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'Disability does not define us': People with disabilities on online dating and ableist beliefs

Updated on: 19 May,2022 01:48 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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According to a survey by the dating app QuackQuack, 43 per cent of young disabled people feel dating has always taken a back seat due to their condition

'Disability does not define us': People with disabilities on online dating and ableist beliefs

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Finding love is never easy, and when disability enters the picture, dating can be a real challenge. According to a survey conducted by the dating app QuackQuack among people aged 21 to 30, 43 per cent of disabled people stated that dating has always taken a back seat due to their condition. Fifty-seven per cent said they have been on dates. They deal with everything differently than the average Joe because they have a disability. However, this does not prevent them from falling in love. Life must continue!

Impact on self-esteem




Most people have little understanding of what it is like to live with a disability. In the survey, 41 per cent of disabled women from tier 1 and 2 cities expressed a lack of confidence as a result of their living conditions. They admitted to believing that people might not find them as attractive and appealing as those who are not disabled. It takes a long time for them to accept the fact that they have a disability. Dating with the label attached to them can be devastating to their self-esteem.


Dating from home

Because it is more convenient, 52 per cent of disabled people aged 25 to 30 have used dating apps to find the right match. Many of them found it difficult to go out and meet new people. Dating apps, on the other hand, allowed them to communicate with others from the comfort of their own homes. Despite the difficulties, the majority of them manage to get by.

The talk

While many people with disabilities find it difficult to disclose their condition, 51 per cent of disabled people over the age of 30 believe it is better to inform their date about their disability early on. They commented that having a relationship with an elephant in the room is unrealistic. While many people believe that addressing it beforehand will help ease the initial shock and anxiety, 49 per cent believe that their disability does not define them and would not want conversations based on it. They don't believe in revealing it before meeting someone.

Facing rejections

According to QuackQuack's survey, 38 per cent of disabled men said their date proposal was rejected because they are differently abled. They revealed that preparing for judgement is as natural as breathing. They stated that society looks the other way when it comes to disabled people. When it comes to dating, this ableist society sees them as the undesirable and discarded part of the equation.

Take a rain check

According to the survey results, 29 per cent of disabled people aged 25 to 30 in tier 1 cities admitted to cancelling a date because they didn't feel confident enough to meet someone new. Some revealed that the plan had been postponed indefinitely. They were concerned about being judged because of their situation. Some complained that the world was constantly harsh to them, with comments here and there, stares here and there, and everything else making them feel uneasy throughout their lives. The weight of the judgments was too much for them.

Success stories

On the plus side, the survey discovered that 39 percent of disabled men aged 21 to 30 had a great time on their date. Their conversation revolved around their common interests and shared passions. They admitted to barely discussing the disability. Thirty-seven per cent of disabled men from tier 1 and 2 cities said their dates were interested in their living conditions and that they respected that interest. Curiosity can be beneficial at times. It opens up a whole new world of information, and dating a differently-abled person necessitates learning about their condition. Despite the ableist society's striking lack of positive disabled love stories, these men and women made it work.

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