Am I Ableist for Not Wanting to Date Another Disabled Person?

Anonymous asks, quote:

I am disabled myself. Am I ableist for not wanting to date other people with disabilities?

end quote.

disabled is a really broad term. So, far the sake of clarity, I’m going define disabled (in the context of this question) to mean someone with spina bifida. That may not be what your disability is but, in order for my answer to make sense, I need to use a condition.

To answer your question: I dunno, but there’s definitely some stuff you should work through and think about.

I would sit down and write out the reasons you don’t want to date someone else with spina bifida. Start off each sentence with I don’t want to date someone with spina bifida because…

After you’ve written out all of your reasons, review them. Do they all contain the phrase I don’t/won’t/can’t…? If so, this might be a good time to sit down with a therapist and talk about how you feel about yourself as a disabled person. Example sentences may include (note: this is not a complete list):

  • I don’t want to date someone with spina bifida because I don’t think I would be able to assist them if they needed help with something.
  • I don’t want to date someone with spina bifida because I’m afraid we would feed off of each other’s negative emotions.
  • I don’t want to date someone with spina bifida because I’m afraid they’ll think less of me for the things I can’t do.
  • I don’t want to date someone with spina bifida because of the issues I have surrounding my body image.
  • I don’t want to date someone with spina bifida because I want someone who can support me emotionally with out also requiring the same kind of emotional support.

You’re saying I don’t want to date someone like me because… and I feel like that’s something you should take time to reflect on and possibly address with a mental health professional.

Now, there is one major exception here: if your reasoning is something along the lines of I have X disability and and I don’t want to date anyone with a disability I perceive as worse than mine because I don’t want them limiting my life or holding me back…, that’s absolutely fucked up and you should take a good long stare in the mirror and think about what awful shit drives those kinds of feelings in you.