Just like a messy divorce-in-progress or the fact that there are three kids under the age of 10 waiting at home, Carlson feels that disability is an important fact that potential partners should know from the beginning.Unlike Woodward, who feels the Internet can bring out more negative in people than positive, Carlson thinks online dating is actually a better, less scary way for guys to approach her.While heading to a first date, for instance, she often can’t help wondering if walking with crutches—which she can do for short distances—would be better than using her wheelchair.Normally, she says, she chooses whatever is most comfortable for her.
If you’re not in a chair and you can reach the top shelf in my apartment, that’s even better,” says Woodward.“I think dating sites for people with disabilities is a terrible idea,” says Carlson, in the same vein.
If you don’t have a disability, you’re unlikely to know they exist.
But if you do have a disability, try sifting through the literally hundreds of messages you receive from people who aren’t interested in making a good first impression.
Woodward chronicles these reactions on her blog “Step Funny Right Now.”Some of the first-time messages she’s received from guys on OKCupid:“…Are you handicapped cause in half the pics your [sic] standing and the others your [sic] not so I’m confused.”“Hello there. ”For people like Woodward who look different than the norm, these kinds of awkward first-liners are a fact of life.
A day running errands in public can involve multiple strangers asking invasive questions about her body and her abilities.