MobileROMANCE: Looking to get her feet wet

mobileROMANCE columnist
Tiffiny Carlson

Dear Tiff,

I have type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, but I also have a trach and a G-tube, so it's not just the wheelchair with me. I just graduated, just moved into my first apartment, and never had a boyfriend in high school (for my own personal reasons). But now that I'm on my own and going to college soon, I'm totally ready to enter the dating scene. So, as a young disabled women with zero dating experience, what kinds of advice would you give me in regards to basic dating rules, how I should carry myself, what to do with the sex subject...pretty much basic advice on how to become a "hot chick in a wheelchair" too, and not "Just that disabled girl."

Thanks so much!

Dear A,

Congratulations on being ready to put yourself out there! I too waited until after high school to begin dating. You’re actually at an advantage in many ways. You’re choosing to start on your own terms and not barreling into it haphazardly. And even better, the internet is at your beck and call, for both advice AND men. You almost can’t lose.

There are a handful of important things a woman with a disability in your position should possess before making her debut in the dating world. Carrying oneself with poise and flair is something all girls want to achieve, and you can achieve this too despite your disability. The first thing you need to do is arm yourself with a wardrobe of stylish, figure-flattering outfits. You don’t have to spend hundreds. I have put together dozens of cool outfits from thrift store finds. Figure out your best physical feature and highlight it as much as possible whenever you dress. This is a must when you use a wheelchair since sitting down can hide so much. Guys are visual creatures. You must tap into that when you’re out there trying to meet men.

And make sure you have some stylish yet sexy accessories to add to your look. A cool hat, some pretty scarves, a belt that highlights your waist, printed tights and at least one pair of sexy heels. Accessories, whatever they are, are a great way to show the world you still have style and it shows the men you meet you may be disabled, but you’re also a hip chic they should get to know. Guys love interesting women. And don’t forget, hair and makeup matter too. Not a lot of makeup - concealer, light eyeliner, bronzer and a natural pink lip work great for most girls (guys hate too much makeup). When you’re serious about meeting a guy, girly checkmarks still stand for something.

Even more important than how you look, is how you carry yourself. Being a “hot chick in a wheelchair” takes a lot of confidence. When you leave your house, you need to carry yourself with poise. Hold your head high, roll down the street not afraid to look people in the eyes, cross your legs to look extra feminine, smile easily, be in tune with your funny bone and remember, life is short and that men love a girl who’s easy-going and easy to approach.

If you decide to go the internet dating route, remember my two golden rules: 1) Always put your disability in the intro paragraph of your dating profile. Never keep your disability a secret at any time. Be upfront about your disability and you will attract the right men. And 2) Add to your dating profile that yes, “I can still have sex.” Make it funny if you must, but put it in there somewhere. It may seem ridiculous that you even have to add that to your profile, but almost every guy who’s going to visit your profile will think this. It’s best to satiate their curiosity right away without them having to ask the big sex question when you first begin chatting, making both of you feel awkward.

And when you’re meeting men, remember to keep your creeper-detector turned up to maximum. There are a loads of creeps out there who will prey on you because of your disability. Most are of these guys are only interested in one thing, so make sure you date smart and stay one step ahead of the game. Remember, you’re worthy of a great, sexy and successful guy just like any other woman out there. Never settle.

So there you have it. Show off your curves as stylishly as possible, find your poise and always be open about your disability when meeting men, making sure they respect you in the process. Good luck and girl, have fun!


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  1. Awesome advice, Tiffiny! I've done extensive research on this topic as well *wink wink.* I agree it is important to use your creep-detector and also have a plan should one of your dates set it off.

    I always showed up to a date at least 10 minutes early and took a care-giver or friend with me. Then I'd make sure the friend/care-giver did not sit with me but sat where we could make eye-contact. It helps if the coffee shop or restaurant is busy as it makes it harder to tell if someone is looking out for you. There was one guy who totally set of my creep alarm...only about 15 minutes into the date. At that point, I informed him that I was not alone and I wanted him to leave. I never told him who was with me so he became suspect of everyone. The reason I made him leave instead of rolling out of there first is, I did not want to give him an opportunity to follow me or see what car I was riding in.

    Happy dating and be safe!

  2. The Gimp Avenger,

    Super good advice on bringing someone with and not letting them know who. I'm so doing this!


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