J.G. wrote: “Hi. I’m a 28 year-old disabled guy. I’m not good looking and never had sex or been in a relationship. I am becoming more self-conscious about this, as most people I know have had several partners by my age. I’m too shy to even act interested in women for fear of being humiliated and being rejected for my disabilities. Any advice on what I should do would be appreciated.”
Liz says: When I was 23 I met a 25 year-old guy who was a lot like you: while he wasn’t physically disabled, he was super self-conscious, had very little experience dating, thought he wasn’t good-looking, and he was a virgin. But I was attracted to his intelligence, friendliness, and lack of machismo (plus, he was better-looking than he thought he was). We dated for 3 years.
My point, J.G., is that most of us feel inadequate/self-conscious/etc at some point in our lives, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there for us that will love us as we are, flaws and all. I don’t mean to imply that your disability is a “flaw” by the way, just that whatever we perceive to be our inadequacies, there is someone out there for everyone, someone who will see the best in us.
Lead with your strengths when dating, which is what we all should do, disabled or not. What do you love about yourself? What do others compliment you on the most? What are your hobbies/passions/interests? When you get out and live life, making a conscious decision to be happy with yourself, eventually you’ll meet someone who will be attracted to your positivity, strengths, and everything else you bring to the table.
Also, I noticed you referred to yourself as a “disabled guy”. Your disability doesn’t own you, and it certainly doesn’t define you. It is a part of you, like any other part of you, which is why I referred to you as a “Man with a disability” in the title. You are a man first.
Have you tried online dating yet? There are dating websites specifically for people with disabilities! Click here to check out Disabled Mate, click here for Able To Love You, and click here to read a great article about dating with a physical disability .