Can a person in a wheelchair find love? This is one of the deepest worries faced by people with mobility disabilities and their immediate families.
I thought my love life was over when I had an accident and had to use a manual wheelchair.
But with some motivation and positivity, finding love in a wheelchair is possible. Read on!
Can a Person in a Wheelchair Find Love?
Yes, a person in a wheelchair can find love! Adults with disabilities are the same as those not on wheels. A person using an assistive device has feelings and can love like any other, so it should not shock you to see a happy couple wheeling.
According to the CDC, 61 million Americans live with mobility disability issues. (1) Many of these people are on dating websites for people with disabilities. Maybe finding love with disability isn’t that hard!
Challenges of Finding Love for Wheelchair Users
There are a variety of challenges surrounding the mobility disability dating world. It’s easy to feel like you won’t succeed in dating.
1. Low Self-esteem
My most frequent challenge as a mobility aid device user was my low self-esteem. The mind can trick you into looking down on yourself and thinking you cannot date, but that is not true.
78% of the respondents of a Study Finds survey with 2,000 adults said they fear their partner will judge them. Appearing in public with a partner attracts stares, leaving people uncomfortable. (2)
2. Limited Dating Options
People without disabilities view dating a person in a wheelchair as awkward. And it can be weirder when they know the couple started dating after the accident or disability.
So individuals with mobility disability issues have limited dating options, and some find love in people who are also in wheelchairs.
A partner in a wheelchair can understand your struggles and offer credible assurance.
3. Limited Chances of Meeting People
Accessibility for anyone using a wheelchair is a significant issue. Public places like parks, buildings, and public transportation need wheelchair-accessible features.
But few places have made their premises wheelchair accessible. So you must map out accessible locations, limiting your chances of meeting a potential partner.
4. Unforeseen Health Issues
People with mobility disability issues usually have many health concerns. It can be challenging for your partner to deal with costly procedures, mental illness, and cognitive disability issues while being emotionally available.
After a safe operation, one may have to stay bedridden for months before full recovery. You would need a strong partner with a solid heart to offer supportive care and always give a verbal assurance of love.
ALSO CHECK: Does Intergenerational Love Work?
Dating Tips for Wheelchair Users
Despite the challenges, finding love in a wheelchair will be the best thing to happen to you. So what are the best dating tips to find love?
1. Be Honest
Before getting serious with someone, you must be open about your condition. Wheelchair users may have difficulties in bodily functions, which can affect the relationship.
Be open from the start whether you are dealing with cerebral palsy, have neurological disabilities common in people on the autism spectrum, or have a mental illness. (3)
This will also help weed out unqualified suitors, saving you from wasting time and investing your emotions.
2. Meet in a Public Place
Online matchmaking services and social media platforms have made it easy to find love. However, when planning a first date, remember that you are meeting a stranger, so meet in public, like in a restaurant.
Let your family and friends know who you will meet, where, and the accessible route you will take. If your date suggests an inaccessible facility, offer an alternate location, ideally near a public transportation or bus route.
Check whether the meeting place has accessible parking spaces and wheelchair assistance for disabled people. Also, carry a fully charged phone to call for help if needed.
3. Limit Information Sharing
Understandably, you are excited about dating, and I was too. But you need to take your time to get to know the person better and let them earn your trust.
And while it is important to stay upfront about our condition, conceal where you live, especially on the first date. Remember, this is a stranger, and laying all your personal details can put you at actual risk.
4. Be Bold, Be Beautiful
The best thing you can wear to a relationship is confidence, despite the disability. By being confident in what you do, you show a sense of independence to your partner and the world.
Let your personality shine and do not let your assistive device define you. With advanced mobility aid devices like battery-powered wheelchairs, you may not need wheelchair assistance.
However, do not hesitate to ask for help when needed. Your partner or a staff person will be glad to help.
Watch this video from Adapted Adventures with more insights on dating someone in a wheelchair.
Finding Love in a Wheelchair FAQs
Can a disabled person find love?
Yes, a person with a disability can find love like any other abled person. You should not let your physical disabilities get in the way of being with someone.
Do I need proof of disability to prove my need for a wheelchair?
Public places may need proof of disability to let you use mobility devices within the premises. So if going on a date, contact the premises earlier so they can prepare and make the place wheelchair accessible.
Don’t ask, “can a person in a wheelchair find love?” Find it within yourself and be confident, and that way you’ll attract others. Your disability is not an undue burden to your love life.
It is now up to you to be yourself and be ready to find love. Do you have any dating tips for fellow wheelchair users? Share them in the comments!
1. CDC. Disability Impacts All of Us Infographic | CDC [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/infographic-disability-impacts-all.html#:~:text=61%20million%20adults%20in%20the
2. Melore C. Dating for everyone: 1 in 8 adults with disabilities want more options for finding love [Internet]. Study Finds. 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 1]. Available from: https://studyfinds.org/dating-adults-with-disabilities/
3. National Institute of Mental Health. Autism Spectrum Disorder [Internet]. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 2022. Available from: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd#:~:text=Autism%20spectrum%20disorder%20(ASD)%20is