Conundrum: We all want to project ourselves in the best light, but how can we do this when we know our disability will dim that light (or completely darken it) for most people? I don’t think Conan O’Brien himself could find a clever enough way to make a disability a non-issue in a dating profile. It’s just a tough thing to do.
So that’s the question: What do you say in your dating profile? Should you mention disability in your profile at all? Some people say no, that it pushes away the people that are good, and attracts the wrong kind of men/women — people who may take advantage of us for example (hey, it can happen). But I’m not totally on board with this idea.
There is a huge flaw with this method (and I’m sure they’ve already run into it): In addition to being disingenuous, it also eliminates the opportunity to turn on the charm and attract those guys/ladies who think they won’t like you. Yes, there are sassy disabled singles that message potential dates, hoping to sway them by flirting them. Sometimes being aggressive can work when you have a disability. Not always, but sometimes it’s worth a shot.
People in this camp usually immediately inform anyone who writes them that they have a disability. I’ve tried this method personally, and it has about a 60 percent success rate. Yup, not that good. Often you just never hear from them again.
To get a better shot at winning people over, some people will wait for the reveal until they really get to know the other person — and then let them know they’re disabled, hoping since they now know them this much, a disability won’t matter.
This sometimes works, but I gotta say the success rate for this is not that good either. After trying the not-adding-a-disability-to-my-profile-method, I’ve discovered that mentioning the opposite — saying I have a disability right away in my profile — is by far the most successful method.
Some actually like it and tell me they appreciate my honesty and find it attractive. These guys however are usually 15-plus years older than me. Oh the-old-guys-thinking-they-can-easily-have-young-disabled-women phenomenon.
It gets old having so many older guys think I’m desperate, but that’s another blog post entirely. I’ll just say some people really don’t care about disability, people that you’ll actually like too. They exist.
The moral of story: There’s no 100 percent right answer to what we should put in our profile. What you should do however is only put what you’re comfortable with and stick with what you’ve found to be the most successful. Depending on your disability, age and looks, the most successful method for each person may be different. I’ve found this to be insanely true…
So try both, see which works best and stick with that. And promise me you won’t get discouraged. It may be weeks until you get a message from someone that’s actually worth your time, but I believe you will find someone.
As I say to everyone I meet when I talk about dating with a disability, there’s someone out there for everyone. You’ve just got to put yourself out there with a hopeful smile (and don’t forget that smiling photo in your profile either).
What do you put in your dating profile?