“Seeking Romance: Why I Want a Lover, Not a Caregiver”

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A Disability Should Not Affect One’s Desirability as a Romantic Partner

Being disabled should not make one an undesirable or impractical candidate for a romantic partner. As a disabled woman who uses a wheelchair due to spinal muscular atrophy, I have often encountered misconceptions and preconceived ideas about dating with a disability. Despite having clear photographs of my wheelchair on my profile, some men I have met through dating apps still seemed unaware of my disability, leading to awkward encounters. Too often, people assume that those with disabilities are asexual or cannot have children, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and myths.

However, disabled people have every right to find love, just like anyone else. Disabled activists like Gem Turner and Rebekah Taussig have shed light on the issue of dating with a disability, challenging the notion that disabled people cannot have fulfilling and loving relationships.

The Unique Challenges of Dating with a Disability

While everyone faces challenges in dating and relationships, disabled people have unique obstacles to overcome. I have often felt the need to apologize for my needs, such as the inability to attend inaccessible events. Moreover, people’s perceptions of disabilities and relationships often lead to misconceptions and doubts about whether a disabled person can be a good romantic partner.

However, I have refused to let my disability define me or get in the way of my happiness. I am a lawyer in London, and I have been open about my disability on Instagram, showing that my disability does not detract from my attractiveness or lovability. Nonetheless, I have encountered situations where my disability was the reason for a potential partner not pursuing a relationship.

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The Search for Love as a Disabled Person

Despite these challenges, I remain hopeful about finding love as a disabled person. While dating apps have yielded mixed results, I have connected with men who were genuinely interested in me as a person, regardless of my disability. I have also had meaningful conversations with friends who have shown me support and understanding, breaking down the stereotype of dependency that is often associated with disabilities.

It is crucial to recognize that disabled people can bring value and love to a relationship, just like everyone else. While it is understandable to have questions and concerns, ableism and stereotypes should not prevent disabled people from seeking and finding love. The path may be challenging, but it is possible to find someone who loves and accepts us for who we are, disability and all.

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