As a disabled gay man, dating is something of a taboo for me. You are told repeatedly that you are young and attractive and that people will not care that you use a wheelchair.
However, very often, this is not the case. People will say that they are interested in going on a date with you, and then they will see you are actually in a wheelchair and decide they cannot handle the burden which comes with being romantically involved with someone in a wheelchair and run as fast as possible in the other direction.
I’ve had two dates recently and they cannot have been more polar opporsites. One of them has ended up going exactly as I have described above. With the person blocking me on all manner of social media networks and dating apps. They did this in all likihood because I wasn’t willing to have sex with them on a first date. Despite there having been some of the most sexual flirting I have ever encountered. I’ll call him J. He seemed like a very nice guy and interested in a lot of the same things as me. I had made it clear that sex wasn’t on the cards during the date, and it appears that he somehow expected something to happen. J enjoyed a takeaway with me, played a limited amount of world of Warcraft with me whilst we watched some trashy tv and then I offered to take him back to the train station so he could get home at a reasonable time for the day out with his friends the following day. He had even said in the way he had said several things that evening and during the week or so we had been talking online that he was off on Monday and wanted to come back over then.
Well I believe he had blocked me on all social media before he had left the flat. He didn’t block me on the dating app we had originally connected on, and I genuinely wanted to know if he had got home safely. I received a response, the contents of which I never got to read because he immediately blocked me on that app as well. He was a lovely guy, but even during the date it was obvious he wasn’t mature enough to cope with being involved with someone who was in a wheelchair even on a friendship basis, let alone romantically.
I have been wrong about people before, and I am willing to admit that I can misread people and a situation, but cuddling into someone and announcing that you’ve got an erection as if something needed to be done about it when I had clearly stated that there would be no sex at all left with a very distinct impression.
Well that was last night (Saturday) and now for the contrast.
M is younger than J and as a result when he said he was interested, I took it with a pinch of salt. I’m used to people being unable to cope with my being in a wheelchair, but normally younger people are completely unaware of what it entails. However M was the exact opposite of J in almost every way.
He was understanding and kind and seemed to understand what being in a wheelchair meant.
So much so that date number two is on the cards. Date number one actually broke my sex rule, which has only ever happened once before and that ended up in a two and a bit year relationship. It then became a little awkward for other reasons after M had left. But it was readily forgotten assuming he realises that lying or telling me things that he doesn’t mean isn’t acceptable, but I’m willing at this stage to believe it was a genuine mistake and to overlook it.
I’m a practical person, and whilst I have my concerns about M, he is a really nice guy, and although he is just about the youngest guy I’ve gone on a date with, and no doubt has a lot of growing up to do, he doesn’t seem phased by the wheelchair or the complications it introduces.
However, I am really hoping he is genuinely interested and isn’t already seeing someone or in an open relationship, or is a pansexual or panromantic person. I understand and accept all of those things. I could never be more than friends with someone who was pansexual/panromantic because I am not someone who enjoys sharing someone they truely care about with other people.
As someone in a wheelchair, I’ve learnt the hard way not to become attached to anyone until you are absolutely sure of their intentions, and even then it can be difficult to tell if someone is truly being faithful as my ex-partner W proved during the two and a bit years we were together. But I am willing to take that chance and see what comes of it. J couldn’t cope with the wheelchair and wanted things he knew were off the table at this stage. M on the other hand seems to be really willing to try, and if nothing else then I am willing to see if he is truely willing to try or if he is just trying to get something out of me.
I shall let you all know in due course with my next dating update.