Gina Lu
Thu, 23 Aug 2012
Roses Are Red,  I Feel Blue.
Youth Media Correspondent Gina Lu

Roses Are Red, I Feel Blue.

Yep, its back. That time of year when romance is at it's highest. Candlelit Dinners, Cards, Chocolates, Flowers.... it all sounds so lovely doesn't it? Well for some, Valentine's Day can be just as hard to get through as any other special occasion like Christmas. It can make that one single person feel like it's never going to happen for them.

I'm 30 years old and still single. I have never had what you consider to be a "relationship" which probably does give a lot of insight into my personal life but hey, this is what it's like for some wheelchair users. Now I'm not saying that able-bodied people don't go through the same thing because I've heard of some able-bodied people not finding that special someone for YEARS. It's just, you get to a certain point of searching for the same that when you don't find it, you start looking at what's wrong with you instead of what's right. I'm also not saying that having a disability is a flaw either but from my experience of searching for romance, it seems that way.

For example, I've tried online dating. There have been occasions where after a week or two of chatting online and getting along really well, when I send a picture of myself which clearly shows my wheelchair, the messages go from "You seem like a cool person" or "Lets meet for coffee" to "To be honest I'm just looking for online chats only on here at the moment" when the latter comment distinctly states otherwise on their profiles. On a different take to the rejection, when I don't mention my disability (not on purpose) or don't send a picture and we meet and it seems like it's going very well and then don't get a text for a second date. That can be just as hard.

I really don't want to sound like I'm against Valentine's Day or make anyone feel down by reading this because in fairness, it is a day for happiness. It's just that we hear so much these days about how detrimental a rejection can be to someone suffering with a mental-health issue but people seem to forget that people with disabilities can also suffer from it. I could also say that the people who do think of a disabled person suffering from a mental-health issue that they tend to think it's only because of their physical status which isn't true but that's a totally different topic for another day.

There came a point that I almost felt like, as regards online dating, my only option was using an online dating site for the disabled. Then I stopped and thought to myself, "Wait a minute, just because I'm disabled doesn't mean I need to find someone else who is" - although there's nothing wrong with that either. I know a couple of people who are in relationships where both parties have a disability and these relationships are working very well.

Anyway, before I finish here I want to wish all those loved-up couples A very Happy Valentine's Day and to the singletons out there.... my advice is: spend it with the people who you feel happiest around.