What You Learn From Navigating Through The Tinder Trenches (As A Woman With A Disability)

Erasmus Student Network
Erasmus Student Network

Dating at age twenty-two is carefree, fun, and frustrating as hell for any millennial trying to find any trace of decency in an ever-growing hookup culture. This is especially the case when you’re a woman in a wheelchair. In a fairly large city. On an app originally made for easy hookups.

Nowadays, everyone and their mother is on Tinder. It is used for hooking up, yes, but it’s also used for dating and even making new friends. On an app where the basis of connection rests upon whether you swipe your thumb left for “no” or right for “yes,” I always knew it wasn’t a promising way to meet anyone extremely down to earth, but I figured it’s worth a shot. And if anything, it wouldn’t be boring. I was right.

Most guys are creepy. Some think it’s a joke. Most ask me how many souls I’ve stolen (because my bio is hilarious and mentions the well-known fact that gingers are only out to steal your soul.) I cannot begin to count how many times someone’s asked me, “So, how does sex work?” As if my vagina is as dysfunctional as my muscles are. Being the smart ass that I am, it’s always been entertaining to think up a witty reply and never talk to these men again, but after awhile, it just gets old.

I think most men are afraid to date me. I get it; a 400 lb. chunk of metal under my ass isn’t the sexiest thing, and my anatomy isn’t out of a Playboy magazine. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s frustrating sometimes. Joining Tinder definitely didn’t help my frustration with the dating game, but it taught me a few things.

It taught me that no matter how immature, creepy, outrageous, and downright weird the men of the world and the men of Tinder are, I still believe that I am worthy.

If anything, going on creepy dates only amplified this belief of mine more. I had one guy be a true gentleman to me on our first date, and then continue to ignore me after things got a little awkward, physically, on our second.

It taught me that I don’t want to settle for someone shallow enough, immature enough, or blind enough to not see (or at least be open to learning) how awesome I am.

It taught me that I don’t have to waste my time to be appreciated.

It taught me that I define beauty, and I am freaking beautiful.

It taught me that even amongst the sleaze, there are some really decent people out there, and we’re all in the same boat when it comes to just how mucky the waters of the dating pool are.

It’s been fun; but I think for now, I’ll retire from Tinder—lest I end up on Buzzfeed again. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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