Refusing to accept your limitations keeps you stuck. So while disabilities change people’s lives in big ways, being in denial about them isn’t helping anyone. However, commitment, creativity, and a willingness to do things differently can dramatically reduce the impact a disability has on someone. Including their dating life. Bored Panda has compiled a list of funny Tinder bios by people who lost their limbs bot not their sense of humor, proving that acceptance isn’t giving in. Rather, self-empowerment.
Limb loss is actually more common than many people realize. One in 190 Americans is currently living with the loss of a limb. However, it is projected that this number will more than double by the year 2050. The main causes of losing a limb are vascular disease (54%) including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, trauma (45%), and cancer (less than 2%).
But Royal Marine Colour Sergeant Lee ‘Frank’ Spencer (who lost his right leg two years ago while helping to save the life of a motorist on the central reservation of the M3 in Surrey) says there’s life beyond injury. “Since losing my leg, life is worse in many ways,” he told The Telegraph. “I now have difficulty in doing many simple tasks. But I prefer to concentrate on all the ways it’s got better and all the amazing things I’ve done since my injury.”
Since then, Lee has undergone extensive rehab and completed spectacular physical feats. Rowing the Atlantic with the Row2Recovery crew is one of them. “Before my accident, my love for watching football was only equalled by my lack of skill playing it – to the extent that, as a bipedal centre forward, I managed to bag a mighty two goals in four seasons of matches on Hackney Marshes. Now, however, I can toe punt a ball with my prosthetic rather more accurately – and I’ve already bagged a brace for my local walking football team.”
“Injury may force you into activities you may never have previously considered, uncovering latent natural talent.”
But dating with a disability is quite hard to navigate. For example, Amin Lakhani, a 29-year-old dating coach from Seattle, told Huff Post his love life is less active than it used to be. “[It’s] because I have a better sense of who I am and what I’m looking for. I filter more. I’m dating a few people at the moment.”
“Online dating has been pretty tame for me, honestly,” he said. “The worst part is just not getting a lot of matches, and then having a hard time believing that it’s because of anything other than my disability.”
Amin also thinks that being upfront about your disability is definitely the right way to approach online dating. “I’m very explicit about it,” he said. “One time a girl didn’t know I had a disability until I showed up on the date, and she was really quiet throughout the night. I finally asked her about it and she told me she was surprised — my profile had only hinted at it, so from then on I always made it explicit. Now it’s in my main photo, and I talk about it, usually jokingly, but also seriously when there is room for it, like on OkCupid.”
“People will respond to [your disability] based on how you present it. Trying to hide it or ignore it will just make people uncomfortable, because humans are naturally curious about anything that is unique.”