Five Myths About Dating Someone with a Physical Disabilty

When you begin dating someone there's always a lot of interest from those around you. Where do they live? What are they into? How did you meet? And so on. 

When you start dating someone with a physical disability you get questions like: How does that work? Can they do anything? Are you sure you want to do this?

I wanted to write this post to burst a few myth bubbles that I've personally come across. 

When I began talking to Mr K through the world of blogging, we became good friends. I was married at the time, and he was on and off dating people, so I knew a bit about him but not a lot.

A few years later, after my then husband and I separated, Mr K was one of a handful of lovely people who were there to support me. As it turns out, we started chatting and learning more about each other's lives and thus began to grow quite fond of each other. We started emailing a little and then spent time talking to each other on the phone. We had a real connection, that much was clear.

I had lots of questions to ask Martyn in regard to his Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis. Lucky for me (and in my general experience with other individuals with a disability diagnosis) questions (and being keen to be educated) are, more often than not, absolutely fine: welcomed even.

What's not fine, however, are assumptions. 

And with that, I thought I'd share some of the most common assumptions that I have come across in what is known as our 'interabled relationship.' (That is, a relationship where one individual has a disability, and the other individual does not).

This post will be done from our experience which is as a non-disabled person (that's me) and a wheelchair user (that's Mart) who has limited mobility.

1. Disabled people can't have sex 

2 pairs of feet belonging to a white couple are intertwined underneath white duvet cover
Photo credit: Womanizer Toys

We'll get the awkward one out the way first, shall we? First of all, not every individual with a disability is physically disabled and I find when this statement is made, people aren't thinking about anything other than those who, let's face it, are in a wheelchair because they assume everything below the waist doesn't work.

Many disabilities are hidden disabilities (disabilities you cannot see) and yet, there are plenty of physical disabilities that a person can have and still perform quite well sexually.

In our case, and as I've already explained, Mr K is a wheelchair user. He has very little use of his legs 5 years on from us getting together but he has absolutely zero problems in the bedroom. You may find that sex with those who are wheelchair users may actually broaden your horizons, get you to use your imagination and yes, you can even incorporate the wheelchair into a session! (Not me, I'm horrifically in-flexible)

So, don't go feeling sorry for those who use wheelchairs, they're probably having better sex than you! 

2. You'll have to do everything for them!

I think when I got together with Martyn a big concern for some of my friends and family was how much I would have to do and sacrifice for Martyn. 

First of all, when you're in a relationship you should be working as a team, helping eachother in any way you can and taking care of each other.

I knew 100% that there would be things I had to do for Martyn that I may not have to do in a non-interabled relationship. I also knew that he has a degenerative condition and the future meant (and still means) there will be things he can do independently now but may not be as able to do in the future.

The fact is, those with disabilities can be and are capable of being independent; often using aids, adaptations, imagination and sheer bloody mindedness to look after themselves, their home and their families.

Do I do a lot? Yes. Depending on the individual there may be more or less care involved but do I do everything? Certainly not.

3. You won't be able to do anything fun on dates.

Mart is in a manual wheelchair with the front of a bike attached wearing all black looking ike ghostrider. Hannah bends slightly behind Martyn dressed as a female ghost rider, Alejandra Jones

Name a date and I'm sure I can give you a place that would accommodate an interabled couple wanting to have some fun.

There are so many places you can go now that are inclusive such as theatres, cinemas, restaurants, hotels, dirty weekends away, long strolls, sight seeing and adventure parks.

I'm not going to lie; you will 100% find that sometimes accessibility will be difficult, particularly for old buildings but most places now are equipped with level access, ramps or lifts and have adapted rides and spaces to cater for those who need better accessibility if you plan ahead.  There's even a wheelchair accessible tree house for crying out loud!

Plus, if you're with a wheelchair user you get to skip queues and get great seats at venues, if that's not a bonus I don't know what is!* 

4. You'll be stuck in all the time 

Please see above. 

Martyn and I are both hermits so the life of going out really doesn't bother us at all.

He will go for a drink with his mates, I meet up with my friends, sometimes people come to ours, we go to theirs or we load up the car and take a family trip out.

Do we miss out on some things? Sure! But thats not BECAUSE Martyn is disabled,  it's because our world ISN'T INCLUSIVE.

Do we have to be more organised and pre plan? Yes, but I also know plenty of interabled couples who love spontaneity and have lots of fun outdoors, being social and even travelling with very little trouble. 

5. You're only dating them because you feel bad for them!

As someone who is in a relationship/married to a person with a (again, most often physical) disability it's one of the most ridiculous and yet, most common things you hear.

Its up there with "I bet he has life insurance!" Martyn can't even get life insurance. I'm the one with the policy is he with me for the money? Of course not. 

Haters are going to hate. There's not much you can reply with to these statements of ignorance.

I'm sure there are so many more (please share them with me!) I think I know most people in my life wouldn't think any one of those things (maybe some would still be concerned about my life and what I want to achieve) but that doesn't worry me, I'm right where I want to be. 

* A joke. But if you know, you know.


  1. This is interesting to read. I suppose people do wonder about anything which isn't considered the norm. That last one made me laugh as it was so ridiculous. lol

    1. Yes I think as humans we are naturally curious about things and want to know about others and objects! I think there's a way to go about asking though haha. Thanks for reading! X