She lives in Normal, Ill., a town with few single men around her age, let alone familiar and comfortable with disability. with your disability just makes it harder.” So this fall Ms. Several dating Web sites for singles with health problems have started up in the last few years. Nevius joined Dating 4 Disabled, a site for people with an array of disabilities, including paralysis and multiple sclerosis. These sites are generally small and run by one person or a small group. Getting to know someone in an online community of people with H. Among the almost 12,000 members of Dating 4 Disabled, for example, many specify the types of disabilities they would be open to dealing with in a long-term relationship.
She is independent and mobile, but would prefer to meet a man who could roll alongside her. “I think they were a little bit scared because they didn’t know how to treat me,” she said. allows relationships to form without the burden of the big reveal hovering overhead. The site was created by Ricky Durham, whose late brother suffered from Crohn’s disease — a condition that came with literal baggage. The anonymity of the Internet allows people to be forthcoming and honest about what they are truly looking for in a companion.
And for those ’80s kids who long for the days of “business in the front, party in the back,” Mullet exists.
Since there are 1 billion people with disabilities around the world, it should come as no surprise that a plethora of disability-specific dating sites exist. ” and “Playing disabled cupid” are sprinkled across websites like Disability and Dating4
Nevius has dated several perfectly nice able-bodied men, but none seemed willing to start a serious relationship. V.,” he said, “so it gets that barrier out of the way.” Another site, Prescription4Love, has communities dedicated to sexually transmitted diseases and physical disabilities, but also to other diseases that don’t conjure images of romance and intimacy, like diabetes and Parkinson’s. “But when do you tell a girl that you have a colostomy bag? “Sexuality, travel, mobility, pain: Everything takes on a different dimension,” said Merryl Kaplan, who is in charge of member services for Dating 4 Disabled.
“It’s hard enough to find someone with similar interests,” she said. Other sites include No Longer Lonely, for adults with mental illness, and POZ Personals, for people who are H. They are usually free, although some have a few ads to cover costs. Maurer, 57, a professor of applied psychology at New York University, came upon POZ Personals while doing research for his work and found it to be a welcoming community where it was easier to get to know someone. “Like anyone else, people with disabilities have different preferences,” Ms. “Someone with good mobility may prefer someone also mobile; others don’t limit at all.” As for Ms.
For the 20 percent of Americans who have disabilities, this is one of the many challenges they face with online dating.
Stephanie Woodward, a 26-year-old lawyer with spina bifida, recently turned to online dating as a fun and cheap way to explore her new city.
However, the online reactions from men to photos of her using a wheelchair have been nothing more than a “shitshow,” she says.
But after navigating the minefield of online dating, this independent and successful young woman has begun to suspect that walking, even if it means physical discomfort, might make her love life go more smoothly.
Because of disability trolling, some people may hesitate to disclose their differences right away.