Dear Anon-O-Box: Dating Hope for the Handicapped?

Dear Anon-O-Box,

I’m visually impaired, to the point that I can’t drive. I make this plain in my profile.

But I’m concerned that my inability to drive is a deal breaker for many women. I assume they don’t want to be a chauffeur, and it limits where I can meet them unless they pick me up.

Am I staring at the unfortunate truth, or do you think many women will overlook this unsightly transportation issue?

- Driven Batty

Dear Batty,

I have good news and bad news.   Which would you like to hear first?

Hmm.  Well, since I can’t hear your answer, I’ll just start with the bad news first.  Get it out of the way, y’know?

There are going to be women who will pass you by when they read that you’re visually impaired.  They are going to simply say, “Aww, that’s too bad, he was (insert complimentary adjective here)…” and then click to the next profile.

The good news is that those aren’t the type of women who would make a good long-term partner for you anyway.  So really, if you think about it, no loss.

You could leave your visual impairment out of your profile, but you’re right, it really is too big of a thing to spring on someone after the fact.  You will get fewer results up front, but the results you will get are going to be much closer to the type of people you’d be compatible with for the long haul.

The good news is this – there are people with all sorts of handicaps that are finding love.  I have two stories – one online, the other offline – about people I know in real life.

Offline story: When I lived in Florida, I used to go out dancing pretty regularly at a couple local establishments.  (Not booty grinding dancing  – real, respectable dancing!)   Two of the dancers there ended up hitting it off and last I saw them, they were engaged.   She, like you, is visually impaired and can’t drive.   But she’s a great dancer!   They connected over a passion for dance and it didn’t matter to him that he’d have to walk and drive her around for the rest of her life.

Online story: Before you say, “Okay, but that was a GIRL!  If she’s hot enough, guys will be interested even if she’s missing a leg!”  Listen to this one.  Also true, also people I know.  These two met through eHarmony.  He stated in his profile that he had a prosthetic leg.   Despite that, she found him the most charming and compatible man out of all the guys she had been matched with, and after a whirlwind romance, they were just married a few months ago.

If you’re striking out as far as people you’re emailing, do a search for special education teachers.  They are some of the most wonderful, open-minded, and loving people I’ve ever met.  (And they tend to be friends with like-minded people!)  Teacher salaries aren’t great (I was on one for 7 years!), but most of ‘em can afford a car.

As far as dating goes, I’d consider having a friend drive you to first dates.  You could also invite your date and her friends to an outing with your friends.  Once she’s realized that you’re not a serial killer, it will be easier to negotiate dates where she could pick you up and drop you back home.

So Batty, I think the key here is to be open and honest and realize that the right woman for you isn’t going to care whether or not she always has to drive.  In fact, you might even use that to your advantage in your headline…

Seeking a woman who loves to be behind the wheel!

You drive, I’ll ask for directions.

It’s not TomTom, it’s (your name x 2)!

Good luck and happy dating, geek friend!

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