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However, for us with a disability, it can feel impossible. Unseen disability, on the other hand, can be hidden and, depending on its prominence, there’s a chance for assumed normalcy among peers.
I can argue this two ways: a Seen Disability (physical) is easier to navigate than an Unseen Disability (mental) because, for the most part, I’m saved from having to explain myself; people can assume my limitations, often fairly accurately.
Looking at my profile, I realized that the guys had no idea I use a wheelchair until they saw me for the first time on a date.
I was picking good pictures of myself for my profile, and they just happened to not include my wheelchair.
In this game I’m imagining, there’s a pile of stuffed animals (all the people we can date) in the middle, and a stuffed bear holding a heart (a lasting relationship) off to the side.
That being said, if by the end of the date I feel like it was more of a marketing opportunity for my first book, Greater Things, that tells the story of my accident, instead of mutual pursuit for a romantic connection, that’s draining.
There’s so much more to me than my disability and it’s all missed when we only talk about my trauma. At the end of that first month, I stepped back and asked myself why the dates were going so poorly.
Back on the app, I added a full body shot in my profile and dealt with a new, slightly lesser problem: instead of being rude and intolerant of my dissimilarity in person, we got that over with via the chat function of the app.
This approach, we’ll call it the Straightforward Method, saved me a lot of time and, thanks to my power to unmatch with the boys and never have to see them again, I could control the flow of abuse.
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Obviously, we all want the heart bear in this scenario, but the odds are stacked heavily against us.