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There have been plenty of matches that haven’t worked out, and whether that’s actually because of my disability, I’ll never know.But I had a nearly yearlong relationship with a man I met through OKCupid, so I know it’s possible for lightning to strike again.The first time I forayed into online dating, I let my wheelchair show just a little in my photos.The good guys, I hoped, would be so taken by my clever profile and witty banter that they’d be able to look beyond my disability, if they even noticed it at all.I write and speak endlessly about being a proud, unapologetic disabled woman.It is part of my identity, shaping everything I do and everything I value.A few minutes later, he replied, but instead of responding to my reptilian inquiry, he asked, “Are you in a wheelchair?”I kept my answer simple and told him that yes, I do use a wheelchair, but I was much more interested in the back story of the iguana.

I truly believed he was the person I’d marry, and that I’d never have to worry about rejection again.

After dropping the “wheelchair bomb,” I’d have to brace myself for their reactions, which were always a mixed bag, often ranging from indifference to ghosting. One man that I connected with on Coffee Meets Bagel was incredibly apologetic when I first told him about my wheelchair, as though it was the most tragic thing he’d ever heard.

I shut that down by explaining that my disability is part of who I am and it’s nothing to be sorry for.

He found a Groupon and I researched a location, picking out a restaurant in New York City that was supposed to be wheelchair accessible.

As it turned out, the restaurant was accessible, but the painting class was happening in a room upstairs.

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