Why online rejection doesn't countMay 28 12:07
If there’s an equivalent to kindergarten as an adult, online dating has got to be it. Most of the time it causes tears, and you want to move on to the next stage right away. It’s a obscene way to find a mate when you think about it - putting in search parameters as if finding a mate is like Googling the closest Little Caesars, but people do it. I‘ve done it. And if you have a disability, you might as well just put you‘re a terrorist right in your profile, because that’s how people treat you.
That is why when you‘re rejected, said “No thanks” to, ignored or whatever other rejection tool a dating site has come up with to aid people in softening the blow in the world of online dating, you should never count it as actual rejection. When people see “wheelchair” in a profile, they’ll click next as if they’ve happened upon a profile of someone who was too old, too overweight or too far away. You have no chance to make an impression. It’s hard to soften the impact of word like wheelchair, and the emotional impact it can have upon first glance.
This is why, my weary disabled daters, online rejection is never an accurate representation of how people in real life would actually think about you if they met you in person. How can someone reject you if they’ve never met you? Online rejection isn‘t rejection. It’s akin to a glance over, not a full on rejection. But this I suppose is the same for everybody, able-bodied included, when it comes to online dating.
Just remember to keep this in mind as you make your foray into online dating, and don’t think your disability is really such a deterrent. It may prove to be an unfair filter online, but your in-person personality can make your disability invisible, and don’t you forget it.
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1. Tara | May 28 06:21
I've been online dating on and off for years and early on I wouldn't mention the wheelchair and we'd talk and chat and email and it seemed great but I always had that in the back of my head that in some way I am going to have to mention it if I want to meet this person and looking back now it was the worst thing I could have done. Even though when I did finally confess the "wheelchair" and they didn't care I for the entire time we got to know each other wasn't truly myself and that was a shame because I'm kinda cool.. grin.. . My last profile I did say I used a wheelchair at the very bottom of my bio and it didn't seem to matter. I did meet someone and it's going great and I am me and have been the entire time there's no elephant in the room that I neglected to mention... . :) Say wheelchair in your profile .. Not in the drop down list... Then that gives them a chance to see you and read your profile and then see the dreaded word "Wheelchair"..
2. Tiffiny | May 29 06:23
Awesome advice, Tara, and SO true. I think a lot of disabled folks during the early days of the 'net experimented with not telling right away because they could actually get away with it. Luckily that seems to have been a short-lived effect.
3. rc | May 30 01:34
I met my ex online and she used a chair. She had pics of herself in her profile in her chair and it never deterred me from wanting to get to know her. Most beautiful woman I've ever met. I loved everything about her along with everything her "disability". I cringe when I use that word to describe her considering she was much more "able" of a person than anybody I have ever met. I guess my point here is that people that may pass on you for the fact that you use a wheelchair are the only ones missing out.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.