I’m a 29 year old guy in a wheelchair, very independent and somewhat successful. I’d say I’m a good looking guy and think I come across relatively confident and talking to girls has never been a problem. I realized early after my accident that life was going to be significantly different when it came to women and relationships (I know, not rocket science…haha). It was not going to be nearly as easy as it once was, but I’ve been pretty determined to not let my chair be my excuse.
After trying and failing to pick up girls in a similar way to how I once had, I decided that a better way to approach it might be to rather befriend them rather than actively perusing them. Only problem is I now have a bunch of girl “friends” and no girlfriend, and it’s beginning to feel not too dissimilar from the relationships girls have with their gay guy friends! If I try to make a move and the feelings aren’t mutual, the friendship will never be the same.
My question is, what--if anything--would you do differently?
Mr. Always Platonic
Dear Mr. Always Platonic,
Sorry to hear your post-injury dating method isn’t working out! Whether you’re a woman or a guy with a disability, I think a lot of us can relate to your situation. It’s not easy trying to persuade the world we’re still a great catch despite our disability and I know a lot of us have tried your exact method. You’d think it’d work….it sounds like a great technique, “Become their friend first, then see where it goes,” even dating experts recommend trying this approach, but as your situation proves, sometimes being friends-first can backfire.
Here’s the deal: Becoming too close of friends with those of the opposite sex can asexualize you in the eyes of AB-friends (i.e. possible love interests) who may never known a person with a disability until you. If that happens, it can really throw a wrench in your plans. Once they put you in the friend/guy-but-not-sexual category, it’s really hard to backtrack. Are you talking to your female friends about your sex life and dating woes to at least clue them in that you’re still interested in sex and dating? If not, you should be.
Girls are transparent creatures. Unless you’re dealing with a very shy woman or an amazing actress, if any of your female friends like you, you would probably know by now. So if any of them haven’t flirted with you yet, assume the worst - they’re probably not interested (romantically). You just need to step-back and stop pursuing anyone in that group (hope you haven‘t fallen for any of them yet) and reconfigure your approach (again. I know!). But I promise you I’ll set you on the right track.
Instead, you’re going to need to a better “friendly” approach. You were right to a certain degree. Being a friend is more effective when trying to pick up women rather than the in-your-face “you’re hot” approach. Unfortunately, you took it too far into the “best friend” territory, killing your chances. Next time you meet a woman you‘re interested in, continue the friendly approach and don’t be annoyingly flirty, but remember to keep some mystery once you become friends and never allow yourself get too close (her female best-friends are for that!).
As a woman, we’re told a little mystery always helps in attracting men. This is more true than any of us realize - and it applies to the guys too! I know it’s not easy withholding a possible friendship from blooming, hoping something deeper may develop in its place, but if you’re serious about finding a woman who’s really into you and looks at you as she would any other man (100 all-male oh yeah!) then you’ll have to try your darndest to prevent the friendship from becoming too close. Be there, but don’t be there for all the crises if you know what I mean.
Love will come. Be patient, and good luck!
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