Dating with a disability may be a taboo topic, especially in today’s society where dating apps are the prominent way to meet new people. Lolo, Aman Lakhani, and Erin Hawley all have different forms of muscular dystrophy. HuffPost interviews the three individuals to get their perspective on what is like to date as a person with a disability.
“If you’ve never dated a disabled person, ask yourself why not?”
Current Dating Life
Amin describes his dating life as “Less active than it used to be because I have a better sense of who I am and what I’m looking for. I filter more. I’m dating a few people at the moment.”
Lolo states, “As of now, I’m not looking. I’m just trusting God will allow me to attract whoever is meant to be with me.” She continues by saying in her past she has dated consistently only to get friend-zoned or told she is “too intimidating” to date.
Erin admits she has dated a lot in the past and has been in two serious relationships. She is currently dating her partner of three years.
Erin states online dating was a nightmare for her because of the inappropriate questions she was always asked. “ I think, to some extent, everyone hates (online dating). But for me, there were a lot of creepy messages by guys asking if I could have sex (before even saying hello!), asking if I knew how to love, asking all sorts of very personal, inappropriate questions,” she says.
Amin says the worst part about dating online in his perspective is not getting a lot of matches. He states he is left questioning if this is because he has a disability.
Amin, Lolo, and Erin all have one thing in common when it comes to online dating - they all believe in disclosing their disability on their dating profile. Erin says, “There was no point in hiding it because a partner would eventually know I was disabled. Showing myself right away also weeds out those who are close-minded; why would I want to date someone like that?”
Lolo encourages other people with disabilities to do the same when it comes to creating a dating profile. “I figure it’s better to get it out the way so there are no awkward conversations later,” she says.
Amin and Lolo both agree that there should be an open and honest line of communication when discussing the topic of sex.
Lolo says, “They should approach sex first with an honest conversation of what’s comfortable for them.”
Amin gives an example of when he felt the desire to end a relationship because his partner was not completely honest with her feelings about sex. He states, “I had to ultimately end the relationship because I knew she wasn’t happy. I just wish she had been more clear about it instead of going back and forth, as that caused a lot of frustration with breaking up and getting back together over and over.”
Dating Advice For Fellow People With Disabilities
One piece of advice Amin gives to other people with disabilities is to not be afraid to joke about your disability as it breaks the tension. He states, “People will respond to it based on how you present it. Trying to hide it or ignore it will just make people uncomfortable because humans are naturally curious about anything that is unique.”
Lolo advises others to fearlessly try. “Have fun first and don’t get hung up on hoping to find “the one.” That way, you’ll have better experiences meeting people than disappointments when things don’t work out. And everyone struggles to date these days. It’s not always just because of your disability,” she says.
Erin states, “Don’t give up hope. It might take a while, but that’s OK. Keep dating, keep putting yourself out there, and take breaks to refocus on yourself when needed.”
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