So, I had a phone date last night and he led with teasing me about what I ate for dinner - a quick meal that I make when I’m fatigued - and then talked about how uncomfortable he was that we were not on a Zoom call. I can’t do video because of my disability. Which I told him.
I don’t really know how to handle this when dating because it’s hurtful and it’s ableist to have someone complain about the accommodation you need. Part of me feels like it’s something a lot of abled people might make the mistake of not being sensitive to.
But as someone who has faced a lot of rejection and ableist trauma, it really is difficult to disclose a disability and to ask for an accommodation and it feels unsafe to have someone then make you feel like you’re causing them discomfort or putting them out for your needs.
I really struggle to trust and get close to able-bodied people because so many of them have treated me really abusively since my disability. Or just haven’t known how to be sensitive. And dating has been like this - putting myself out there and being made to feel weird or wrong.
I kind of worry that dating for me is always going to be a process of having to educate people about how to treat me in ways that don’t harm me. I get that most people don’t have practice here. But also, I want to have a good time and feel valued and not weird on a date?
I don’t even know how to bring this up without coming across as petty because it seems like such a small thing to people who don’t have a disability and don’t always have to apologize for their bodies. But it just seems like a sign of a lack of sensitivity or understanding.
Plus it’s just so scary for me to put myself out there again after all the really shitty ableist dating experiences I’ve had in the past.
The one abled person who has really gained my trust since my injury was very careful and gentle and curious and accommodating around my disability. And after how healing that felt – it’s hard for me to even think about accepting less. But they had a history of reading Crip theory
And the general dating scene of super nerdy book people who have leftist politics don’t necessarily fit that bill? I wish someone wrote a guide on how to date disabled people. Or how to date as a disabled person. Because I definitely have no freaking clue.
(I’ll likely delete this later but wanted to share it because I don’t think abled people understand how hurtful these small comments are. They aren’t the first time we’ve encountered these things and they are red flags that you might not be someone to trust).