from an educated point of view.

    Some people don't get dealt a fair hand of cards, that's for certain.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    firesilk wrote: »
    Haha, I'm afraid you would be getting crap off me if you said it was because of a tall man! Or someone with ginger hair, glasses, someone with acne etc... I find it all discriminating perosnally. I suppose I was a little like that when I was younger but I seem to have grown out of it and take people for who they are now.

    What on earth are you on about, not being attracted to someone with acne or ginger hair is not discriminatory its personal preference, which I believe we're all allowed to have
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    g_angel wrote: »
    Yup, all fair points. Unfortunately, I've some experience in a lot of what has (albeit briefly) been discussed, and so I am writing from an educated point of view.

    Some people don't get dealt a fair hand of cards, that's for certain.

    :yes: fair dos.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kangoo wrote: »
    What on earth are you on about, not being attracted to someone with acne or ginger hair is not discriminatory its personal preference, which I believe we're all allowed to have

    Discrimination

    Discrimination means treating someone unfairly or unfavourably because of a personal characteristic such as their sex or race or age. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 , it is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their actual or assumed:

    * age
    * breastfeeding
    * carer status
    * disability/impairment
    * gender identity
    * industrial activity
    * lawful sexual activity
    * marital status
    * parental status
    * physical features
    * political belief or activity
    * pregnancy
    * race
    * religious belief or activity
    * sex
    * sexual orientation
    * personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of these personal characteristics.

    .

    I'm now off to work so you may continue your views of what is and is not discrimination in your eyes. As I keep saying, you have your opinion and I have mine.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    firesilk wrote: »
    Discrimination

    Discrimination means treating someone unfairly or unfavourably because of a personal characteristic such as their sex or race or age. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 , it is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their actual or assumed:

    * age
    * breastfeeding
    * carer status
    * disability/impairment
    * gender identity
    * industrial activity
    * lawful sexual activity
    * marital status
    * parental status
    * physical features
    * political belief or activity
    * pregnancy
    * race
    * religious belief or activity
    * sex
    * sexual orientation
    * personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of these personal characteristics.

    .

    So it's against the law to not date somebody because of one of the above reasons?! :lol:

    You're getting the wrong end of the stick here, I'm afraid. Fair enough, if somebody was applying for a job and you turned them down for one of the above reasons instead of there being a better candidate for the job, for example, but not when dating.

    You seem to be taking the boundaries of this way beyond what the law covers. The law doesn't cover everything like a blanket. :no:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Firesilk,

    Are you saying that you shouldn't discriminate based on personal characteristics when dating?!

    Surely it's personal characeristics that make someone who they are and thus would make you like them or not like them? If you didn't discriminate when dating then you'd have to say yes to everyone who asked you....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    g_angel wrote: »
    :yes: :)



    Don't get me wrong, I do take people for who they are. But when it comes to dating and personal taste, if somebody doesn't float my boat for whatever reason, then there's no amount of personality that can change this. I don't believe personal tastes are discrimination in this context. You're simply not going to go out with somebody you're not attracted to!

    I see what you're saying and maybe I'm just a one of a kind or something, as I fallen head of heels in love on 2 occasions with people I didn't find the slightest bit attractive in my eyes, until they won me over with their personality (gods honest truth). I always used to be attracted to people looks wise when I was younger but have changed as I've got older. Maybe that's just me.

    Anyway I must go to work! Each to their own :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Firesilk,

    Are you saying that you shouldn't discriminate based on personal characteristics when dating?!

    Surely it's personal characeristics that make someone who they are and thus would make you like them or not like them? If you didn't discriminate when dating then you'd have to say yes to everyone who asked you....

    No just on the above points listed. And stop growling! We all have very different opinions, I just happen not to agree with yours and vice versa. Anyway, must go to work now. :wave:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    firesilk wrote: »
    I see what you're saying and maybe I'm just a one of a kind or something, as I fallen head of heels in love on 2 occasions with people I didn't find the slightest bit attractive in my eyes, until they won me over with their personality (gods honest truth). I always used to be attracted to people looks wise when I was younger but have changed as I've got older. Maybe that's just me.


    Wow. I have to say I'm impressed.

    Have a good night at work :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have to say I'm also impressed.

    I'd really struggle not to discrimate against certain characteristics on tht list when dating; sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age (being legal is always useful), marital status, pregnancy, some political beliefs and some religious beliefs.

    If you could not then you are a very different person to me.
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