Let’s face it. Not all online dating experiences are glamorous or successful. Alana Wallace, a wheelchair-user in her 60s, decided to give it a whirl.
“Most women find online dating difficult, however add a wheelchair into the mix and difficulty turns into something else indeed."
Exploring options on dating sites
Alana, aware that her wheelchair might impact her dating prospects, conducted an experiment on two popular dating sites. The first few days I posted a headshot photo only,” she explains. “I received more responses than I could keep up with.” However, explaining her disability after to the potential date was never received well. “I then decided to add a full-body pic with my wheelchair in strategic view,” she explains. “I received NO (count ’em) responses…I guess the assumption is I must be sick, over-the-hill, inactive, pitiful, and of course non-sexual.” Not one to be deterred, Alana pursued dating on the site and connected with a wide variety of potential suitors including questionable messages and interesting characters.
The 10 type of men encountered online dating
The Thesaurus Man: Insistent on correcting Alana’s word choice, she soon lost interest. “After the third or fourth vocabulary lesson – it was a rap!”
The Hook-Me-Up Man: Things were going fine until he asked Alana if she’d be willing to hook him up with one of her pretty friends who doesn’t use a wheelchair. “He’s still waiting for that hook up,” she writes.
The Foul Mouth Man: “This guy couldn’t get through a sentence without using profanity,” she writes. “I don’t mind a swear word here and there…but where would I be able to take him?”
The Almost “The One” Guy: Everything was going perfectly. Early attraction had grown to nightly conversations that lasted for hours.
“I noticed that he had not asked any questions about my disability. He thought it was a prop that I occasionally used for my artistic endeavors because I didn’t look like a wheelchair user.”
Alana never heard from him again. (His loss!)
The Hater: He seemed nice at first, but once he got comfortable, he was very clear about his stances on politics, religion and more, which weren’t in line with Alana’s vision of her future partner.
The Investigator: One man had plenty of questions for Alana, all of which she answered. “The next day he called and was eager to report that he doubted my age,” she shares. “He further reported that he watched videos of my dance company all night, searched and viewed the photos he found of me on the internet.” When he asked more questions, Alana directed him to continue his search on Google.
The Wheelchair Lover: He had no problem with Alana’s wheelchair and was quick to share that he was his last girlfriend’s caretaker. When Alana explained she didn’t need a caretaker, he replied, “Sorry – I will never contact you again.”
The Edit Man: “He sent me several messages that I didn’t reply to,” explains Alana. “He sent several more asking me to PLEASE REPLY and let him know why I was not interested in him.” Once Alana agreed and offered some tips to his profile, not only did he make immediate corrections, but continued to ask for more help with edits.
The Help-A-Brother-Out Man: “This Guy was a charmer. He was articulate, loved the arts, worldly, and adventurous,” Alana explains. They had plans for their first date and explained they couldn’t use his car because “he fell on some hard times” and was just looking for her to help him out.
The Advice Man: “He warned me what a hard time I would have at my age,” Alana writes. “He told me women over 60 are desperate.” Easy to see why that didn’t work out.
Alana’s tongue-in-cheek style of writing brings some light to the less glamorous sides of online dating, but she in no way aims to discourage other women in wheelchairs from trying dating. Her sage advice:
“Remain optimistic, don’t settle, and continue to combine online dating with other social activities that present opportunities to meet people face-to-face. I make no apologies for having a disability or using a wheelchair. There are great guys everywhere…I know my Mister Right is looking for me too!”
Share this post with someone who wouldn’t mind commiserating about some online dating disasters!