Dating with a disability

An individual reflection

We have touched on this topic previously but there is hardly a surplus of information available on the topic. Here are some personal thoughts and reflections about dating apps from the Chair of the UK HSP support group.

Adam Lawrence writes on his blog:

Here are a few thoughts on my initial encounters on dating apps.

When I first set my profile up I didn’t mention HSP or any of its effects directly, although I did mention that I am the chair of a rare disease charity. A few on-line conversations led to meeting up for a ‘real’ date. After those dates, however, two things happened – I was either ghosted, or the on-line conversations dried up pretty quickly.

Without any supporting evidence, I cannot tell if any of that is to do with my HSP and my ‘funny’ walk, or if there were some other reason for things not going any further with most of these people.

The conversation I had with the first person I met up with was interesting. They said that I ought to consider being more explicit about things on my profile. This gives people a chance to make up their minds without me having to make such an emotional investment – i.e. there isn’t any benefit to me in getting involved with anyone who is going to walk away awkwardly at the first signs of anything unusual.

It took a few months for this thought, and conversations with other people to result in me updating my profile. I chose to make two changes. In one change I went self-deprecating, and declared my walk to be like my sense of humour – both ‘a bit funny’. In the other change I chose to reveal my vulnerabilities, by saying that I’m nervous about becoming a disabled person of the future.

This change was good. Conversations have been better, and have not dried up after a first real date. I feel like I’m more able to be myself, and this reminds me that my HSP is only a relatively small part of me (even if it feels like it takes over my life from time to time).

(Readers may not know what ghosting is – it is abruptly ending communication with someone without explanation – Wikipedia says:

SOURCE: A journey to HSP/FSP

Reflections on dating apps

Adam Lawrence, 17 June 2023


  1. Hi Adam
    As a married woman of 30 years and having HSP I have the good fortune of a supportive and loving partner who shares my journey.
    I would just like you to know that you would be a catch, you show such bravery, honesty, sensitivity and so much more. I wish you luck and a fun journey into dating and hopefully a future with a lovely partner that shares your wonderful characteristics.

  2. Hi Adam, I was on dating sites here in Australia for many years. I am now partnered up and have been off the sites for some time. I met him on a dating site.
    I personally wanted everyone to know I had a walking disability from the start. I didn’t give many details but said what I was still able to do at the time ie ride a bike and walk with a stick. I found many men didn’t read the profile and emailed me for a coffee..I’d ask if they were ok with my walking issue and they’d ask “what issue?” which meant I then had to go into more detail about the walk and remind myself of it again! So I set up a profile that said they’d need to write a codeword MFSW before I’d reply to an email. MSFW stood for Ministry For Silly Walks. This made me feel better. It worked. The last thing I ever wanted to see was horror on someone’s face as I stumbled towards them for a date!!!
    I wish you all the best in your search.

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