Society Magazine

Unable = Undatable

Posted on the 03 January 2013 by Lucy_wood @IamLucyWood

Here’s a question for you male readers.  Forgive me for being so direct, but there is no easy way to say this…


If you were single and on the look out for a better half, would you consider someone like me, a Disabled Girl. Or would you overlook me, scared of what to say or do, would you write me off as too much hassle and approach the fully functioning girl next to me.  If you’re current relationship status allowed, would you consider me as an option?


I’ve just written that last paragraph, and realised that the last few paragraphs have been about love and relationships. But that’s because it’s something that has been on my mind.  Channel 4’s ‘The Undatables’ is due to return for a second series this year – something that sits very uncomfortably with me for many reasons.


The name for a start is hideous.  I take it rather personally infact, it’s a programme about Disabled People and the Title alone is a general sweeping statement.  It encourages a swarm of over sympathetic out pouring of ‘aww bless them’ and not only that, gives a platform for mickey taking and la   laughing at our – my expense.


You can’t help who you fall in love with, everyone is different and many Disabled People like to date other people who are like them. This is fine, and I appreciate that everyone is different.  However this is not the path I want to take and never has been.


I have never liked to be pigeon holed, my family have never treated me different to my able bodied Sister and I have lots of able bodied Friends.  I don’t see myself as disabled.


I’m only disabled by name, my nature and spirit is as able as yours.  I hate to be bunched with other Disabled People – not when I don’t have a choice. I find some of Disabled People hard to cope with, difficult in general and in all honest weird. It makes me feel very uncomfortable.


Which probably makes me sound like a harsh uncaring bitch, some of my Best Friends are Disabled, I am just not physically attracted to them. – It has nothing to do with disability or additional problems, as I said you can’t help who you fall in love with, but for me I haven’t met anyone in the same position as me who I fancy.


In exactly the same way that not all gingers fancy gingers or not everybody who wears glasses will exclusively date other spectacle wearers.  It happens but not all the time!


So I get frustrated with people who suggest that I should date other disabled folk ‘because we understand each other’ that is true, we do have a common ground, but relationships should not be built on something because we are the same.


My legs are the only thing that is different about me. This makes the odd task abit more laborious, but I am no different from you.


I know I shouldn’t let The Undatables bother me, but it does, it reminds not only me that I am different, but it points it out to other potential suitors.  People are scared of difference and I worry that The Undateables will make men think…


‘I’m going nowhere near that’.


I’m not Undatable. I’m just like you.


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