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How To Survive The Online Dating Scene: Tips for Disabled Singles

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The best advice I could give to a disabled individual who wants to try out online dating is to trust your gut before you completely listen to your heart. It doesn’t matter how untrusty or toxic a person might be. The heart will always only focus on the good, even if it’s just a tiny amount. Your gut can help you learn the difference between good and dangerous decisions quicker.

Although my online dating experience ended wonderfully, I wish I have been more prepared when I first made dating profiles for myself. I was aware of the catfishes and creepers. I believed I knew enough to recognize the difference between a ruthless, selfish stranger, and a genuine, friendly guy. But I honestly didn’t, and I had to learn the hard way.

I was only focusing on making my love life more interesting that I forgot what really were my standards. Yes, I flirted with any guy that gave me attention. I never had much luck with guys in grade school. The physical flaws of my disability kept them from getting to know me better. So it was thrilling to have a variety of guys liking my photos and messaging me.

I didn’t hide my disability. I openly informed readers that I use a wheelchair on my profile. Besides, I actually thought the disclosure would work as the first line of defense from the horrible players and creepers. It was the opposite, though. I encountered many of them and even fell for a couple. It took me a while to realize they weren’t as genuine as I believed.

They took advantage of my kindness and drained the good out of my heart. I wouldn’t wish the same thing to happen to anybody else. So I am sharing a few tips on how to survive the online dating scene as a disabled individual. Please take the following in serious consideration:

Stay Devoted to Avoiding Devotees 

It is best to avoid replying to individuals who send messages like “Have you always used a wheelchair? I find them very sexy.” or “Please keep posting those hot pics of you in your wheelchair.” They are probably devotees. Devotees treated aspects of disability as fetishes. For instance, amputation, paralysis, and muscle weakness or atrophy are sexually desirable to them.

How To Survive The Online Dating Scene: Tips for Disabled Singles

Their prime goal is to see if you can help him or her live out a sick fantasy. Sometimes it is easy to detect if a person wants to only treat you like a sex doll. Other times, it is not so easy.  

It is deniable that many individuals that take an interest in your profile will ask questions about your disability. It is always good to help people understand how your disability affects your daily living. Also, it helps you see if the person is actually open-minded to the disabled life or not.

 However, asking questions about how your disability affects your personal sex life in the first hours of talking is not okay. If the person is too interested in your disability or limitations right away, then be cautious. Don’t share any details, such as your address or phone number. Block the person if he or she keeps bothering you. Never underestimate how devotedly crazy a disgusting devotee can be.

Slow Your Roll

I had an awful habit of giving out my cell phone and social media information to my crushes too quickly when I first began. I was not thinking about how I was giving guys the chance to see if I was an easy target. Luckily, I never had issues with a stalker or something worse. Many sex predators roam online dating sites looking for fresh prey. 

So slow your roll on letting your new crushes get a peek into your life. The wait is worth it, especially if you think the person is into you like you are into him or her. You can get a texting app like Kiki if the person to chat elsewhere than the dating site. There is always the old fashion way, too- communicating via email. It could be as romantic as Sleepless In Seattle.

Flirting by sending cute selfies is always fun, but don’t get pressure to send sexual ones. I won’t lie. You will probably receive a few inappropriate pictures. Send a close-up picture of a random body part like an elbow if the person keeps asking for one in return. Keep the person guessing. You will have plenty of chances to be seductive when you actually meet him or her.

Facing The Truth

Once you believe that you know enough about the person, try to meet face to face via Skype or Facetime. It gives you a chance to see if the person is really who you have been talking to. You also have the chance to see his or her reaction to your physical disability. It will give you more to reassure about the potential relationship.

How To Survive The Online Dating Scene: Tips for Disabled Singles

I once started serious talking to a guy who lived in another state and fell hard once we started to Facetime. He was who I expected to see, and he didn’t care about my disability. Everything seemed great until he kept making up excuses for why we couldn’t meet in person. He also told me he didn’t have any social media. It was not until six months later that I found out he had a girlfriend the whole time. 

Don’t make the same mistake. If something feels too fishy or dishonest, do some research and face the truth. If the person kept making up excuses, then stop wasting time. 

 According to Lucy Rowett, sex, intimacy, and relationship coach, “You’ll never know if you have real chemistry until you actually meet in person. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, energy, and emotional investment by doing this, because you could be texting somebody for months before realizing you don’t connect in real life. Also, by insisting on meeting as soon as possible, you’ll know if the other person is genuine and looking for the same thing as you, or if they’re just a time-waster.” 

Time-wasters suck. Your time is as valuable as your love. Save it for somebody that would appreciate it.

Dating online will never be simple or easy. There are a lot of risks. It is worth the try, though. You might meet somebody great. Just remember to be a smart survivor! 

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Brooke Smith
Brooke Smith is from Louisiana. She graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in History. She has a blog called Creative Works by Brooke Settoon Smith, which presents her most recent short stories and poems. She is a contributing writer for The Mighty and Coffee House Writers. The most unique thing about Brooke is that she was born with Cerebral Palsy and she lives life limitless.

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