Disability and Attraction

Hi Guys!

I stumbled on your site a couple of days ago and really like it! Really insightful stuff.

I am in my late 30s and use a wheeled walker to get around because of a walking impairment. People tell me I am quite attractive. I lead a normal life and go out quite often to parties, social meetups, and mixers, so I get to meet lots of people and get a chance to make friends. But getting around in a crowded place to mingle is not an easy thing, which means men have to come to me to chat. They do, so that’s ok. But….the thing is that I always get put in the friendzone with guys. I’m guessing because of the walker thing. It is like it doesn’t cross their mind to see me as anything else. Is there any way to get around that?? I put a lot into my appearance, and being pleasant and approachable, but I can’t do anything about my walker.

Any tips?


Dear Anon,

We’ll be honest. We’ve answered thousands of questions over the years, but we’ve never received a specific question about dating with a disability. That said, the dynamics of dating, relationships, love, sex are universal. Hopefully, we’ll be able to at least get the conversation started.

We see a few possible approaches to your situation.

  1. Be more assertive.
  2. Look for a different type of guy.

Let’s start with the first. Clearly you’re a self-confident person. Intelligent. Attractive. You may be aware of your disability but it doesn’t define you. Would it be possible for you to take this up a notch? We realize that getting around isn’t easy for you, but once you’ve had a conversation with someone have you followed up and asked them out? That’s right, be the one who initiates the next step. We know this isn’t the traditional way of doing things, but honestly, the world has changed a lot and old-fashioned is, well, dated. Perhaps some of these men you’re meeting don’t even realize that you might be interested, or they’re completely clueless and not sure how to proceed and don’t know how to go about asking you out because of your walking impairment? Maybe it’s not your nature, but this might be a situation where you have to be more assertive. Besides giving you more control over your own destiny, men might also see you in a different light if you take this approach. (Well, some men.)

What do you think?

If you don’t feel comfortable being more assertive, the second approach might be something to consider.

You say you keep getting put in the friend-zone? Is it possible you keep meeting the same sort of guy at these social events you frequent? Guys who are nice enough, but who don’t see you as a potential partner? Guys who have a narrow view of who their ideal partner is? Remember, if a guy is not open to someone who’s a little bit unique, like yourself, it won’t matter how charming, intelligent and beautiful you are. They won’t be able to see past your “limitations.” Meeting guys who are open to possibilities would be the first step in getting out of the friend-zone.

Who are these guys?

The sort of guy who is more open, has likely lived a bit longer, seen some things, gained experience and maturity along the way and possibly, wisdom. Maybe he’s had a few serious relationships and is no longer obsessed with physical “perfection” but instead, is looking for a meaningful relationship and a solid person to build a life with. Maybe he’s dealt with with hardship in his life and has gained new perspective that way. Maybe he’s always been the type of person who doesn’t see the world in terms of limitations, but instead, possibilities. These guys are out there Anon, you just haven’t met them yet.

So, we’re sure this is all nice in theory, but you’re probably wondering, where do I meet these guys?

Maybe you’ve wanted to meet people the traditional way, but honestly, there is no traditional way anymore. What we’re saying is, it may be time to ask some other people in your similar situation for ideas, or tap into some of the resources that might be available to you. Also, we did some research on the subject and it seems that there are certainly some dating sites that people with disabilities use to meet people. Have you tried any of these options?

You seem like a very self-aware person, someone who wants to grow, learn, evolve. Use that inner-strength and keep putting yourself out there. But expand a bit. Take an adult ed class in a subject that interests you. Join a book group. Etc. Network with others in your similar situation. The more you put yourself out there in different ways, the more likely you’ll meet that special person.

We hope this gives you some things to think about. Any follow-up questions? Thoughts? Ideas? Concerns? Please leave in the comments’ section below.

Last note of caution: Be careful, if you do find someone, that he’s not trying to be a hero, but he truly wants to be with you for all that you have to offer.

All the best,


ps. We hope you’ll share our site with friends. Thanks!




4 Comments on Disability and Attraction

  1. Thank you for this! Everything here makes sense, especially about a guy with more life experience as opposed to guys with narrower views (and…players.) About assertiveness, I am very conscious of men’s propensity to label women as clingy or pushy… One question- when is friendly too “friendy” and not romantically/sexually attractive?
    Thanks again

  2. @Anon……You’re welcome. When men say words like clingy or pushy they are usually referring to their girlfriend who wants the relationship to move to the next level. There are two reasons a man might say this. 1. He feels the woman doesn’t want him specifically but just wants to be married and have kids. He feels that she would be happy with any warm body. He may not be self-aware enough to know the reason behind his feelings so he uses words like clingy or pushy. 2. The guy’s a player and is causing the woman to feel insecure. And we know how people behave when they feel insecure. Yep. They get clingy and pushy………However, in your case, when a woman initiates a first date, or possibly steers the conversation from a friendly one to a flirty one, this does not elicit that feeling in a man. In fact, some men may actually be turned on by a more assertive woman. You talked about how you always get put in the friend zone, so this was one way of counteracting that. Make sense?

  3. Yup, makes sense- everything you said!

  4. @Anon…..Well, keep us posted. We’re interested to hear how you’re doing. Take care.

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