Kristen Parisi is a girl who uses a wheelchair and shares her experiences with those who are considering dating someone with a disability.
It’s not clear to me whether I am a hopeless romantic, or a cynic. Since I was five years old, I’ve been in a wheelchair. It was a result of a frontal crash on the road. Unconsciously, I used to build walls for it.
In my own life, there have been many times when I feared that no one would want to be with someone like me. It’s a constant battle between my instincts and my uncertainty.
Over the years I’ve learned a lot about my wheelchair, how to move around and how to maintain normal relationships.
What is even more fascinating is the way others see and treat people with disabilities. This is often due to ignorance. However, some people may try to make it seem like they don’t have any problem with my disability so they feel the need shout at it.
Many people are good intentions, but don’t know how to proceed. Here are the top things to remember if you’re ever going to be dating someone with a disability.
Don’t use phrases such as “Can you take my?” Do you want to go for a run? Don’t drive if you drink. It is a bad idea. These phrases have been repeated to me over 100 times over the past few years and they never worked for me. It wasn’t the phrase that was the problem, but the fact the boy was…super handsome.
By the way, I’m not saying that all disabled people are friends. I have had several men approach me in bars, trying to strike up conversation with me. One of them said, “Hey Dave, my friend is in a wheelchair.” Perhaps you are familiar with him?” Most likely, you will reply, “nope. I don’t even know Dave.” You can be sure that there isn’t a secret club that we all belong to and that it isn’t a way to make an impression.
In truth, both men and women in wheelchairs would prefer to hear the same awful pickup lines as someone not in a wheelchair. Although it may sound cheesy to say “Hi, beautiful,” it might get you a smile.
Online dating was something I tried for a while. I sometimes forgot about the fact that I was in a wheelchair until we got to talking. This shouldn’t affect my attractiveness but some of the men I spoke with used to react in an offensive manner.
While it’s understandable to be shocked, it is also acceptable to be respectful and explain your thoughts. You can respond with “Should you not date someone who is also in wheelchair?” He is not only mean-spirited, but also ignorant.
This is often something you are really concerned about. My boyfriends left me out of plans to go skiing or spend a few days at a beach. They assumed I would need help as they believed these activities would be too hard for me.
It’s better to ask me first and then let me tell what I can do for you, than to not ask or exclude myself.
The man who taught me the most is still my mentor. He said, “Girl,” that if I felt you needed help, I wouldn’t be there right now. It didn’t make it bad. In fact, the exact opposite was true. I believed I could do any task and loved having someone believe in me.
My boyfriend and I were out in Las Vegas one night when almost everyone stopped to stare at us. It was a new relationship and it was obvious that he wasn’t used to being stared at by strangers.
I was so heartbroken when he asked me, “Does it bother you that people stare at your face?” It has become so normal for me to be watched by people that I don’t even realize it’s happening until it impacts the person I am with. Although it can be a frightening experience, you soon learn to ignore it.
I’m usually too polite for my own good, so when strangers approach me or my partner, I either smile kindly or shut down. They assume they are entitled to ask me if I can have children, or that my boyfriend is my caretaker.
One time, as I was exiting my car at a beer festival, several people shouted at me because he wasn’t helping me. He said that he needed more assistance than I would. When I was in college, I had to go to a restaurant alone. The waitress talked to my boyfriend until he told me that he could speak for himself.
It is crucial to be able to quickly respond to situations such as these. This is a great way for you to make others feel at ease and to let them know that everything is normal.
Open communication is vital in any relationship. This is especially true if you’re dating someone with a disability. Ask fearlessly, whether you need to understand the nature of the disability or express concerns.
I was talking to an ex-boyfriend about the car accident. He looked confused at me as I explained it. He was afraid to ask me why he was in a wheelchair. We had been friends for three years.
Ask. Even if they seem absurd, ask as many questions as you like. You may be surprised at the answers and they could make all the difference in a good or bad relationship.
A person who doesn’t care about their wheelchair is more attractive than someone who isn’t concerned about it at all. It is just as good as the person. With a bottle of wine and a spare wheelchair, an ordinary Friday night can quickly turn into a fun party.
I am usually reluctant to dance, as I believe the wheelchair is in my way. This can make me seem stupid. But, Zach Galifianakis, my mysterious double, changed my mind.
The chair was a favorite of this boy, who pulled me down and spun me until we both felt dizzy. It was also not considered to be able to live without the chair. Are there three flights of stairs? You don’t have to worry, just place the girl on your shoulders.
Although I may be making fun of it, there is no harm in doing so. In this instance, it is possible to date someone in a wheelchair and reap unexpected benefits. This is the only situation where someone can go to an airplane’s bathroom together and think “Oh, he’s just helping her.”
Also, you get more parking space, shorter wait times at amusement parks and big seats at soccer games, all for a fraction of the cost. You also receive preferential treatment throughout the world. Although these perks are not the best, I wouldn’t recommend that you date someone in a wheelchair.
This is the most important thing. Everyone has some burden. A person with a disability, however, cannot hide that burden. Don’t let a disability, such as a wheelchair or prosthesis, stop you from being with people you like.
If you don’t care about others, all these insights and tips won’t matter. You can show your love and respect for others by having a chair or any other item.
So, I’ll leave you with these words. They are not mine but they are something that everyone should hear at one point.
“I don’t care about the chair or any other thing. “I just know you are incredible and I want everyone in the world to know that I am there for you.”
Hi I’m Alvin Tucker. As a born and bred Scott, and a "has been" tourist businessman since my business went bust, I have a lot to offer my readers in life. So please check out my posts...Click to read on