Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Friendship or Dating?

At the age of 35 and living with Cerebral Palsy, I realized that dating is not a big deal to me. At least not in the same way it is for some others with disabilities. I wish that I had someone to hang out and chat with on the weekends. But rest assured, it's not the end of the world for me. Maybe I feel this way because nine years ago I got hurt by a handi bus driver. It made me be more cautious of the men I meet. Whether I meet someone online or in person, I feel I need to have my guard up and be careful.  

Don't get me wrong, I am not a man hater. I have a few good men in my life, they are family members and friends that I trust. As a woman, I have a responsibility to listen to my heart and also to guard it. Being in a wheelchair adds another layer of vulnerability to me. I would be a fool to not take that into consideration when men approach me. 

I know what you're thinking; "What if it was a man who also had a disability who approached me?" Well that has happened to me at least once before. A gentleman in a wheelchair who also lived in Calgary reached out to me. I had seen him at a few different places around town (including the hand-bus), but had never interacted with him. I knew he wasn't capable of physically hurting me in the same way. But I still felt quite nervous to hang out with him. Now we are friends. 

You know what would be really great? I think it would be great if Calgary had a dating service catered to individuals with disabilities. Perhaps it could include people who are looking for friendship or companionship as well. Maybe there could be extra safety measures taken to ensure everyone's health and safety needs are being met. Someone should take this idea and run with it!