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Met this girl online don't know if I should disclose my physical disability upfront or when we meet up


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I had a stroke a few years ago, I've made a great recovery and I live a normal life. But I still have a noticeable limp and my left hand is useless right now. I don’t know how to approach telling women online about it. In the real world women don’t seem to care, but should I tell her through text or just show up and see what happens? 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Jason Todd said:

In the real world women don’t seem to care,

And that is what is important, Jason. If thinking of disclosing online is stressing you then perhaps it would be best to meet women in real life. 

Edited by LaHermes
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That’s what I've been thinking and I do, I just started aggressively putting myself out there and figured I'd give online a chance too. Just didn’t want to come off like I'm deceitful but none of my physical limitations limit me in my life. So I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but I appreciate the feedback. Thank you 

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Please tell her.  I was subjected to a surprise many years ago where the guy hid his disability from me and hid it in his photos and I felt it was incredibly unfair of him to show up where I could then see that half his face was significantly disfigured and scarred.  I mean think about how you would feel if a woman didn't tell you she had children, or that she was 100 pounds overweight, or that she smoked (if you didn't smoke for example).  She may not care in the least but if you don't tell her she might care that she had to process all of this upon meeting you instead of knowing in advance.  

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Yes, disclose it but revise the delivery. You don't have to go into all the details right away but if you can remain positive about your disability or you are working on rehabilitating that portion of your arm or hand you can mention that too. 

The person on the other side would be (should be) interested in your ability to overcome challenges. This isn't about just your disability but how you thrive in spite of/because of it. 

If someone rejects you because they can't see past that, that's on them. You go ahead and be proud of how far you've come.

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texting is not a great communication tool.

I would plan to call her... and then you can mention your lifestyle and what you've been through in a casual but open for discussion way. 

 

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I don't think it's rejection at all if this person chooses not to meet you because you walk with a limp and cannot right now use your hand. A stranger who chooses not to meet you is often being honest with herself that she is not the right person to be with someone with that sort of physical disability and she doesn't want to waste your time.   I chose not to meet men who were obese because I knew there was  a great risk we wouldn't have compatible lifestyles.  I was not rejecting that man but acknowledging that we likely wouldn't make a good match for dating/serious relationship and I did not want to waste his time.

I had a stroke and was blessed to fully recover from it.  I'm very sorry you had a stroke -I know it's so scary when you're going through it and I hope you can use your hand in the future and improve with therapy.  All the best to you.

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My son has CP and I often wonder/worry if young women will want to date him.  He is a great young man and makes friends easily but I still worry and have thought of this situation coming up for him too.

I do a lot of volunteering with the disabled and know a lot of disabled people.  Many of the couples I know one is disabled and the other not and it is encouraging to see it.  There are really good people out there but being blindsided with something like this will more than likely backfire on you.  I agree a nice phone call to get to know each other would be in order even if you didn't have this condition.  Talk to her and let it come out naturally during the conversation.  Don't try and convince her of anything, just be honest so she can decide if she wants to meet you.  The thing you have in your favor is that women are far less shallow than men are so let her see you, all of you and hopefully there will be sparks.  

  Let us know how it goes.

 Lost

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1 minute ago, lostandhurt said:

The thing you have in your favor is that women are far less shallow than men are so let her see you, all of you and hopefully there will be sparks.  

So often it's not about looks or attraction -the person has to want to meet a stranger who has a disability that might impact her lifestyle in a significant way.  So if she met the person in a different setting -like at work, or through friends- that might be different because you know the person and the decision about the lifestyle impact is against that backdrop.  But if the woman knows she is not up for the sacrifices she might decide not to waste the stranger's time.  When I was in my early 20s I declined to meet a man who used a wheelchair regularly.  Not because I am shallow, because at that point in time I knew physical activity in ways he would not be able to join was important to me and was not something I wanted to sacrifice -and I did not want to waste his time. 

I dated a morbidly obese man after getting to know him as a platonic friend and my concern was his health not his looks.  But if I had only seen him on a dating site I would not have interacted with him because morbid obesity was typically a turn off for me attraction-wise.  I wouldn't have wanted to waste his time.

I think looks matter in dating because it's often connected to attraction -but not always.  Doesn't make the person shallow, whatever the gender. I would be surprised if "looks" or shallowness would be why a woman would choose not to date a man with a physical disability as the OP described.  Yes, if the man with the disfigured and scarred face had shown me his face before we met I would not have met him.  His face looked like a monster from a movie.  Scary.  Does that make me shallow? If so, so be it -I knew I could never be physically attracted to him because of his face.  He was a lovely person and very smart.  And I felt very smart to be honest with myself for not wanting to date him because I was not attracted to his looks.  (And I also was upset at his choice to surprise me and also felt empathy for him as to why he omitted this information and only had photos showing one side of his face). 

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Thank you everyone for the advice, I will tell her. I felt it would be deceitful to not say anything and you all confirmed that. It just felt weird having to disclose it since I can still do most things, but yes honesty is the best policy. 

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2 minutes ago, Jason Todd said:

Thank you everyone for the advice, I will tell her. I felt it would be deceitful to not say anything and you all confirmed that. It just felt weird having to disclose it since I can still do most things, but yes honesty is the best policy. 

You seem like a person of character and integrity and thoughtfulness.  I wish you the best and I hope you find a good match who is worthy of you. 

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1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

You seem like a person of character and integrity and thoughtfulness.  I wish you the best and I hope you find a good match who is worthy of you. 

Thank you, I really appreciate that 🙏🏾

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34 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Yes, if the man with the disfigured and scarred face had shown me his face before we met I would not have met him.  His face looked like a monster from a movie.  Scary.  Does that make me shallow? If so, so be it -I knew I could never be physically attracted to him because of his face.

😞 Wow Batya... that does sound really really bad.  No offense, but if your husband became disfigured, would you stop being attracted to him and leave him just due to that?

There was an amazing couple I know of where the husband DID get disfigured AND disabled from his job, his face looked as you described, but his wife still loved him, adored him, supported him and they moved on.

Real love isn't based only on attraction physically... it really is mental, emotional, intellectual as well.

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7 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

 Wow Batya... that does sound really really bad.  No offense, but if your husband became disfigured, would you stop being attracted to him and leave him just due to that?

There was an amazing couple I know of where the husband DID get disfigured AND disabled from his job, his face looked as you described, but his wife still loved him, adored him, supported him and they moved on.

Real love isn't based only on attraction physically... it really is mental, emotional, intellectual as well.

I think there is a big difference between refusing to date someone who you're not attracted to versus loving someone, building a beautiful life with them, and then an accident happens that causes disfigurement. Most people would continue loving their partner after a disfigurement and wouldn't move on. Of course you would likely not be as attracted to the person, but the love would override all of that. Your assumption is totally off.

OP, when I was 18, I dated a guy who had cerebral palsy, but we met in person and it wasn't immediately noticeable to me. I asked him why he was limping when we went to the beach and he made up some story. I then noticed he'd wear driving gloves and his fingers on one hand didn't move like the other hand. He eventually explained the real story and felt embarrassed by it. It didn't bother me in the least. The initial lies were what bothered me. 

Yeah, it's a good idea to bring it up by a phone call and keep it light and positive, that you live quite easily and well regardless. Good luck!

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Just now, Andrina said:

I think there is a big difference between refusing to date someone who you're not attracted to versus loving someone, building a beautiful life with them, and then an accident happens that causes disfigurement. Most people would continue loving their partner after a disfigurement and wouldn't move on. Of course you would likely not be as attracted to the person, but the love would override all of that. Your assumption is totally off.

Precisely, Andrina.

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I have a large surgery scar right down the middle of my abdomen,  vertical. It's ugly, to be honest. I often wonder how a man would react to seeing it for the first time. I'm not currently dating but I figure someday. 

I hope you find a wonderful woman to spend time with!

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Quote

Yes, if the man with the disfigured and scarred face had shown me his face before we met I would not have met him.  His face looked like a monster from a movie.  Scary.  

I think Batya's quote above, comparing someone disfigured to a, "monster," her describing him as, "scary," is what turned me off.  

Batya's perception is perpetuating a nasty idea that these often disabled or disfigured men/women look in her words, "scary," or like, "monsters." 

She can have her opinion, but it's perpetuating a prejudice against disabled and disfigured people, dehumanizing them.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

😞 Wow Batya... that does sound really really bad.  No offense, but if your husband became disfigured, would you stop being attracted to him and leave him just due to that?

There was an amazing couple I know of where the husband DID get disfigured AND disabled from his job, his face looked as you described, but his wife still loved him, adored him, supported him and they moved on.

Real love isn't based only on attraction physically... it really is mental, emotional, intellectual as well.

Never. I would love him just the same.  I married for better or for worse.   I limited my comments to whether I would meet a stranger through a dating site who had a physical disability like that. I was very specific about that.  I did date a man who was morbidly obese and was very attracted to him.  I already knew him for quite awhile.  Had he contacted me on a dating site however, knowing I most typically was not compatible with or attracted to morbidly obese people I wouldn’t risk meeting that person so as not to waste our time.  

Edited by Batya33
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I think Batya's quote above, comparing someone disfigured to a, "monster," her describing him as, "scary," is what turned me off.  

Batya's perception is perpetuating a nasty idea that these often disabled or disfigured men/women look in her words, "scary," or like, "monsters." 

She can have her opinion, but it's perpetuating a prejudice against disabled and disfigured people, dehumanizing them.

Nope.  No prejudice. I was being honest about my reaction to a photo had he been honest with me beforehand. His features looked scary.  I’m sure I look scary sometimes and I’m not disabled and wouldn’t feel dehumanized if someone said that - might be rude though. he wasn’t scary.  His face looked scary to me when I met him. People who are very human can look scary.  
 

When I saw him in person I was taken aback - not scared but startled and a little shocked.  Because I’m human. I was taking in a person with a severely disfigured face who - back then before clear digital photos - had sent me photos that concealed that side of his face and neck.  Of course I was startled and sitting across from him I did my best to be pleasant as he told me about his accident and all the surgeries.  We’d spoken by phone for hours.  But he decided to tell me this right after meeting me.  I know why he did it.  I get it.  And it was very hard on me to be caught off guard like that and process his decision to lie by omission.  Just like I heard of many women who posted old photos and were either much much heavier or much older in person.  It was a huge issue back then. And IMHO unfair to the other person. But I understood why this person made this choice. 
 

Children can feel scared of someone who looks scary whether they’re disabled or not.  And I would be fine if my son told me “he looks scary “ if he saw a person with a significantly disfigured face. I would not permit him to say that to the person but my son wouldn’t. Because he’s a thoughtful and caring person.

   I’d explain to him about the disability and remind him - because he knows - that looking scary is not the same as being a scary person.  And if he was scared because the person had a scary expression - menacing - and he made a mistake because it looked that way because of a disability I’d forgive him. Because sometimes on first glance you don’t know.  Cause we’re human.

But humans when they realize of course feel badly and will do what they can to apologize if they offended or reevaluate why they felt that way.

I never ever told a person with disabilities who contacted me on a dating site that I wasn’t meeting them because of their disability. I simply declined to message with the person. Like many do for a variety of reasons.  


 When I met him in person - the guy who chose not to tell me about his disability - I thought he was smart and interesting and a really good person.

 I also was conflicted about his decision to show up without telling me about his disability. I also knew I would never feel physically attracted to him and on the slim chance I would  it wasn’t fair to waste his time.  Had I met him under other circumstances I would have loved to be his friend.  But I didn’t.

I have no prejudice against people with disabilities. They are in my life as friends, family, colleagues and people I’ve helped in my many years of volunteer work and people I’ve worked with when they volunteered with me to contribute to people with disabilities.  

Choosing not to meet someone from a dating site whose appearance is a dealbreaker for whatever reason is not prejudicial. unless your reason for not meeting the person is because of some ridiculous notion that a disability dehumanizes someone.  
 

I also wouldn’t meet a man who had long hair or tattoos or piercings.  Or who was morbidly obese. They’re not disabled.  (Not sure if morbid obesity is a disability ).


 I know many women who won’t date short men.  Are they prejudiced ?  Or is it just a preference? I was very thankful for them as I preferred shorter than average men and it increased my dating pool.  And I. married one. 

Edited by Batya33
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15 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

My son has CP and I often wonder/worry if young women will want to date him.  He is a great young man and makes friends easily but I still worry and have thought of this situation coming up for him too.

A personal anecdote to add here: my cousin has CP and has always been confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or do much for himself as all (he needs assistance eating, bathing, and so on) His speech is also quite impaired, and always has been. 

His mom worried about this throughout his life, and she passed a couple years ago after an illness, concerned about what would happen to him after she was gone (he is 42 now and she looked after him most of his life) Just so happens that a few months later, he reconnected with an old classmate online. Got to chatting a lot and it grew from there. 

They are now married, and while inter-abled relationships sure make heads turn (people always assume his wife is his caretaker, until they catch them holding hands or some such thing), they are indeed out there. I dare say it's becoming more commonplace, and I wish all the best for your son! 

 

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4 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

A personal anecdote to add here: my cousin has CP and has always been confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or do much for himself as all (he needs assistance eating, bathing, and so on) His speech is also quite impaired, and always has been. 

His mom worried about this throughout his life, and she passed a couple years ago after an illness, concerned about what would happen to him after she was gone (he is 42 now and she looked after him most of his life) Just so happens that a few months later, he reconnected with an old classmate online. Got to chatting a lot and it grew from there. 

They are now married, and while inter-abled relationships sure make heads turn (people always assume his wife is his caretaker, until they catch them holding hands or some such thing), they are indeed out there. I dare say it's becoming more commonplace, and I wish all the best for your son! 

 

I worked with someone in a similar marital situation.  He had CP and she did not have a disability. Perfectly happy and fun couple!  Also watch the movie Murderball as I believe there were many such successful couples.  

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