Crazy Legs Episode 3: Hands on Experiences
The topic of online dating recently arose amongst some amputee friends. More specifically a male friend of ours, who is a triple amputee, was inquiring what some of our amputee community of friends have done in regards to sharing photos of our disability in our online/dating app profiles.
Once I figured out what the dating apps actually WERE, I made myself a profile and used them sparingly for dating earlier in my twenties. While everyone’s preference and strategies are different, mine was to have a good mix of selfie/body shots with an OBVIOUS photo of me with my prosthesis at the end. (Ugh, the games we play…)
A female friend of mine, who is a single below-elbow amputee and I kind of went off and had an amazing seperate conversation. She gave me some SERIOUS juice to share with my Crazy Legs Community.
I thought you might appreciate this story… In my online dating profile when I was trying to figure out how to tell people about my arm, I described it as:
“I have a prosthesis, but it doesn’t hold me back from anything. I don’t really feel like I should have to tell people, because it’s kind of like if you had a really small penis; at first no one even notices it, you were born that way, and it doesn’t define you.”
My friend told me it was too sassy but some guys thought it was hilarious and said that’s why they went out with me.
-YASS QUEEN after about laughing for 20 full minutes (and currently still laughing) I asked her if by any chance she would have good dating stories to share with my blog. Oh boy, she did not disappoint…
“One guy never noticed (I didn’t tell him) and he took me kayaking. I had never been before and just wore cosmetic arms back then.
I was like “Let’s do a 2 person kayak.”
He said “no, let’s do singles.”
And I said “no, let’s do 2.”
And he said “no, singles are easier.”
I was like, “you have no idea…”
So basically I got in one, and couldn’t do it, and got stuck in the river. So he had to tie my kayak to his and paddle us back (STILL not noticing). Finally we got back to shore and I explained and he felt awful. He also felt dumb for not noticing. We did not go out again after that (he said it’s because I was too sweet.)
I got that a lot, “being too sweet…”
That’s when I decided I should probably tell people ahead of time, they’re going to find out eventually. It’s awkward to bring up so it probably it good to show it somewhat in pictures. But maybe including active pictures to show that it doesn’t hold you back from most things. I definitely had to filter through a lot of guys to find the perfect one but I don’t feel like it was because of my arm; that’s just dating in general.
I actually stood my husband up on our first date because I was taking a nap and slept through my alarm. Luckily, he gave me a second chance. I had told him about my arm beforehand. I think I said something like “just so you know I have a prosthesis. I was just born like that and it doesn’t hold me back from doing anything I just didn’t want you to be surprised.” It was in a text and waiting for the response back was probably the longest few minutes of my life!
My husband didn’t text back for hours after I told him (I realize now it’s because he can’t have his phone at work) so in the meantime I added: “but it kind of filters out the assholes so it’s cool” (just in case)
He’s the best, his parents live on a river and by then, he knew the kayaking story so when we went to visit he surprised me with a way he figured out how I could do it. Now it’s one of my favorite activities! He is a welder and now makes me all kind of attachments.
-Wow… sounds like the perfect man DOES exist. I asked her for a couple of take-home ideas from her experiences.
I think one of the biggest pieces of advice I could give people is not to settle. I use to not be confident at all and a part of me felt lucky when people wanted to date me even with my arm, so I put up with a lot of bad things that I wish I hadn’t. Everyone should know that they are enough, their disability doesn’t define them in any way.
-And it shouldn’t and never will! I don’t think that is exclusive to people with disabilities, though. Our “deficiencies” are so much easier to see on the outside, but EVERYONE deals with SOMETHING that makes them feel less than enough. It’s all relative but we all feel those twinges of insecurities; no matter who you are.
I had an eating disorder forever because someone told me that it was “okay that I had one arm because I at least was really pretty…”
Nice backhanded compliment, huh? But it stuck so I always thought I had to be perfect in every other way and do anything for anyone if I ever wanted to find someone. I do wonder if other people have felt like that though and if there’s any correlation between disabilities and eating disorders?
-I never had issues with food. but I think there definitely is a correlation. I have always been SUPER ULTRA COMPETITIVE and I think it had a lot to do with compensating for my disability; my “deficiency.” I always had to be the top of the class, the funniest in the group, and the strongest on the team. It’s exhausting and not a healthy way to live.
Here’s a little bonus she added to our chat that I will leave with you:
One last thing: I think the best feeling in the world was the first time I had sex with husband without my prosthesis and no makeup. I could feel that he just loved me solely as me. He doesn’t care how I look, how many limbs I have; it is just is me that he loves. Sadly, it’s hard for me to fully grasp the concept due to long-term insecurities but it’s the best thing in the world to have finally found that.