Finding that special someone is a dream for most people. Some even spend a lifetime looking for that someone. The dating world is filled with expectations and hopes but what happens when that special someone is a disabled person?
People do have a lot to say about dating a disabled person. There are stereotypes and myths attached to disabled people of which most are untrue. Some of these are brought up and spread with those with a one track mind and lack acceptance. Disabled people have had serious problems fitting into the society. This is as a result of lack of acceptance and understanding from people who seem to have no empathy towards the disabled. Having a disability doesn’t make you less human and this is why some organizations are setup just to pass that message across.
What types of stereotypes are attached to disabled people?
Stereotypes are like societal labels and nobody likes being labeled. The disabled people in society have been labeled for as long as can be traced back and the reasons for such labels are unacceptable.
- Lack of Understanding- if you don’t understand how a person feels, I guess it’s best to try and do so other than castigating them. Empathy is a quality that every human should posses and it is the key to understanding people with disabilities more.
- Societal Misconceptions- these misconceptions may have started from someone or somewhere but it has spread and eaten into the minds of the society. People who have no close contacts with the disabled already have these misconceptions embedded in their minds.
Whatever the reason for these stereotypes and myths, we have to understand that it leads to segregation and isolation of disabled people which is a negative outcome. We have to come together to ensure that these stereotypes are broken down one after the other until not one of them is remaining.
We’ll push that forward by debunking some common myths attached to dating from a wheelchair or dating someone with a disability. In this article, we’re providing you with some myths that people say about dating a disabled person which are totally untrue.
Myth 1- Dating someone with a disability is a burden.
Truth- Totally Untrue
People have this misconception that dating someone with a disability is a constant burden. You have to help them to the bathroom, to the toilet, to eat, sleep and even dress up. Well, we’re here to tell you that it is completely untrue. People who are disabled find ways to adjust to life struggles and demands that come their way. They device ways to move about and do their own stuff so, they obviously have no complete dependence on you. You don’t think they sit around all day moping for someone to come help them, do you? If you do want to help as someone who loves them, it is fine but when does helping someone you love become a burden?
When you go out, people tend to say things about the burden of being in a relationship with a disabled person. How would they know when they haven’t experienced it for themselves? What they don’t realize, is that their words are discouraging and creating an unfair dating space for the disabled people. It just makes dating in a wheelchair harder than it should be. Truth is that dating someone with a disability needs more effort on your path, especially for the physically challenged, but with love it is not a burden but a blessing.
Myth 2- People with disabilities get offended quickly.
Truth- Wrong Generalization
This has to be the most ridiculous of all myths about dating someone with a disability. It is what the philosophers call ‘The fallacy of hasty generalization ’. Probably someone had an encounter with one disabled person with an anger issue or watched a movie. Yes, these movies too tend to project these myths and in a wrong way. A young man stuck to a wheel chair who is mean to everyone around him because of his condition. Does it ring a bell in your movie watching memory? The problem is that, we see these things everyday and it does not take so long before people start attaching it to every single disabled person.
What do people say when a certain thing is said about all women or all men or people of a certain race or country? It is not all of us. This also applies to this situation. Not all disabled persons get offended quickly. Even, most of them have come to complete peace with themselves that they don’t get offended when people make direct jabs at them. So no, disabled people don’t get angry at any given opportunity. It is not like a toothpaste that comes with a toothbrush, a compact package. We are not saying that some disabled people don’t have anger issues but it is not a constant for all disabled people. Same way you find abled people with anger issues, is the same way you find disabled people with anger issues. Disability is not a reason or an excuse to project anger.
Myth 3- Dating a disabled person makes your sex life impossible.
Truth: Untrue. Disability does not affect one’s sex life.
Some of you may not be conversant with Nick Vujicic. He is a South African man with no limbs and is currently an inspiration to thousands of people today. Why is his name being mentioned here? It is because if you read about him, you’ll find out that he is happily married with four children. Four children who are not adopted. So if someone tries to tell you that dating someone with a disability totally cancels out your sex life, you have an example that clearly proves that it is untrue. Totally untrue!
As long as the disability is not related to his/ her sexual organ, this is a complete myth. Dating from a wheelchair still doesn’t prevent the person from having sex. So, dating someone with a disability doesn’t affect your sexual life or how frequently you have sex in your relationship. This is not one of those moments where we make baseless claims in favor of the disabled. There are facts about disabled people and their sexuality brought about by endless research by medical scientists. So, sex with a disabled person could be just as good as sex with someone without a disability. You just have to have that good connection to lead you there.
Myth 4- Dating a disabled person makes it impossible to go on regular dates.
Truth: Wrong. Disabled people go out just as much as those without disabilities.
You are worried about how your dating life would be with a disabled person. This is the last thing you should you worry about especially with someone you love. Looking at it realistically, how logical is it to say that disabled people don’t go out much. Well, if they don’t why do establishments feel the need to create packing lots or walkways specially for them? These things have even made going out on dates easier than it could’ve without them.
Asides going out to see movies, restaurants, arcades or other places people tend to go on dates, you can be creative with your dating life. It is not a necessity to go out before it counts as a date. You can arrange something at home, at the roof-top or at the balcony or anywhere you choose that is stress-free but is also nice. The setting and mood goes a long way to making it a date to remember. You might even realize that those kinds of dates are more intimate than the ones with lots of people around. Like we stated earlier, going on dates is not a problem when it comes to dating someone with a disability or dating from a wheel chair. All that matters is your love connection and choosing eachother over and over again.
Myth 5- if you’re dating a disabled person, you are probably doing it because of an ulterior motive.
Truth: Wrong societal misconception.
This is one myth that comes as a result of wrong societal perception. People will prefer think the worst because they just don’t understand for themselves. Why else would a person without a disability opt to date someone with a disability if not for some reason that is beneficial to them. They could say ‘maybe he has political aspirations’ or ‘maybe the person with a disability has lots of money’ or some other bizzarre reason to paint the relationship to be more than it looks. Why can’t it just be a relationship where two people choose to love themselves?
This is one the most discouraging myths ever. Some people may not seem like it but they care about what the society thinks about them. People do not want to be seen as that opportunist who is taking advantage of a disabled person. If your intentions are right then, there is no need to be worried or bothered about what people think about you. Do what your heart tells you because that is the only way to long-lasting happiness.
Myth 6- Dating a disabled person is boring.
Truth: False. Disabled people are as exciting as they come.
This is a very, very funny myth. They say that like disabled people are less human. We can tell you with high assurance that disabled people lead normal lives just as people without disability. It’s not like every disabled person go about loathing in self pity about their condition. Dating someone with a disability could be just as fun as dating anybody else. Some disabled people have this flair for adventure and living life to the fullest so you can never get bored with someone like that.
Some people may get derailed by the connection between disability and depression but the numbers don’t cover every disabled person. Everyone has their issues whether disabled or not. Looking at a certain person with a different light because of you are dating from a wheelchair is just discrimination.
Myth 7- A disabled person is better in a relationship with a fellow disabled person.
Truth: Wrong. This is a myth that affects disabled people negatively in the dating world.
All that this myth says is that some people would say anything to completely segregate the disabled from the society. A good relationship needs connection and it doesn’t matter who that is with. To say that disabled people would feel better only when they are together is just a wrong notion. It just feeds on that general belief that all disabled people are same. This myth is one of the reasons why some schools, hospitals and establishments feel the need to create sections for disabled people.
Is this really a myth or is there an atom of truth in this? It may be true that disabled people feel better when they are gathered together but this is untrue when it comes to dating. A disabled person will feel better in a relationship with someone that appreciates them and sees them for who they really are. A person who sees them beyond their disability. A person who is not so hung up on the ridiculous stereotypes attached to disabled people.
Dating a disabled person is not a problem as opposed to popular belief. If people would just broaden their view on disabled people and their disabilities and just see them just as they see every other person without a disability, then everything would just be in place.
The dating world should be all inclusive. Disabled people should have equal chances when it comes to dating and the more these stereotypical myths spread, the more they get in the way of this being realized. People need to feel free to date a disabled person, when they want to, and not being blocked by some baseless misconception about people the society should be embracing and not pushing away.