How Do I Bring Love Back Into My Life Now That I'm In A Wheelchair?

Dear Thalia,

I was in an accident a year and a half ago that left me paralyzed from the hips down. How does one enter back into the dating world when I am still learning how my body is now?

Are there other women that will date someone in a wheelchair and see them for the person that they are and not the chair that they have to be in?


Love and Life

Dear Love:

Thank you for your question.  I'm very sorry to hear about your accident.  And I'm very glad to read that you are ready and able to re-enter the dating world.

Probably the most challenging and yet most important thing you can do is make certain you are comfortable in your body and have a clear understanding of what your body is currently capable of feeling and responding to and that you are equally comfortable discussing this with a potential dating partner.

I hope that you have a good support system of medical professionals such as a gynecologist that has experience with both disability and lesbian sexuality, and the same for a therapist.  If not, I strongly encourage you to seek out these professionals.

Knowing yourself and your sexuality well is the first step in being ready to share yourself with a partner.  Take the time to really know your body. And then take the time to know your dating partner before you introduce physical intimacy into the relationship.  We all expose ourselves to the possibility of pain when we open up sexually with another person.  And in your case, where you have the added dimension of having to navigate an entirely new sexual expression, almost like being a virgin, it is even more important to be cautious with your heart.  Be careful not to be so cautious, however, that you don't let anyone close enough to experience love.

There are absolutely lesbians out there that will want to date you and see you as more than just someone in a wheelchair.  All of the same strategies used to find dates when not in a wheelchair will also work for you. All of the popular dating sites include filters for various disabilities and there are even dating sites specifically for people with disabilities.  Check out this article for the 10 Best Dating Sites for Disabled Singles.

Focus on getting out of the house and doing what you love to do.  Treat yourself well. You are more than a lesbian in a wheelchair.  And when you are out in the world you will attract others, friends, and lovers, who will see beyond the wheelchair just as you do.