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Dating with a disability

Community Member
Hi, I’m 34 diagnosed with mild intellectual disability and schizoaffective disorder. After being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder I have since been working for a disability enterprise (sheltered workshop) on DSP. I found open employment stressful as it was with my I.D. Before I got sick with this mental illness I was married to a Div1 Nurse who was slim, attractive and she had a Master’s degree. It wasn’t long after we married I started getting episodes of psychosis it really scared her and was affecting her work and study. She was in the process of starting nurse to paramedic Pathway course. I was shattered when she called it off as we were planning on kids too.

The schizoaffective disorder has since gone into remission as I take medication religiously and see a clinical psychologist as well as a psychiatrist who is now reducing my medication. Because the mental illness is well under control I have ventured onto online dating. I am on oasis active as it’s free. Although I consider myself attractive I must be realistic in my standards because of disabilities. The women I’m seeking and send contact requests to I feel are within my socio-economic level. I’m constantly getting rejections by women who are single mums on parenting payments or carers payments, overweight and like me have little education. When they take a bit of time to know me they end up rejecting me because either because I find it difficult to carry a conversation or they say I can’t be trusted with their kids.

I don’t understand why I was marriage material to an attractive medical professional, but dismissed as inadequate, inferior and not up to
standards to overweight women who smoke on Centrelink benefits? I feel we are the same socio status but they see themselves as too good for me.

I feel so sad, worthless and about to give up.

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Lightmyway

Thanks for the courage to post here, it is a pretty good move as this place has people who have walked down most of the pathways of life and want to lend a had to those that follow

Firstly I'm very pleased to hear your treatment is effective, that is a really big thing. I'm also very sorry to hear that your marriage failed, it must have been completely devastating

Now on to you efforts to find another mate:

There's a few things I have to say here, and while I don't have the same experiences as you I did have to find a new partner in the middle of my life after my first wife died

Firstly the people you mentioned as rejecting you may well have their own dreams, dreams of someone rich, handsome, who will rescue them from their drab social security existence. It does not necessarily mean they are being cynical, or even realize it themselves. You may just not fit their 'ideal' man as a result

Secondly, and I'm afraid there is no getting away from it, there is prejudice against those with mental illness - and in my opinion it is more likely to occur in those who do not have a wider education. You can't not talk about this facet of your life in your self-description, but can perhaps put it in a positive way

Thirdly, and this is just me - I would not place any emphasis at all on how a person looks - it is their inner beauty one needs for a mate, kindness, empathy, strength -fun to be with. Such qualities come in all sorts of packages

May I suggest you do not set your sites on any one socioeconomic group, on any one body type, and just go for whomever rings a chord with you. Don't regard yourself, for whatever reason, as 'second-best'

I have no idea how much information is available about individuals in the dating site you are using. Perhaps more than one site might be the go

You have my best wishes, and should you wish to post again you would be welcome.


Community Member

Hi Croix, thank you for your supporting message and advice. You are right on about not placing emphasis on how a person looks. I completely agree. I have found that most women on Oasis because it’s free tend to be bogan
women who are rejecting me. I’m thinking maybe it's also because they are looking for someone like them someone crass, intolerant and racist, as a lot of population of where I live are (outer suburbs).

You are right about just being on one site. RSVP and and Eharmony are expensive paid sites but I’m going to bite the bullet and sign up as there will be more variety of people.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Ear Lightmyway~

Thank you for coming back to me and telling me your plans.

As someone who is out of touch of dating sites I had a look as Choice Magazine's page "online-dating-sites-review" which may give you some background

My best wishes