Gareth Herridge, a quadriplegic, addresses the topics of love, romance, and dating for someone who uses a wheelchair.
“I certainly don't believe having a disability should make a person feel unattractive or put them off the idea of dating.”
Gareth admits that he enjoys the process of meeting a girl and flirting with her while trying to find the courage to ask her on a date. He states he has become more charismatic and confident around girls since becoming paralyzed. However, Gareth guesses this has more to do with age and experience rather than his spinal cord injury.
Gareth states he has a different perspective from blogs he has read of dating experiences of fellow people who have spinal cord injuries. He says, “Recently, I've come across a number of articles to do with dating when you have a disability, all written from personal experience, with a fair few of them detailing how much harder it is to find someone when you're in a chair, that people are put off by it and don't see you in a romantic way. I suppose this is a notion I briefly entertained in the very early days of my injury, but if my experiences since are anything to go by then this isn't the case at all.”
Gareth has been in a number of relationships post injury and does not believe his spinal cord injury played a factor in the reason they eventually ended.
“...and when break-ups have occurred, it's never (to my knowledge) been anything to do with the fact that I couldn't stand up to reach the top shelf in the supermarket...”
Gareth realizes that some girls may be put off by the fact that he uses a wheelchair. However, there were certain characteristics of himself before his injury that some girls did not care for as well.
Gareth gives the following advice for wheelchair users who want to try online dating - be honest! “So now I've made sure to mention it in my bio in as lighthearted a way as possible, my disability is an unavoidable part of my life that cannot be and should not be hidden. But it certainly shouldn't be my defining characteristic,” he says.
You may not jive with everyone out there, but if not they are not worth your time!
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