Dating after a spinal cord injury

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Dating someone in a wheelchair

Posted by Dion Regular in Blog on Apr 14, One of the most popular topics that I am asked when I meet people with new injuries is how will my dating and relationships be affected. After an injury a majority of individuals lack self-confidence.

They feel that they will never find a relationship or if they are in a relationship they feel like their partner will not have the same feelings for them. If someone truly loves you, they will love you for the person you are, the person they fell in love with.

We were together for 10 years after my injury and if anything the injury brought us closer together. We decided that we would both be happier apart. The day came when she would move out and two emotions quickly came over me, the first was the feeling of freedom and independence. This was a problem since I was married at such an early age and never really had a lot of dating experience. The second was the feeling of would I ever be able to find someone to accept me the way I was.

As I sat thinking, I quickly realized that I was not alone; that all anyone wants whether they had an injury or not is to be accepted whole heartedly for the person that they are. I stated on my profile that I had a spinal cord injury and I could not believe the amount of responses I received in such a short amount of time.

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When having conversations with ladies questions did come up about my injury and that I use a chair. I often asked if my injury or that fact that I was a wheelchair user was an issue.

I did come across people who would come straight out and say that they were not comfortable dating someone in a chair. That is quite okay with me as we all have our preferences with who we would date and what we are comfortable with. Since my divorce my dating life has been great and very active. If I never had a positive outlook and confidence then I do not think I would have as much success in dating as I do. So moral of the story is that it is absolutely possible to have a normal dating life after an injury.

That being said I do believe that before this can happen one has to be fully comfortable with themselves and their injury. After an injury and you get back to dating or if you are already in a relationship, there are going to be things that will need to be done differently than before.

Dating with a SCI | SPINALpedia

However with time you will learn new ways and accept the challenges as they come. Some activities while dating might seem awkward at times especially for the person dating someone in a chair because it is new to them. The key is for you to stay comfortable and show confidence in every situation because if you get uncomfortable or awkward then your partner will feel this and they could become far more uncomfortable. Once you date for a while things will fall into place and the uncomfortableness will go away.

One of the best ways to avoid those feelings are to talk openly about you disability. Let them know what you can and cannot do than the person can decide what they are comfortable with.

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The longer you talk to someone and the more you get to know each other before you start dating or get into a relationship will make things go a lot smoother for you both. A number of years ago I met a man who had no use of his body from the neck down. He used his mouth to maneuver his power chair.

He told me how he met his wife who was beautiful inside and out after his injury.

Dating and Relationships After an Injury

They went on to have two beautiful kids and have a wonderful life together. Another woman I meet who was a wheelchair user told me how she signed up to a dating site and started talking to a man soon after they decided to meet for coffee. But remember, even able-bodied people share this fear in normal situations. Please, don't let this happen. An open heart can bring more people into your circle. But how do you improve your self-esteem post-injury?

Communication in Dating and Relationships after Spinal Cord Injury

Whatever works for you! For many with spinal cord injuries, meeting new people can be tricky. It allows them to meet new people from the comfort of their own homes. Online dating has been around for almost 20 years now, and millions of people with disabilities have benefited. Tell the person you're talking to that you have a disability, if it's not already listed in your profile.

Honest in online dating is critical. There is nothing worse than going on a first date with someone who leaves when they discover you use a wheelchair. Be careful of how much you share, though. You don't want to attract weirdos, ie, devotees fetishists of wheelchair-users. Meeting prospective partners in "real-life" situations is possible, too. Go out with family and friends frequently to meet new people. Volunteer at events and try new activities and go tolaces that interest you.