A matchmaking site for the disabled

(from The Chicago Tribune)

Dating, offline and online, isn’t easy for anyone. But imagine if you were disabled.

Just south of Joliet, Ill., 54-year-old Suzie VanDyke struggles with a painful muscle disease called fibromyalgia. Sometimes, she feels like her neck, shoulders and legs are on fire. When the pain flares up, she’s in bed for days at a time.

For 15 years, VanDyke has dealt with fibromyalgia. She tried dating but eventually gave up on it.

“When I would tell people I have this disorder,” VanDyke said, “they’d push me aside. I wouldn’t get a call again. It’s just too much rejection.” The big dating Web sites weren’t any help, either.

“I don’t know any other way to say this,” she explained sheepishly, “but those guys are just looking for sex. That’s not something I’m looking for. I’m looking for a committed relationship.”

Dating4Disabled.com is the site that Ms. VanDyke used to find her husband. It caters to singles with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, stroke recovery, hearing and sight impairment, brain injuries, paralysis, amputation, polio, arthritis, learning disabilities, epilepsy, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. A number of people identify themselves as “not disabled.”

A very important niche, ably filled.

Click here to go to Dating4Disabled.com

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Hannah

    I am a 27-year old woman; I walk with a crutch due to a spinal injury.

    Maybe I didn’t give Dating4Disabled enough time. But I found in it a sharply limited pool of men within 50 miles of me, especially if I chose to date someone within ten years of my age.

    Not to mention the inner tempest I feel when it is implied that we, the disabled, should give up on dating outside our own demographic. 

    I understand that disability doesn’t apply to most of your readers, Evan. But I have had much better success on OkCupid than on Dating4Disabled (although “success” would be putting it a little strongly.)

     

  2. 2
    Elliot

    I would love to chat with you, Hannah, because we have a LOT in common! I also would like to meet someone compatible for a serious future, am open to both disabled and able-bodied people, and have not found many matches through Dating4Disabled. You’re right, OkCupid has been slightly more active, but not nearly enough for me to meet the right person. I walk with a walker, have a BA and a constantly inquisitive mind, and look forward to a full life.

  3. 3
    judy

    Hannah 1 – “Not to mention the inner tempest I feel when it is implied that we, the disabled, should give up on dating outside our own demographic”
    Forget what others imply.  You’re entitled to date whoever you want.  He just has to say yes or no.
    Good for you – go ahead and enjoy what you can have.

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