Despite documenting many aspects of my life online, you may have noticed that I never really talk about my love life on here...
And to be honest, one of the main reasons for that is because it doesn't exist. LOL
Don't get me wrong I'm not a nun, but dating with a disability is HARD. Excuse the pun.
(Mum, please stop reading)
A few years ago I shared a blog post talking about my online dating experiences and it fast became one of my most viewed pieces. Even to this day, I still get random messages from people who have stumbled across that Tinder post.
The truth is, I'm not actively looking for love. I live on my own and I like my own time, company and space. I also refuse to share my food.
Something that I have never really talked about publicly before, is the fact that a few years ago, I was due to appear on Channel 4's The Undateables.
I did two days of filming with the crew but in the end, I decided to quit the show.
Although I had great fun filming, something in my head just didn't feel right and I knew deep down that this show was not for me. Ultimately, I wasn't doing it for the right reasons.
I know many people dislike the name / nature of the program - however that was never an issue for me. Working within the media has always been a dream of mine and I'm forever open to new opportunities - however this just didn't feel like the best career move.
And lets be honest, the world certainly wasn't ready to see my awkward attempts at dating.
Making this decision was an important life lesson for me, as it was one of my first steps in taking control of what opportunities I accepted. Knowing your worth is so important.
To be honest, I think I'd be better suited to TV's "First Dates", because at least you get a meal out of it!
My Social Experiment
A few years later and here we are. Still single... but much more confident.
I occasionally use Tinder as a form of entertainment when hanging out with friends, but in all honesty, I never take it seriously. I much prefer playing cupid for other people.
I'm just as judgemental as everyone else, but when you add a set of wheels to the occasion, things can get a little bit messy.
(Throwback to last years Tinder profile)
What with the recent lockdown restrictions and lack of pressure to meet anyone, I thought it would be fun to reinstall the Tinder app and carry out a "social experiment" of sorts.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not catfishing anyone. These are all my own pictures and everything I say / do is all me.
However I am testing the theory that I get more "matches" when using photos without my wheelchair on show.
Whenever I watch dating shows on TV, 9 times out of 10 women will always say that they want a guy who is tall, dark and handsome.
Why don't you ever hear people say: "I'd like a chubby ginger in a wheelchair"?
On average (as expected), I received so many more profile matches from using photos without my chair.
Over the course of 3 days I interacted with 12 people - which is more online action than I'd usually get in months! Playaaaa
I then changed my photos back to the following images, and the rate of new matches certainly slowed down.
People with disabilities are often overlooked in many aspects of life - from employment, to driving, dating and 'doing the dirty' haha.
Mum - I hope you took my advice at the start.
It's a sad thought really, to think of all those people missing out on my handsome good looks and endless charm. But hey, I shan't be losing any sleep over it!
The moral of the story is pretty simple...
But not in the way we'd like.
P.S I did match with some fried chicken, so I'm VERY happy about that.