Small, yes, but… Undateable?

8 Jan

Undateable. Not exactly something you’d want to be described as, is it? Yet as Channel 4 begin another series of the programme ‘The Undateables’ it does make me wonder whether if I were to apply to be on the show, if they’d be happy to give me that label too. To date, they have had three individuals with another form of dwarfism (achondroplasia) on the show, which leads me to believe that they would in fact, consider my growth condition, or disability, as a reason to make me ‘undateable’ – as a reason why I may struggle to find love in life, to have a relationship.

I don’t want to spend this post ranting about my opinion of this show (though, for the record, I think it’s terrible), but it has made me think – I don’t view myself as undateable (or at least, not because of my condition!), but is the view of others genuinely that just because someone that they may otherwise have a romantic interest in has a disability of some description, that they are ‘too different’ to date? And! If that is the case, then should those individuals with the disability be the ones to feel bad, or should we reconsider just how narrow minded some people are – because they cannot see beyond a difference between them and another person?

I suppose I’m writing this post because I have been thinking about how I may be perceived by others, but also because for anyone who may be reading this, with a disability themselves, I want to pose this to you – would you even WANT attention from someone who sees your disability as a barrier between you and them? I suspect not. Aim higher, you deserve a much better person!

I’ll take this opportunity to share a few experiences I have had with men, regarding my height (as the most obvious part of Pseudoachondroplasia), some, I found a little funny, but some could have caused an incredible amount of humiliation or hurt to someone who is perhaps not as thick skinned as myself….

  • This was not too long ago, that I was approached on a night out, in a club with this line, from a guy wanting to dance with me: “I don’t want to offend you, but I think we should dance… because you’re the same height as my Mum”. Quite a bizarre opening line, if you ask me – but what a thing to say! I am well aware that I am short, but I wouldn’t see that as a reason to dance with a man 😉
  • Another night out in a club: I was approached by another student, with this proposal… “You should go home with me tonight. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to **** a midget”. (Excuse the term, I hate it- but am just saying what I was faced with!) What did he honestly expect? Agreement? That I’d want to satisfy his curiosity?! Needless to say, I didn’t take him up on his offer!
  • My friend and I decided to sign up to Tinder, to see what all the hype was about. What I didn’t expect was to see this type of opening line when I opened a new message: ‘I’d want to date you, but you’re so tiny, we’d look ridiculous’, ‘Wow, you’re small. REALLY small’, ‘If we dated, I’d have to carry you around in my pocket because you’re so small’… I could list so many, many more. Do I need to have my height pointed out? Is that honestly the only thing those men had noticed? It’s all very strange to me, that anyone would think pointing out someone’s height is a good opening line. I suppose they may not have noticed that I’m not just short in stature and wouldn’t be aware they could be causing offence, but I don’t see why anyone WITHOUT a growth disorder would be interested in dating someone with that opening line either really!

Those are just three of the stories I could tell, to give an idea of the approaches I’ve experienced. Not all of the men I’ve spoken to before are as shallow, or stupid as those I’ve spoken of though… and whilst I am currently not in a relationship, I think it’s fair to say I don’t think having a disability makes someone (or me) undateable. It makes someone different. Everyone is different, disability or not. It’s the differences in people that make people connect, and they should be embraced. My message to anyone reading this is that let you shine, as you, not as you with a disability. Don’t feel you have to live life differently. Yes, there will always be those narrow minded people who aren’t worth your time – but it’s not those you want to be with anyway, find someone who loves you for you.

I’ll stop now, before this becomes a relationship advice blog (!), but I just wanted to point out, on reflection of ‘The Undateables’ that this is just another area that Pseudoachondroplasia can affect in life – if people feel the need to point out disabilities as being a barrier to everything, including the basic right in life – love.

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3 Responses to “Small, yes, but… Undateable?”

  1. pinkchapals January 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    This reminds me of my dating days; I’m a pseudo, too. Ugh. No Tinder then (thank God), but I was on Match.com, and it was always awkward when people wanted to meet. I’d have to point out that the size on my profile was not a typo, even though one guy outright told me he hoped it was. So many awkward dates. And, yes, what is the sexual curiosity about? I’ll never understand.

    I have never heard of this show, but it sounds awful. Do we (any disabled person, actually) really need to be the object of even more scrutiny? We have the equally questionable Little Women LA. Haven’t seen it, but people never tire of mentioning it.

    Thanks for the blog. Yours is one of the reasons I started my own!

  2. pinkchapals January 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on Lilliputiae and commented:
    This is from a fellow LP blogger. Dating as an LP is tough, indeed. She has said it as well as I could!

  3. Impaire January 8, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

    I’d be tempted to isolate the “mum” comment as something else altogether… But the rest of these comments are really terrifyingly stupid!

    To see the bright side, at least you have an immediate filter to detect (some of) the real undateables: insensitive and prejudiced people!

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