When to Tell Your Date You Have a Disability

About the Author: Christina is one of Intimately.co's amazing models! Christina is also a talented motivational speaker educating individuals on what it is like being "different," using her own personal story about living with a physical disability. She has spoken all around, including Ivy League college, Brown University.

Want to hear the best love story? Ok, maybe it’s not the best, but one that is my favorite. It all started in 2006. Someone had convinced me to create an online profile on a dating site. I had really no intention of creating a profile, but I figured what do I really have to lose? I had no idea what to put in my profile. I included a picture of myself from the shoulders up, a brief description of some of my traits, and what I was looking for in a partner. This took all of ten minutes. Life was too busy with other demands to even want a love life.Telling Him about my “Disability”Flash forward to several months later. I was sitting at home at my desk with nothing to do. I decided to go on the dating website that I had clearly put in the back of my mind. As I was on the site, I noticed there was an “icebreaker”—meaning someone had liked my profile and messaged me. The message said, “I like your picture” or something very close to that statement. I thought that was sweet. Then I looked at the date it was sent. This man had sent me an icebreaker almost 3 months prior. I actually felt so bad. So I decided to send him an icebreaker back immediately. I don’t even remember what it was that I had said. All I do know is he was on the site at the same exact time and we were able to start having small conversations through an instant message feature. He did tell me though that he was ending his trial membership that day, and if I wanted to continue talking with him I could e-mail him. He provided me with his email address. If nothing else, I thought, he seems pretty nice to talk to. I mean honestly, how much can you know about somebody through small chit chat? So it began... We started emailing back-and-forth to one another for several weeks. I know what you are thinking… You’re thinking, how did he take the news of finding out I had a physical disability. Well, I did not tell him at that point. Emailing was very much something I felt comfortable doing with this man; it was casual but yet fun. After about a month we decided that it was time to start talking by phone. He gave me his number and told me to give him a call that night. So I did! I called him and after two or three rings his voicemail came on. I could feel myself getting aggravated, thinking OK great I called him and no answer… Why did he want me to even call him in the first place if he had no intention of answering? Then a few moments later my phone rang. He explained that he was in the shower and could not get to the phone quick enough to answer it. I felt awful! Why did I think those things? We ended up having a wonderful two-hour conversation. Again, I still did not tell him about my disability. We would talk to each other every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I knew I really enjoyed talking to him. He seemed to have a great personality, he described to me that he was a family-oriented person, and had a great sense of humor. Time would fly when we were on the phone with each other. I knew it was time to tell him. So point blank, one day I told him there was something I needed to tell him. He seemed concerned... But I quickly assured him there was no reason to be alarmed. I casually told him there was something very big I had not told him about myself. Something that could change the way he thought about me. I told him I wanted him to get to know me and my personality before he knew. He said, “before I know what”? I told him that I had a rare physical disability known as Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. He was quiet for a moment and then started asking questions about my disability. He was such a gentleman in regards to the whole situation and never asked insensitive questions.

The Outcome

Some may think I was deceitful by not telling him about my situation right away, but I don’t see it that way. I told him when I was ready. I wanted him to get to know me and my personality before getting a preconceived notion of what my disability entailed. We met in person only a few days later. He was so sweet, he brought me chocolate chip cookies which he knew I loved! From that day on, we have been together! We have been together in love for fourteen years! The best decision I ever made was signing up for that website! Each of us that has a disability has their own preferred way of meeting someone, whether it be through friends, at a social gathering, through friends, etc. I say there is someone out there for all of us!