By Erma P. Sanders
JANUARY 4, 1999:
Dear Dating Diva,
I'm at a total loss about what I should do about finding that special person to pursue a relationship with. Sure, I'm a funny, intelligent, charming and witty guy. But no matter how great my personality is and no matter how much in common I have with a woman, nothing works out. Why? Because I am in a wheelchair. Ignorance gets me every time.
It didn't affect me so badly until recently, when I met someone through a personal ad and began talking to her on the phone. After just a few days of conversation, we decided to meet. Even the visit went great; we sat there gazing into each other's eyes, talking about our lives. I was relaxed and got a good vibe from it all. We also had a lot in common. She even asked me to call her the next day, saying that we'd see about going out to do something the following week.
The next day I got an e-mail from her, and she stated that she couldn't even handle a friendship with me because of my disability. Sure, this time I thought it would be different, and I'm not trying to analyze where this one went wrong. But the fact of the matter is that this happens every time. They meet me, and it crumbles. Either that or they don't even try to get to know me, should they see me at the start.
Could it be I'm doing something terribly wrong in my approach by being sincere and nice to women? Of course, I'm shy in person and do not take any aggressive actions to turn them off. In fact, my disability doesn't even leave me helpless, as I live on my own and make use of a manual wheelchair. Help!
One of the more uncomfortable moments of my life was the first time a wheelchaired date of mine came to my house. There is no way to get into my home without ascending a flight of stairs. Luckily, Butch sensed my discomfort and explained he could climb the stairs if I could carry his chair for him. Unless we have direct experience, many of us do not know what to do when confronted with an independent person with a disability.
Since I don't know you, I can only guess that maybe you're putting
out a don't-help-me-I-can-do-it-myself vibe. Also, I'm guessing
that you're meeting women who are visually impaired--that is,
blind to your many good boyfriend qualities. You say you're not
aggressive? I hope that doesn't mean you're wimpy. There's nothing
wrong with being a little assertive. Don't give up. Try another
personal ad. Start with something like, "SPM who can keep
you rolling in laughter and roll over you at the same time. Signed,
Your witty..." finish it yourself. And good luck--Ms. Right
is out there. And if you get really desperate, lie. I don't know
the circumstances for your wheelchair, but it couldn't hurt to
tell women you injured your spine cliff-diving in Jamaica. You
can tell her the truth after you cliff-dive your lips onto hers.
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