Online dating is similar to an ice cream shop in having a wide variety of ice cream flavors to choose from. No need to settle for the first flavor you tried, when there are so many, especially if it is not satisfying. Why not try a few to see which one would match perfectly with your taste buds? You might enjoy something more sourly, sweet, creamy or even salty and wouldn’t know until you try several kinds. And the same goes for dating.
Someone showing a romantically interested in you doesn’t mean you should be with the individual, especially when there is no excitement. Unfortunately, a good portion of people with disability resolve to be with the first person who shows the minimal romantic fascination due to having ingrained the mindset that no one else would accept their disability, so better hold onto him/her. It’s a mess up way of thinking, honestly. We all have felt like that once in our lifetime because whatever insecurities we have overshadowed our self-worth, preventing us from obtaining what we truly deserve. The issue is that humanity has put such a great emphasis on you to look and act a certain way, causing those who don’t fit into that mold to feel like whatever they get is good enough. It’s a common way of thinking among the minority, particularly in the disability community.
Everyone should have the opportunity to date around and to find the special person that sets their soul on fire, similar to savoring a bunch of flavors until coming upon the one that leaves you wanting more. Many are lucky enough to find their ideal flavor instantly, while others have a harder time. It doesn’t mean that you are difficult. It just implies you know what you are looking for and wouldn’t lower your expectations. You shouldn’t have to lower your expectations to say you are in a relationship just because all of your friends are in relationships. Also, your expectations shouldn’t be so high that they are unattainable. Having expectations doesn’t imply you are picky, on the contrary, it means you know what you want/deserve and wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Being with someone who sets your soul on fire is equally important if not more, than being with someone who accepts your disability. For me, having a deep connection and a mutual desire towards each other is a crucial element. Just because they are okay with your disability, does it signify you should be with that individual? The answer is NO. The relationship would then start to feel like a chore resulting in an unhealthy/unhappy and miserable union. It doesn’t matter how much you care and respect one another, if there isn’t a physical attraction, then there shouldn’t be a romantic relationship.
You will meet some amazing and genuine people on the apps who are very accepting of your differences and develop wonderful friendships, which is perfectly fine. Interacting with people from all walks of life can be a blessing in disguise, permitting you to pinpoint some qualities you would want and don’t want in a partner. There are qualities you would want your other half to possess that you were unaware of until recently, besides being unfazed by your disability. For instant, if you like to be silly and make jokes, you would need someone who laughs at your silly jokes, doesn’t get offended easily and isn’t afraid of joining you in your goofiness yet call you on your BS, ideally, someone who compliments your personality.
Over the years, I have learned to not settle when it comes to finding that special person. Unlike my younger self, I can now distinguish what I want and don’t want in a man. Getting to that point, it took a lot of endless swiping, meaningless conversations and a ton of disappointments, all necessary, which led me to grow as a person. Each person that comes into our life has something to teach us whether or not the experience was good or not so good. One thing that I’ve learned is to have expectations. For example, I enjoy laughing and busting your chops if the person can’t handle that then the relationship wouldn’t work. You shouldn’t stop making jokes or being your silly self just to be liked. There are many people out there like ice cream flavors and you will come across someone who is going to appreciate your uniqueness and find it lovely. Lowering your expectations might be convenient in the short-run, but definitely not in the long-run.