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Posts tagged ‘Dating’

How my life has changed

Life has changed dramatically for me over the last 18 months. There are lots of reasons for this, including my eye surgeries, having my spinal surgery and moving home. However, the most important thing that has changed for me is that I’m in a relationship. 

I’m sharing my life with a wonderful woman, who loves me despite my disability and is not phased by the challenges that it poses within our everyday life. The way we met obviated having that most difficult of decisions, when to tell I use a wheelchair. The first time we set eyes on each other I was in my wheelchair. As we talked I soon discovered that Eve had worked with people with disabilities as well as having worked as a therapist. She was as interested in my pre-disability life as I was in her former career and we soon discovered we shared many interests. I invited Eve to my flat for supper and we both continued to attend at the synagogue where we first met, as well as going out on other dates.  One of the first things I noticed was that enquiring about access to venues and arrangements for parking seemed second nature to Eve, one of the reasons I fell in love with her! Having Eve understand my world makes being together as a couple so much easier. 

We have been spending lots of time together, I now have a social life again as we’ve been meeting each other’s friends and family. My nursing background had been helpful in giving support to Eve’s cousin who had end stage cancer, until her death. I felt useful again, even though I dearly wished the circumstances were different. Eve and I have found we can support each other in so many ways. I always find it easier to battle for other people than for myself and it’s the same for Eve so we’ve been helping each other deal with the bureaucracy of everyday life.    

I’m more tech savvy than Eve so can help with her smart phone and computer, she is my legs when I’m too tired or in too much pain to move. On the nights when I don’t have a carer to get my evening meal Eve can help me cook and it great sharing a meal together and being able to discuss what’s on TV. We share the same political views and we have being getting involved with local left-wing political campaigns.

We’ve been going to music gigs, which has revived my interest in singing and I’m hoping to get chance to sing in a choir again, even if my repertoire will be limited. Another hobby that Eve and I share is horse riding and I’m hoping that Eve will be able to come to my local RDA group with me so I can ride once more.

Life has changed so much for the better. I’m happy again, some of the challenges I face haven’t altered but having someone beside me to share everything makes life so much brighter and easier. 

Now with the move and the summer weather (though in England that never a guarantee of sunshine) and the lengthening days I’ve more reason to go out and about. 


I’m looking forward to trips out where we can explore both new and familiar places together. I might actually be able to go abroad for a holiday for the first time in 10 years! Life has become so much more worth living. 


Dating Scam

As I wrote in a previous post, I’ve started dating again. Recently, I very nearly got caught up in a dating scam, and want to tell others how this happened and warn them to be careful.

I ‘met’ this girl on the lesbian section of, she contacted me, saying she had a preference for being with older women, and that she was fed up with shallow relationships and wanted to meet someone who was serious about having a real and meaningful connection. As this was very much what I was seeking I replied.

We began to exchange daily messages, then swapped email addresses, I used one that does not give my name, but hers was the name she had given on the site. The emails continued daily and we swapped info about our past relationships, what we wanted for the future and found we wanted many of the same things. Her interests in film and TV were different to mine and she was into sport which I’m not, but otherwise we seemed very well matched. She said she lived in London and worked in a para-medical job, in forensic anatomy, and travelled abroad as part of this, which seemed plausible.

The only thing I was uncomfortable about at this stage was the fact that she didn’t want to talk on the phone, something I was very keen to do, as it’s one of the ways I find really let’s me discover more about a possible date. She put her reluctance down to being shy, and we continued to message. I was careful what I wrote, she never knew my address, family name or other personal information.

We ‘talked’ about meeting and fixed a date a week ahead, but I insisted that we talk on the phone first. Then she sent me a message saying she wouldn’t be able to meet that day as she was flying out to Nigeria for work in three days time and that she would be away for 12 days. I asked her to call me before she left for the airport, and she promised she would, but no call came. She also said she was going one her own, not with work colleagues, which seemed very odd to me.

The next I heard was an email saying she’d arrived safely after what seemed like an unusually long flight, and giving me a phone number to call her on. I was somewhat reluctant to call a Nigerian mobile, but thought I would give it a try, it took several goes to get through, and when I did, it was very difficult to hear what the person the other end was saying. Also, the voice sounded very strange, as through voice synthesiser was being used. I quickly ended the call, and went back to emailing!

Then the next day I got an email saying the company she was working for had paid her by cheque and she couldn’t get it cashed until she got back to the UK, and that her bank card wouldn’t work in Nigeria, so please could I loan her some money till she got home?!

My reply was short and to the point! No way would I be lending her money, even if I had it to spare, which I certainly didn’t! She wrote a vitriolic response, which I didn’t dignify by answering.

I was angry with myself for spending so much time on the emails I wrote her every day, and the emotional energy I had invested into what I had hoped might be a future relationship. But very thankful I’d been so cautious with my personal information, and that she or possibly he (the voice didn’t sound very female even with the synthesiser), didn’t know where I lived.

I’ve notified and also posted her/his information on, a free to use site, which gives lots of information about dating scams.

There is also a WordPress blog:, which tells stories from people who’ve been scammed and gives support to victims.

So, lots of time wasted and I’m back to trawling the dating sites again. Let’s hope I find a real woman this time!

Dating and when to tell………

This blog post is part of Blogging Against Disablism Day 2014. The date was 1st May, but better late than never!

My last relationship ended almost two years ago and I’ve decided to start dating again. Over the past 5 years, since I was last dating, my need to use my wheelchair has increased to to point where I don’t walk anywhere outside my flat. So, how do I convey this to a potential partner?

My wheelchair is a vital part of my life, in the same way as my iPhone, iPad and car. But I don’t want it to define who I am. My personal skills and qualities are no different to when I was fully able-bodied. My interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes are pretty much the same too. I still have itchy feet and long to travel more in the UK and abroad.

I have never been sporty – I hated games at school and would do anything to avoid playing – especially on cold winter days! Being forced to run round a frozen hockey field three times before play commenced by a sadistic games mistress was never my idea of fun! The fact that I never found a sport I was any good at probably contributed to my preference for playing Scrabble or other board games.

Whilst I love exploring new places and being outside on long sumner days, I don’t understand the lure of going for long walks when it’s cold and windy. I’ve never enjoyed rambling or climbing and certainly not in the rain! Give me a ruined building to explore and photograph or the chance to enjoy a visit to a National Trust property any day.

I love going to art galleries and exhibitions, to be challenged by installations or modern abstracts as much as I enjoy Monet, Manet, de Lempicka or Van Gough. Gallery mooching has always been my idea of a wonderful day out. Walking for hours or bird-watching has never appealed.

I understand for some people that their need to be physically active is a vital part of their lives, especially if they have a sedentary job. As a Nurse I was always on my feet at work, even as a manager I would be found purposefully walking through the building, making sure my staff were doing their job correctly and that patients were receiving the care they needed. My staff never knew when, or for how long I would be on each floor, a great way of being visual, available and informed. At the end of my working week, I looked for enjoyment in theatre, ballet and exhibitions, where I could sit down from time to time. I would much rather stretch my brain than go to the gym!

The only thing I really miss is going to a club, particularly the women’s only events that I once helped to organise. But may be at almost 60 I’m getting too old for clubbing!

As for the things that annoy me, I’m just as intolerant of people who are prejudiced or racist, drive badly and cut me up or ride their bicycles as if they own the road as I have always been. I dislike being in queues when shop assistants are gossiping with their friends instead of serving customers or being pressured to buy something I’m still making my mind up about. I get angry reading or hearing about adults who abuse children, I’m ashamed to share a profession with nurses who are uncaring, neglectful or just downright lazy. None of these views have changed over the years.

So as you can see, in someways, I don’t feel I have changed as a person because of needing to use a wheelchair. When I talk to someone I hope to be dating, I’m very clear to say that the only major difference my disability makes is the need to plan when and where I’m going to park. Most of the places I need or want to visit are fully accessible.

Long before I started to use a wheelchair I didn’t use public transport, I disliked being in overcrowded busses and trains especially the underground. So ever since I moved back to London, I have driven everywhere. From my perspective nothing has changed for me in that respect either.

But for the some of the women (and as I’ve heard from straight friends this applies to men too) I have talked to seem to feel that using a wheelchair is something that should be declared up-front. I’ve seen other on-line profiles when women have either shown photos of themselves in their chair or mentioned that they are disabled.

My thinking process has been different, I want someone to get to know me because of my qualities as a person, and understand what I would bring to a relationship. I take the view that I’m more than my chair – that being disabled has not changed who I am as a person. It’s just an extra facet of my personality. Am I wrong?

Well, I guess one thing comes out of my rationale, if someone doesn’t want to date me just because I use a wheelchair, they ain’t worth knowing! I won’t date a right-wing racist – however good looking they might be! Even if I wasn’t disabled I wouldn’t want to know someone who was prejudiced against disabled people.

I will accept that having to pace myself in terms of not getting over tired or making sure my pain control remains good can be restricting. One girlfriend I dated had two dogs, their needs limited our lives far more than my wheelchair ever did.

Life is about sharing and compromise.

So, back to my question, what is the right time to tell someone I’m disabled? I tend to talk about my need to use a wheelchair at about the same time as I’m telling someone my adopted daughter has a different skin colour to me.

Is this the right timing? Both pieces of information can elicit very different responses, but ones that tell me a lot about the person I’m talking to.

I’ve recently had a delightful date with a woman who didn’t say anything about her Caribbean heritage. Her ethnicity wasn’t obvious from the photo she sent me – she is quite light skinned. On meeting her I was more interested in her as a person than where her parents came from. We are all defined, in some way by our families and how we are raised, for me the most important part of someone’s heritage is their tolerance and open mindedness.

I’m very clear in telling a prospective date how independent I am and that I have paid PA’s who do any housework and caring tasks I need. Also, I have no wish to live with anyone full-time again. I value my solo visits to my cousin and my time engaging in genealogy research, neither of which I would expect a partner to share on a regular basis. Nor would I count on a partner understanding my love of US crime or hospital dramas!

So I don’t think I’m being unrealistic or unreasonable.

But am I?

I would be really interested in hearing from others how they deal with dating and what success they’ve had.

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