Article 3- March 2023

7 Myths About People With Disabilities and Dating

by Dallas Hathaway, Faces Alumni and KYEA Board President


1. Dating someone with a disability is awkward.

People may believe that dating someone with a disability is awkward. However, dating can be awkward for anyone, regardless of if they have a disability or not. People with disabilities, just like everyone, have dreams, aspirations, preferences, interests, skills, and relationships. Talking about our disabilities is important, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor that brings humans closer together.


2. People with disabilities do not desire intimacy.

One stereotype about people with disabilities is that they cannot engage in, nor desire intimacy. When it comes to intimacy and desire, the two most important components are education and consent. Being educated about your health and abilities will lead to better communication with your partner. Consent is important because everyone needs to be okay with whatever is happening in the moment. In short, people with disabilities can and do have intimate relationships. Everyone’s disability is different, so it’s important to communicate with your partner about what is important for you.


3. People with disabilities only date other people with disabilities.

Some people believe that people with disabilities can only date other people with disabilities. This idea is false. Humans date and fall in love for a variety of reasons. They may frequent the same location regularly or be interested in the same types of hobbies. Additionally, this idea implies that disabilities are visible, when in fact there are plenty of disabilities that cannot be seen. If you have a disability and you want to date, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.


4. People with disabilities will get offended.

People may worry that if they date a person with a disability, they may offend them. This could come in the form of saying the wrong word or phrase, asking a difficult question, or being unsure about whether a person needs help. The fact is that people with disabilities live with their disabilities every day. An important part of having a disability is educating others about your disability and communicating your needs. Sure, everyone should follow basic etiquette, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. I promise you are not the first person to ask. 


5. If you date a person with a disability, you have other motives.

This one is all about wrong perceptions. Why would that abled-bodied man have a relationship with the woman in the wheelchair? Some may believe that he is doing it for the “benefits” of having a disability, such as accessible parking at the front of the store, or that he is using her for her disability benefits. The fact is that healthy relationships are built on safety, trust, commitment, and communication. The person with the misconception might not realize that the woman with a disability owns her own business and does not receive disability benefits. Additionally, people with disabilities who receive benefits also have the right to be in committed relationships.


6. There aren’t any disability dating sites.

Online dating is a primary method of meeting new people in the 21st century. There are a few apps and websites that people with disabilities can use if they are looking to explore the dating scene. For example, allows users to filter people with disabilities, and you can list your disability on your profile. Gutsy is an app for people with digestive orders and other disabilities looking to date.


7. People with disabilities can’t have children.

Anyone can become parents, including people with disabilities. Although parenting can be hard for everyone, with the right supports and equipment, people with disabilities can certainly start a family. Although people with disabilities may face unique challenges when it comes to parenting, they can still be successful. An important thing to remember is that not everyone can have children, and some people choose not to have them. People with disabilities are often stigmatized more about their disabilities (or perceived lack of ability), but this they should still be able to make the choice to raise a family.