A Wheelchair Wheel Conundrum

In Everyone has one by Guest Contributor

Danny Ruiz--floor view of wheelchair wheels and side of foot in sneaker.I was having one of the best conversation with a woman when I realized, once again, I was faced with an awkward moment, “The Wheelchair Wheel conundrum.”

I had responded to a dating profile on an online dating site and the next thing I knew, I had been talking for hours with what seemed to be the perfect match!

I hung up and started to get ready to meet this woman that I had only met by phone and had seen in a few pictures. However, I felt that nothing could go wrong. I mean we had so much in common; she laughed at my jokes, I loved her laugh, she loved my profile pictures, I loved hers. She loves Latin men, I love American ladies!

However, with all that we were talking about, not once did I have the opportunity to tell her that I used a wheelchair.

This was not the first time that I found myself meeting a woman who wouldn’t have any idea I used a wheelchair.

I would always look for an opening to mention something that would lead the conversation in a direction that I could bring up that I have a disability. Usually in a positive light, as in sports, acting/modeling so to ease the “blow” when I say to them that I use a wheelchair.

I do this because in the past when I would be up-front from the start that I used a wheelchair, the conversation would always take a turn for the worst.

It would turn into a conversation of pity and confusion for the lady.

“Can you have sex? What happened? Can you walk at all? Does it hurt?” With questions like these it’s no wonder I felt I must use tactics in order to get my “wheel in the door.

I never heard of anyone that would reach for rejection or welcome it. Most of the times when I would find myself in this wheel conundrum, I would try and”side-step” the topic altogether. It would work out for the better, most of the times I should say.

I mean, the first time this happened I met the girl at a dance club after talking to her on the phone the night before.

At first, she was shocked to see that I was in a wheelchair. However, after a night of dancing and just hanging out having fun, she ended up moving in with me days later. We had a decent relationship for many years.

I use that experience at times to justify my tactics of not being up-front from the start when confronted with the “wheel conundrum.” Within reason I would reach to say and that’s due partially to the ignorance on the part of society.

I guess we all are guilty at some level or many for that matter when it comes to being or experiencing ignorance.

Think about it, how many of us when talking about our son or daughter’s future about getting married and meeting the “perfect” partner have you heard someone wish that their partner should have a disability or even use a wheelchair?

Chances are you never even thought of that scenario. I know that I haven’t thought of my daughter’s walking down the aisle with someone with a disability and yet, I’m a man that has a disability.

That to me speaks volumes and warrants attention at many levels. Not just the “dating” scene, but with education, business, parenting, etc! But that’s another topic.

The perception is as follows, that if you’re in a wheelchair, then you’re broken. How or why you are “broken” is not as important to them as what’s broken. So I feel or felt that I should give people the opportunity to see all that is not “broken” before they judge me.

Is this right? I don’t know, but when thinking of tossing my hat back into the arena of dating, this comes to mind on how should I “advertise” myself.

Show a picture of me in my wheelchair on a dating site, I get contacted by home nurses asking if they can be of service. I’m not sure on what the “service” is, except for what it implies. However, just because I use a wheelchair, does not mean I need a nursing assistant!

Danny Ruiz in a wheelchair

Calling all nurses!

Or I get contacted by women with extremely low morals and no standards to speak of or with low self-esteem issues that can be considered problematic before the first date.

Show a picture of just my face or me sitting in my car, the mail comes pouring in from all social levels.

Maybe the title of this article shouldn’t be “The Wheel Conundrum”, but “Wheel-superficial?”

Oh, what happened with that “date” I went on with that woman from the dating site?

I went to Starbucks, got out of my car went inside, fought the crowd, saw her from the corner of my eye and waited for her to come to my table. I turned around for maybe a minute when I looked back in the direction she had been sitting, I noticed she was not there anymore.

I looked around for her and nothing. So I called her and said “what’s up.”
Her response. “C’est la vie,” and hung up.

Moral of this tale?

I’m not sure, but it “wheely-sucks!”

Danny Ruiz playing the guitar

The mail comes pouring in!

What’s your dating experience?

Share it with me and I’ll get back at ya!


Danny Ruiz.