Dating a paralyzed girl
Getting comfortable with himself was an important step in being able to feel confident about dating.
Brad's wife of seven years, Amy, had never met anybody in a wheelchair before him.
They were either 1) "carefree types who just don't care" about whether she had a disability; 2) people who already knew someone in a wheelchair; or 3) people in the health care field.
"I've dated a couple of people with SCI, and that's nice because you're already comfortable with the situation." Her worst date ever was at the movies with a guy she really liked. But you have to deal with that; it's the reality of my life, unfortunately." Like anyone else, Tricia has had "good relationships and bad relationships." Several years ago, after encouragement from friends with disabilities who had met their lifelong mates through the Internet, Tricia decided to try online dating.
He agreed that honest and open communication has been a key element in the success of this relationship.
"I finally found a good woman to fall in love with and cut through the bull****," he quipped.
David has had tetraplegia (quadriplegia) for 10 years.
"In my early 20s, going to bars with friends, guys approached me out of curiosity, guys who just wanted to know what it would be like to be with a girl in a wheelchair.
Janna and David met when she started renting his downstairs apartment. "We started talking more and more, really getting to know each other. I've never felt so cared for." When asked about their physical relationship, David answered, "With SCI you don't have to worry about performance anxiety. It's actually pretty liberating in a lot of ways." Turning to Janna, he asked, "What do you think? "And again, honesty and communication take a lot of the angst out." Humor has also helped to overcome awkwardness, as it does in any relationship.
"We joked a lot and had a lot of sexual innuendo and energy before we even got to that point (of a physical relationship)." Tricia sustained a T4-5 injury in a car accident 13 years ago, at age 17.
They'd come up with weird pick-up lines, like, 'Hey, so how are we going to get busy on that thing (the wheelchair)?
'" Over the years Tricia has noticed a pattern in the kinds of people she's been in relationships with.I had lost a bunch of weight, had a big bloated stomach from surgery, and I was paralyzed. " When she went back to high school after rehab, "everything was different.