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Would You Date (Or Have You Dated) a Disabled Person?

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  • Would You Date (Or Have You Dated) a Disabled Person?

    So, I'm someone who's pretty much an open book when it comes to having chronic illnesses/being disabled, since it impacts so much of my life. I try to be transparent when on dating apps, etc., by putting a photo up that includes me using a cane/mobility aid to cue people in that something's up, since I know I look able-bodied otherwise.

    I've never had anyone straight-up tell me they wouldn't date me because of my disability, but I know a good number of people who have. I don't think anyone is obligated to date someone they're not attracted to, and I honestly would rather have a partner who doesn't care/understands vs. someone who is weird about it.

    I know a lot of wheelchair-users are asked by random people if they can have sex (spoiler alert: they probably can/can be intimate in other ways if not, but don't ask a stranger about their sex life!!), and a lot of disabled people are thought of as being asexual just because they're disabled.

    Would you be down to date a disabled person, or have you in the past?

    On a similar note: would you rather know about someone's invisible disability upfront, or do you think it's fine to get to know someone first before that's revealed to you?

  • I wouldn't have a problem dating someone who was disabled. I probably would have been more picky back during my days of the bigotry of youth. As I have became older, I have concluded that compatible personalities trump all other considerations for a long standing partnership or marriage. In my before marriage days, I used to hang out with a friend who had had polio as a kid. One of his legs was affected and he had to get around with a knee brace and a crutch or two crutches. He had a more frequent and varied sex life than I did. I thought he would never get married, but that happened later in life, too.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


    • As for me, it would depend on the disability if I'm being honest and this might not be a 100% PC answer here.

      I was tempted not to answer at all, for fear of backlash, but I wanted to be honest and explain myself, and that perhaps someone not wanting to date a person with a disability should not always be labeled as them being a bad person or bigoted, but more so, about values and lifestyles that perhaps are not compatible.

      Because I am such an active person, and working out and hiking and doing a lot of very strenuous activity is VERY important to me (not just nice to have, but a part of who and what I am and do), I crave someone that I can share that with.

      In a partner it is very important for me to share this value -- sort of like someone who is perhaps Jewish wanting someone who also follows their faith, or someone who wants children, obviously wanting to date someone who also wants children.

      The bottom line is that most disabled folks aren't able to do the things that I want to do, crave doing, or help to shape what creates my life experience.

      This is no to demean them, put them down, or say they are less than.

      It is stating a fact.

      In the same way someone wanting a genetic child with a partner would desire a partner that is able to have children. If their partner can't, that's likely not a great fit -- despite there being alternatives.

      So, long story long, my explanation is not about not being able or willing to date a disabled person, it is merely that for long-term compatibility, sustained happiness, and fulfillment, it's probably not a great long-term fit for me and my values, lifestyle and what encompasses my life experience, and how I have fun and the activities that define a large part of my life.

      Hell, I'm not even compatible with the majority of able-bodied women either for this very reason.

      I hope that doesn't come across the wrong way, as I deeply respect and admire everyone for all the struggles we've all had to overcome now and in the past.


      • JonnyR I think you're absolutely right, and I don't think there should/would be any backlash for that perspective. It does not fit into your value set or lifestyle, so, you're correct to consider that, rather than attempt a relationship with someone that doesn't fit into your life, and would leave them feeling inadequate possibly.

        Emily D. Of course it depends on the type/severity of the disability, but I would date someone. I think as JonnyR says, it depends on how that may affect the type of connection I can form with that person. Many years ago, I was in a self-defense class, and one of the instructors had very little use of his legs, and walked only with the aid of some sort of contraption on his legs, and braces on his arms to support his weight. I thought he was super-sexy, and I'd have absolutely dated him. He had a great personality, he was obviously strong and very smart.

        I have a chronic illness too, that has the potential to cause decline physically some day. Maybe 5 years ago, my doc said I'd likely be disabled within 2 years. Last summer I hiked 10 miles, and I've been able to control the progression of my disease. I took a long time off dating, and when I resumed, I gave a cursory explanation a few dates into the process. Appearing healthy, I suppose it was easy for them to poo-poo my warnings that I may not always be able to "keep up".

        When I met the man I am dating now, it happened to come up on the first date, somehow. I told him just the basics, and explained more maybe a couple months later. Since I generally don't look sick, and we don't live together, he rarely sees any ways I'm managing daily. So, we went on one of our hiking adventures, maybe 9 months into our relationship. We got a mile or 2 into the mountains of NC, when I felt that my muscles and joints were not going to cooperate that day. I scared him that day. I had to sit awhile, I think I even found a rock to lay on for awhile. He was unprepared for that and didn't know whether to run out and request for a lift out, carry me, or what. I assured him that I could probably make it back out, but I needed time, and we'd have to go slow and take breaks. The pain and weakness caught me off guard. He has stayed with me-that's happened twice now on our hikes. He's aware now of how quickly I can take a nose dive, and he carries the GPS services if we're going off the beaten path, in case there's any surprises. He's added some other safety nets into his hiking plans to keep us safe, if I would become too weak or sick to get out. I appreciate that...many people wouldn't stay with me if they had to deal with this stuff. It's not fun...

        Anyway, my point is, I think we all have our boundaries, and limitations. I think that we could be dating an able-bodied person today, but who knows what tomorrow may bring. There are no guarantees. Accidents and disease can change the course of our life in an instant. I wouldn't ditch a man because his life changed so dramatically, but it certainly may alter whether I would become involved in the beginning. I have to stay active, due to my illness, so, someone whose idea of a good time is Netflix and chill all day on weekends, is not going to fit into my preferred lifestyle. Disability or not...some people with a mild disability may be more active than fully "healthy" people.

        Great topic!


        • JonnyR atskitty2 I totally get what you mean, Jonny! I think it's better for everyone involved to be upfront and honest, and I know that if being super active is a big part of your life, it doesn't make sense to date someone who can't or won't do those things: you can be friends, but if you want to go out all the time and a potential partner doesn't, you're being respectful of the other person's time by being honest. We all have things we look for in a relationship, and I think that's totally normal to want someone who can do things you love with you.

          To me, and I think to a lot of people, there's a difference between being honest in a respectful way and having boundaries, like atskitty2 said, versus just having a problem with disabled people outright. There's also the fact that a lot of people do become disabled when they get older, and I think that's just part of life. And, yes, a lot of disabled people have to stay active, too!


          • Emily D. This actually is very interesting timing, but just recently, I was talking to someone online and we were setting up a day and time to meet in person...

            Well, the first 2 weeks she had family that visited her from out of town and abruptly told me so...so we scheduled for 3 weeks ahead of time to go on a hike.

            All was set and well, when while I was sleeping the night before, she sent me a text saying she had horrible insomnia and was exhausted and could not make it.

            I also forgot to mention she has celiac disease, and this could very well be considered a disability as far as she is concerned as she has trouble eating a lot of the time, and finding foods she can keep down is a lifelong struggle and as such she has labeled herself "weak" and not strong.

            At any rate, she then disappeared on me for another week and popped up apologizing profusely that she had been admitted to the hospital (shortly after our date was supposed to happen) with some really bad effects.

            She then finally came clean that she wasn't that strong lately, and had been struggling with her disease a lot more lately because of added stress, etc, and that dating right now is probably not a good idea.

            So, we backed things off and I told her we can be friends, and that it was ok if dating was off the table because of the difficulties she was having in her life, and also knowing me and my proclivities (to think: a hike in her condition! It wasn't going to happen...but I had no idea...), that it was best if we remained friends.

            In retrospect, your question was very interesting timing as a result, and my response to you was BEFORE all of this was brought to light, but the feeling and reasoning is now as sound to me as it was before, if not more so...

            It's just not a good idea for someone that is not physically able, to date someone whose physical life might put them in actual danger or harm -- even unintentionally -- at worst, and at best, not be a good idea for many lifestyle and compatibility reasons.

            I'm glad you guys don't think I'm an assh**le for saying what I did, and can understand where I was coming from...and after this weekend, we now have a tangible example of exactly what I feared when I answered you.


            • JonnyR After so many years online dating, I'm a little jaded, but did you believe this person? I have had these (almost) exact scenarios happen more than a few times. Often it was a claim of Celiac, others it was a minor accident of some sort (severely cut hand, for example)....your story is eerily similar, right down to the family visiting from out of town, and insomnia (usually used when they have some health issue they can relate it to). Truly being Celiac is not common, and even more uncommon in men, so...I had a pretty good hunch that I wasn't just unlucky enough to run into several men with it. Gluten sensitivity isn't always Celiac, and when I'd ask if they'd been formally diagnosed, they said no. Strike one...

              Several years ago, that's one of the big reasons I stopped with the endless messaging. If they aren't willing/able to meet within a week, I'm done. (3-4 days is preferable) I tap out if they make an excuse more than once, or start to hit me with all their personal issues too early. And even that first cancellation - it better have been a darn good, and believable reason. Usually meeting later, perhaps for a shorter time, is perfectly fine. If they decline that offer, they're done.

              My thoughts are, also, even if it's a legit person on the other end, genuinely just having a hard time in life, do I **really** want to get involved with someone that has difficulty respecting their own boundaries, and shares all that information in that context? I cannot respect that, really. Surely it didn't take her until that moment to understand that she has no reason to be dating - she has nothing to contribute to a relationship at that time, and needs to focus on her health, right? So many reasons it's just not a good idea-for her (if she's legit), or for a man to get involved. Admitting you're "weak" right now - isn't that inviting yourself trouble? She doesn't seem to know and understand herself, nor is she practicing good self-care. Again, if she's legit...

              So, I would have given up on this person long before you did! lol And I wouldn't have offered the friendship morsel to soften the blow...lol

              I want to be strong, and I want a strong partner. I wouldn't go for an admittedly weak partner, and wouldn't want to present myself as a weak potential partner.
              I've been called harsh names by friends, and that's fine. I don't like wasting time, and that's exactly what that is.


              • JonnyR atskitty2 ahh, yeah, that is true that people can make excuses when they just don't want to go out, and I guess using your health as an excuse is pretty common now that I'm thinking about it! I'd much rather someone tell me - or tell someone else myself - if they didn't think it was going to work out. Honestly, it's not that hard to say 'hey, it was nice meeting you/talking to you, but I feel like we might not be a great fit.' I know it can be awkward, but at least you're not dragging things out that way.

                And I totally see your point that oversharing quickly could be a red flag, especially if someone doesn't ask. If I'm just getting to know someone (romantically or otherwise) and they ask why I use a cane, I usually just go with a quick 'I have a chronic illness and this helps.' If someone wants to know more, they'll ask. If not, then that's fine, too.

                I get that it's hard to say no to things and set boundaries, but again, I'd rather tell someone outright that I can't do something physically than have to pay majorly for it either. Some things and people are worth pushing yourself for, but not the first few dates in my opinion.

                Hearing someone describe themselves as 'weak' kinda gives me weird vibes. I know internalized ableism is a thing, maybe she just wanted to feel and act "normal," but I wouldn't use that word to describe myself or anyone else with a disability.. Not being able to do something isn't weak, and being honest about that helps both parties not waste time, as atskitty2 said.


                • atskitty2 Thanks for the concern!! Fortunately (unfortunately?) I am an online dating veteran...so I am usually able to snuff out flakiness, disinterest or other issues before/as they arise.

                  In this case, I fully believe her - especially seeing her pictures and how thin she is and during our first conversations she told me she had celiac as we were talking about eating, people's diets, health, fitness and a bunch of other topics.

                  I really do believe that her family was visiting (and even if all of that was a complete lie, I believe the UNDERLYING reason is true -- she was not healthy enough to meet, and didn't want to admit as much that soon, which I understand completely and appreciate her vulnerability for disclosing eventually, or feeling she could not then).

                  I guess because we spoke on the phone 2 times and did a Facetime "date" when she flaked on me because of the celiac acting up (at the time, I told her, hey, you've canceled on me 3 times now, so we're either going to meet in person, or do a Facetime "date" because I'm not going to waste any more of my valuable time texting or talking on the phone when odds are when we meet there won't be a connection or attraction), but because I had spoken to her and heard her, I do believe her to the extent it explains things, but does not change the outcome.

                  And I also agree 100%! Online daters are usually wasting people's time swiping, and then ghosting, or answering your initial questions but never asking any of their own...what are we supposed to do with that? So I get your rules and agree with you.

                  My rules are similarly strict: we talk on the phone FIRST after texting for 24-48 hours. If the person is a ****ty texter, I've found they are also a ****ty communicator, and/or are not ready for a relationship or have other things that are more important.

                  It goes like this:
                  • Text for 24-48 hours, gauge interest and communication style and ability, get intel on whether or not I want to even talk to them on the phone.
                  • If I do, then we talk on the phone ASAP -- I mean within 1-2 days of texting. It's a phone screen. Do I like their voice? Their personality? Can they communicate? Do I "like" them? Is there something about them that intrigues me and I actually WANT to meet them? If no, done, if yes proceed.
                  • Step 3: Meet in person AS SOON AS ****ING possible! And until we meet, no more texting, no more phone calls, nothing! I used to get into heavy texting or multiple calls with women only to meet and it be over within 30 seconds.
                  So now, I keep it neat and clean.

                  Therefore, what happened above was an outlier, and one that I was perfectly fine with because of the situation -- I also don't want to be an ******* or mean to someone that doesn't deserve that and is trying to live their life as best they can.

                  --> Another funny story to the point above: I matched with a woman and texted her immediately and said hello and asked her a few questions. She answered (and didn't ask me anything), I asked her another set of questions, she answered. I talked out loud and agreed with her points. I then said "Hey, do you want to ask me anything?" hint...

                  She said "why don't we just meet and do something fun", and I was like no way -- that's a violation of step 2, phone screen! So I told her that one-line answers don't really cut it for me, and if she wanted to ask me any questions?

                  She said she stares at a computer and screens all day, and doesn't really feel like texting -- to me, that's a red flag!

                  That is code for "I am not good at communication" or "This is not something that's important enough to me that even if I'm tired, I'll put the effort in." So again red flags.

                  So, she gave me her number, and I said, ok, we can talk and take a 10-minute call.

                  I texted her on a Friday afternoon saying hello, and here's my number and let's set up a time to say hi....nothing.

                  I've been ghosted before, so that's cool, and the way she sucked at communicating, it was for the best.

                  Come Monday afternoon, she texts me out of the blue!

                  I asked her: "Hey, what happened? I texted you on Friday?" She said she was volunteering all day Saturday, and Sunday was running errands...umm...that's not good enough!

                  Unless there was an emergency (and she didn't say there was) to me that is lazy communication and it wasn't important to her, so to that point, I said "sorry, I believe in effective communication, and taking 3 days to get back to someone is unacceptable to me, especially because I am taking this seriously, and it's important to me, and I want that in return. This isn't a good match."

                  So yeah...this is what the online dating world has forced us to do: hard and fast rules that we need to follow or else we go ****ing crazy and waste so much time!

                  It's a jungle out there.

                  Fortunately, I can be happy that I approach everyone and every interaction with integrity, honesty and openness -- the rest as they say, will play out as it will.


                  • In the second scenario, you probably did the best thing for yourself, if that's not how you prefer to communicate. Imagine, perhaps, that in that first conversation, she was telling you very clearly that she is simply not a screen communicator - she prefers in-person communication, and maybe she's very good at that in-person interaction.

                    Is that really a deal-breaker for you? She offered to meet to get to know one another, rather than doing so via text. A person that doesn't feel like texting after working on the computer all day is a red flag for you? I'm curious what the reasons are for that? How is that, alone, an indicator of a person that is a poor communicator, or that doesn't make building a relationship a priority? To me, that's a person that is exactly what she says, a person that prefers in-person contact, and not using technology where tone and intent are more difficult to discern.

                    It sounds to me like she's a very effective communicator, and understands herself and her own boundaries. You just didn't like what she had to say-and that's good too. You have different expectations, and if you insist on certain frequency and modes of communication, you wouldn't be happy, and she wouldn't either.

                    I get her, because I'm the same way. I stopped the needless texting and I stopped consenting to this "phone screen" that men seem to prefer, and was more true to my own style. If a man doesn't understand that, then he's possibly not right for me. When I contacted my current man online, it was literally, a "hey, your dog is handsome, and so are you. I connected with your profile statement about...... Would you like to meet for a cocktail this week?" His response was something like, "thanks for that, you're very attractive as well, and your profile is refreshingly intelligent and precise. Yes, I'd be honored to keep you company Friday after work at the bar of your choice." Literally the next 4-5 messages consisted of confirming arrangements, and I think I mentioned that I can't have kids - because his profile said open to kids. He said it's not a deal-breaker for him, and that was that.

                    On that Friday, he messaged me, maybe 2 hours prior to meeting time, (still on the app) to let me know he'd be held up in an unexpected meeting and would need to push the time back 30-60 minutes only. I said something to the effect of, I will wait no longer than 1 hour for you. He showed up, still in his work suit. I'd seen him hurrying out of the parking garage. I remember giggling about it, and I could tell that getting there quickly was important to him. We had an amazing discussion, closed the bar that night if I remember right. It went great. That was how I wanted to communicate, and that's his style as well. I didn't hear from him for a few days after that night. And I didn't text him. He invited me to dinner one evening the following week, I think, and then, again, no messages for a few days. He invited me to his place for dinner and to meet his dog sometime after that, and then I got sick, and he brought me soup...and it developed very slowly and naturally. It was the kind of thing that worked for us both. He honored my boundaries, and I respected him for it, and was so happy that someone also had the same preference for a change.

                    2 years along now, and We still don't text a lot, we rarely have to call for something, and when we meet, in person, it's generally chatting from beginning to end, (or he might say, I never hush!) catching up on usually an entire week's events. We're both fiercely independent, and we both have demanding jobs, and I have a full time class load, and a home to take care of. We sometimes send only 1 or 2 texts per day, just to say hi. It's usually more than that, but we rarely do the Good morning/good night stuff, it's just checking in messages. And I love it. There's no need for more on either side, there's no expectations or hurt feelings or misunderstandings, and that's so nice compared to many of my past relationships where I felt stretched to meet their needs in a way that simply isn't "me".

                    So, my point is, be true to what you want in a relationship. Next time, I guess you'll know if someone makes a statement that they don't like texting, you can immediately pass and save both of you that time. If texting and digital communications are your thing, tap out when they make a statement that indicates they're not into technology on their personal time. I would encourage you, however, to loosen up those rigid rules and this sort of "flow sheet" for how meeting a woman "should" go. Most of us-at least the friends I have in the online dating world- don't appreciate that approach from men. You may increase your chances of success by relaxing the rules and letting it flow naturally, but still recognizing and cutting loose when those deal-breakers are identified.

                    Also, I think a red flag is something like...say, drinking excessively, or abusive language. Not a difference in communication style. Those are personal differences. Now, shady communication, or lies, warrants red flags thrown! I always used those terms too - I know it's common - but I think we all need to soften our language - maybe a pink flag, or a yellow flag at worst. lol I get a giggle at my friend that thinks EVERYTHING is a red flag-right down to how much hair he has left. LOL!! We are so quick to rule out some very good people, based on things that could be insignificant in the end...


                    • atskitty2 Thanks for the reply!

                      I'll try to be brief, lord knows we've taken over this thread (for better or for worse! LOL). [Update: Failed to be brief! LOL]

                      I adhere to a very simple saying: How you do anything, is how you do everything.

                      What this means is simply this: How you tend to do any one single thing, is usually how you approach or do anything in life.

                      Yes, there are exceptions. Sometimes I'm lazy, and I don't wash my dishes in the moment...but 95% of the time, I wash them AS SOON as I'm done eating...always. I'm OCD and like to do things the "right" way and not procrastinate in ANYTHING that I do in life...my workouts, my communication, my honesty, heck even replying to this message I waited until I had time to do it "right" and thoroughly and not half-assed...otherwise, why bother?

                      For the most part, we are who we are.

                      In the case of communication -- it does not matter the forum or medium, nor should it -- if you are a GREAT or EXCELLENT communicator, then you are always excellent, or try to be, no matter the forum or medium.

                      If I prefer meeting over coffee to endless texting, that doesn't mean I am crappy at texting, nor should it be an excuse to get away with being crappy at texting.

                      Does this make sense?

                      I have yet to meet someone in person who was a ****ty communicator over phone or text, that magically turned into some amazing communicator in person...

                      I have found the opposite to be true of course: someone who was fantastic via text or phone was not as good in person, but it usually lines up: good texter? Good talker over the phone? Then usually good in person too! Who you are is who you are.

                      After all, texting is just talking -- you just type your thoughts onto the screen!!

                      As I am doing right now...I might not be a "great" writer -- but I am a great communicator.

                      I type as I think, as I talk, as I communicate with others. It comes across, you can feel it, you can sense it, you know it's real and true.

                      When you speak with me, my voice is the exact same. When you meet me, I am the exact same. A force with my words and my communication. The medium does not matter to me.

                      I am old school, I don't like endless texting either...hell, I used to hate texting! Then I realized, it's just another form of communication! And if I want to meet someone, I'll communicate any way I know how to get to meet them.

                      Not following up with my initial text until 3 days (READ: DAYS!) later, confirmed my initial thoughts: she sucks at communicating, OR communicating with ME using this medium was not important enough to make the effort -- regardless of what it might lead to! Something wonderful perhaps? Guess not...

                      And yes, you are right -- it IS a proxy for how I want to communicate with someone! If it's a bother to return my text NOW when we're in the meeting and "honeymoon" stage, WTF will it be like later when she becomes comfortable with me (comfortable enough to be her TRUE self!)?

                      No thanks...that's a done deal for me.

                      Thats a FLAG! And I don't think that's being too harsh at all...it shows SO much about someone.

                      The message you relayed about meeting your current beau was actually very EFFECTIVE and brilliant communication! You didn't play games, stated what you wanted, and that is awesome! I applaud that, and loved it!

                      The problem is most women do NOT do that -- they simply don't reply to your questions, ask any of their own, and even worse? Don't offer any solution such as stating "let's just meet in person!" They just ghost out or keep repeating the same thing expecting a different result without clearly stating their intentions -- at least if they do that we can decide if it's right or not.

                      I challenge you as well to look into your own communication style -- are you saying that you would NEVER text a lover/significant other all the time if THAT's what they wanted? What if that was their love language? A Combination of words of affirmation and acts of service in the form of a loving text message every single day (oh the horror of it!!)...?

                      I dated a woman for while that would not return my text messages promptly if at all if she got busy at work and didn't feel it was necessary and felt like it was an obligation and pressure to do so...

                      I told her very honestly that it simply meant that we weren't right for each other -- think about it: If you DON'T WANT to actually communicate with your partner in the only manner available to you in that moment (at work, you don't have time usually to stop stuff, talk on the phone, etc, but you sure as f**ck have time to text someone while you're in the bathroom, on your lunch break, or otherwise!), if it feels like BURDEN to do so (she actually said this to me), then it means its a burden to communicate with someone you're trying to build something with -- that's not good enough for me and if it's a burden (I've in turn felt this way as well about other women! so I know the feeling...it's done, it's over, I'm just not that interested...), then we're pretty much done.

                      So, we may disagree on what constitutes a "flag" but personal preference aside, being "fiercely independent" doesn't absolve one of effective communication.

                      To me, that encompasses ALL forms -- not just the one you like, but the one that allows closeness and a bond to form, and even perhaps the one you despise the most, but the one your partner asks for, and because you care about them so much, it's absolutely nothing to do it.

                      Again, you're right -- if someone is NEVER going to text, email, call, and only wait to see each other in person, that's simply not good enough for me, and I know for others as well.

                      I want way more closeness and intimacy -- no, not demanding texting of "where are you" or sh**t like that, but more so "hey, I'm thinking about you, and hope you're having an awesome day!" those kinds of things, especially if you don't live together and are growing something special.

                      Special to me encompasses effective communication -- not just when it's convenient, but especially when it ISN'T! When sh**t is flying, you're busy, and you just saw them or interacted with them.

                      Why WOULDN'T you want to communicate with someone you feel that strongly about!?

                      That's the stuff of legend, and that's the type of relationship that I want, have had in the past, and won't settle for less than now.


                      • I think what you have in mind for being a good communicator, means high volumes of communicating.
                        That's not what I'm looking for. I'd rather have 1 or 2 messages, that say all I need to know, than several of the casual back and forth.

                        I think you're missing out on some great women with this idea that frequency equals quality, or ability.

                        Right now, I am working sometimes 40 hr weeks. I'm also full time in nursing school, with 14 cr hours of classes and a full 10-12 hour day in clinical training, lab time and other expectations related to the added training I've signed up for. I cannot have my phone during working hours, nor in my clinical training. So, that's about 60 hrs a week that my phone is not even in my pocket or in reach. In my down time (haha), I'm studying and also keep the phone away to avoid distractions. I don't do a lot of idle chit chat on the phone with him, or anyone. Coming here to WHI, is a relaxation time for me. It's part of the "me time" that I try to set aside.

                        I'm glad I don't have a man that is expecting, or **needing** to hear from me for sometimes 16 hrs in a day. If I don't get to actually take a lunch break and go to my locker, that may be the case. Additionally, inside the college, and in the hospital, I don't even have a signal on most floors, the WiFi sucks, so, again, I am not calling or texting anyone. It's a relief to know that he's not out there missing me, wondering if I care, or contemplating our stability. (er...Maybe he is??) lol

                        When I get out, there's often a msg saying, hope your day was ok, pls let me know if you're home safely and in for the night. That's it. That's enough. I always make a point to let him know that. Sometimes he's shut down for the night, though, and we don't connect that day.

                        Quantity doesn't necessarily mean that a person is a good communicator. They can text all day every day, but it really means nothing to me if it's mindless chatter. Still doesn't mean that they can make meaningful statements about their needs, expectations, wants, desires and where they really are in their life and in their standing with me.
                        He sends me 1 message, and lets me know he's concerned that I'm in safely. That speaks volumes. And I know he'll likely wake up at 3am and see that I responded, and go back to sleep. Because he's told me that's what usually happens. And I know he won't message me back then, because he worries he'll wake me when I'm probably sleeping only a few hours, or still up studying. We've had conversations, in person, about the way we are in this crazy schedule that I live. lol And I know his work days are hectic too. I don't expect him to stop and text me.

                        At this point in my life, if I didn't already have someone, I would not be attempting to build a relationship. This person I am now, is not me. I am too busy, and too worn out to relax half the time I have an opportunity to. He gets it, and he actually tries to remind me that I **need** to step away from responsibilities and have some chill time. So, I think being a great communicator comes in a lot of forms, and in my experience, it's seldom contained in the voluminous messages that most people look for these days.


                        • Hi there atskitty2 This has indeed been a very spirited and robust discussion, much appreciated!

                          I think that at this point, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

                          As you said, if you already didn't have someone in your life (someone VERY understanding!) you would likely NOT be dating because you simply do not have the time, and/or it's not a high enough priority with your other competing interests.

                          And you know what? That's totally ok!

                          I wish more women knew and understood this and didn't think that half-hearted communication, and making a relationship be the LOWEST thing on their daily priority list was a good idea if they really want to foster and grow something meaningful.

                          I don't know about you, but I haven't come all this way in my life (and been in your shoes, where everything else was more important than a relationship, despite the fact that I was lonely and "wanted" one), to settle for someone in that boat.

                          I am ready, I am open, and for me, love and connection are one of my highest priorities in life.

                          I am ready, and have created the necessary space, to drop everything and make tons of time for my honey and partner -- I want to do that, as before in my life, I did not, or actually was too scared to foster that type of deep connection and actually want to be with someone that closely so as to miss them or have a risk of loss.

                          We're all on our own paths in life, and our choices and where we are at are neither right nor wrong, they're just our truth.

                          The key is to be open about it (as we both seem to be) so that anyone we do encounter understands where we are at, so if we aren't on the same page, we can move on with peace in our hearts and no hard feelings.

                          I have a saying:

                          You're either moving forward, or you're moving on.


                          • JonnyR I wasn't thinking to "change" you, or thinking it's an agree/disagree type of thing here. We're just sharing our ways, our "truths" as you said, and possibly learning something along the way. I wouldn't have even called it "spirited" I genuinely try to understand what it is that drives some men and women to want and need that constant barrage of messages or phone calls, and why they're hurt, angered and leave a person behind because they can't be in constant contact. "Constant" is the key there.
                            I certainly went through some phases in my dating life that if I didn't hear from someone, I got worried, and felt insecure. I'm just wondering where that line is, between being needy, out of insecurity, and having a "need" to be met. Is there a difference?

                            So, if you felt my discussion was robust, or spirited...I'm just hoping you can help me understand because you seemed willing to chat about it. You say that love and connection is a high priority. I think that's true for most of us. Does it genuinely come through constant messaging for you? Does it depend on the content of those messages? Help me understand here...

                            I wonder sometimes if it's my generation that is just different. Cell phones, the web and the ability to be in constant contact was never a thing for me, most of my life. The younger generations seem to be so keyed into all the ways they can know what someone's doing, where they are, and momentary contact if desired. However, my friend, who's my age, has this same expectation - she needs instant gratification. Is it a bit of anxiety for some of us? I think that was especially true for me, at some point. Getting a handle on anxiety certainly helped me...

                            Oh, and for the record, our relationship isn't low priority for me. Our ability to make contact frequently, isn't indicative of where we stand.


                            • atskitty2 I agree -- spirited was a positive thing! Meaning thought-provoking and analytical -- not antagonistic.

                              I do want to challenge the term "constant" -- I see it as meaningful, and regular, not "constant".

                              I am 45 years old, and do not like texting endlessly, and always prefer face to face meeting and/or phone over texting.

                              HOWEVER, as I tried to explain, texting is sometimes ALL we have to go on.

                              It is another form of "communication" and here's what my "research" has taught me (as I said before): If someone is bad at one form of communication, they're likely not good at any other -- meaning phone, face to face, etc.

                              That's just the reality of it.

                              I cannot think of ONE time when someone was a ********ty texter, and all of a sudden we met and it was like "holy Christ!" this person is so talkative, deep, and wonderful in their communication! Wow, I'm glad I didn't judge them just based off email, text, et al"

                              Now, it HAS gone the other way --> Someone is really good at texting, and even on the phone, but when we meet it's not the same and they aren't those people.

                              But it has NEVER gotten BETTER, only worse.

                              That has led me to where I am today: quickly discern -- is this person a good COMMUNICATOR (in any form!), because as I said "How you do anything, is how you do everything."

                              It's a heuristic and a time saver -- for both of us, regardless of WHY!

                              Whether they don't like it, aren't good at it, don't have time for it, etc -- aside from some VERY VERY rare cases of an emergency situation or something dire where they weren't communicating with anyone for a very good reason -- usually, it leads to one outcome: we're just not a good fit for each other.

                              And as you said in another thread, communication and diction and vocabulary are very sexy and intimate and important to some of us...

                              Texting? It's an extension of writing/talking/communication skills.

                              Does this make sense?

                              It is NOT about "constant" communication -- it's about MEANINGFUL and REGULAR communication whereby the person on the other end makes you FEEL wanted, appreciated, and valued and that you are a high priority for them -- not the last thing on their daily list of to do's.

                              With your relationship you are established, it sounds so perhaps the 1 time per day is totally cool because there is built in trust already -- when you are getting to know someone (and to be clear, I think this is more where I am coming from vs. expecting this for the rest of our lives...although, if both people want and need and like that, it's ok too!), I feel it's like the saying goes: lack of response IS a response.

                              I hope I've clarified this a bit further for you to understand.

                              And finally, yes, perhaps it DOES have to do with me personally -- maybe I'm a bit more anxious, sensing, feeling, thoughtful, over-analytical, and in the single most vulnerable place where I'm most exposed, its not where I want to feel those feelings in a negative way.

                              Which is why I go by intuition a lot as well -- how does it FEEL?

                              Regardless, we don't have to give everyone on earth the benefit of the doubt that hasn't earned it -- or we can give it, but also move on when it doesn't feel right to us -- how often do we violate our instincts to our own determent later and in retrospect say to ourselves "oh yeah, I already knew this was happening, but I overlooked it because I didn't want to judge and wanted to give the benefit of the doubt."

                              I am prone to sayings, so here's one more from Maya Angelou:

                              When someone shows you who they are, believe them the FIRST time.



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