Dating Someone in a Wheelchair | Shield HealthCare
All spinal cord injuries and people in chairs are different. and has been a major life lesson is that dating or marrying someone in a wheelchair. For guys with spinal cord injury (SCI), these high tech dating services have made it over and over again before we meet someone with the right chemistry. Dating for People Who Are Newly Injured – Spinal Cord Injury There's all kinds of reasons that people choose not to date someone.
Studies show that single people want to be in a relationship but many people have had a negative experience with close, committed relationships. Today, people are often very cautious about entering a relationship. As a psychologist working with people who have a spinal cord injury, many single men ask me how to meet women, how to talk to them and how to start a relationship.
Women still want to find a man who is considerate, honest and who has integrity. In their relationships, women want a man who can communicate and who is sincere. Nowhere is communication and honesty more important than in the dating and sexual realm.
Yet, nowhere is it more difficult to be honest, direct and forthcoming. There is just no easy and painless way to meet a potential partner.
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For many of us, experiencing a failed relationship may be necessary over and over again before we meet someone with the right chemistry. These failed relationships are painful at times but unfortunately are necessary especially when trying to meet a new partner.
If we can learn and grow from these experiences, we are moving closer to a successful relationship. No man likes to be in a relationship where the feelings are not mutual.
However, the man who withdraws and isolates himself after these experiences will ultimately lose confidence and appeal to others. Without confidence, it becomes even more difficult to meet the right person. Honesty in Dating For most single people, sexual encounters are far more causal than in years past.DATING IN A WHEELCHAIR - TIPS AND ADVICE - HOW WE MET
The whole definition of a sexual relationship has changed in recent years. Sexual pleasure is even sometimes seen as something to share with a friend. All of this is true for men with SCI as well. Complicating this issue however, is the question of what to say about the injury and about sexual functioning after a SCI. This is a conversation that most men with SCI would like to avoid.
Every man with SCI struggles with the questions of what to say, when to say it and how to discuss sex after injury. In reality, there is no single answer that fits every occasion. Each relationship and each sexual encounter is unique.
Sometimes saying too much too soon can be as problematic as not saying anything at all about the injury.
Dating someone in a wheelchair - Reeve Foundation Community
This is something that needs to be judged by the comfort level of the couple and by the response of a potential partner. Is your partner interested in learning about how you function sexually? The bottom line is that your partner and you must be comfortable and relaxed before an enjoyable sexual experience can unfold. Rushing sex without honest communication is a sure formula for disaster.
As difficult as it can be to discuss the mechanics of sex and personal issues about your body, it is absolutely essential that some of these issues be shared. If not, anxiety is a sure bet. Under these conditions, anxiety contributes to over thinking and negative self talk. It keeps us wrapped up in our thoughts rather than enjoying the moment. Anxiety and positive sex simply are not compatible and cannot occur simultaneously.
The First Sexual Encounter after Injury Deciding when to be sexual after the injury can be a very difficult and agonizing decision. There is no right time to start being sexually active after injury. As I sat thinking, I quickly realized that I was not alone; that all anyone wants whether they had an injury or not is to be accepted whole heartedly for the person that they are.
I stated on my profile that I had a spinal cord injury and I could not believe the amount of responses I received in such a short amount of time. When having conversations with ladies questions did come up about my injury and that I use a chair. I often asked if my injury or that fact that I was a wheelchair user was an issue. I did come across people who would come straight out and say that they were not comfortable dating someone in a chair.
That is quite okay with me as we all have our preferences with who we would date and what we are comfortable with. Since my divorce my dating life has been great and very active. If I never had a positive outlook and confidence then I do not think I would have as much success in dating as I do. So moral of the story is that it is absolutely possible to have a normal dating life after an injury.
That being said I do believe that before this can happen one has to be fully comfortable with themselves and their injury. After an injury and you get back to dating or if you are already in a relationship, there are going to be things that will need to be done differently than before. However with time you will learn new ways and accept the challenges as they come.
Some activities while dating might seem awkward at times especially for the person dating someone in a chair because it is new to them.
The key is for you to stay comfortable and show confidence in every situation because if you get uncomfortable or awkward then your partner will feel this and they could become far more uncomfortable.
Once you date for a while things will fall into place and the uncomfortableness will go away.
One of the best ways to avoid those feelings are to talk openly about you disability. Let them know what you can and cannot do than the person can decide what they are comfortable with.