Dating After Limb Loss: What to Expect
Dating can be challenging, especially with the abundance of online dating apps. It often feels like you only have a few seconds to catch someone's attention, with the hope that it will be a special match. So, is the current dating landscape favorable for amputees?
Amputation and body image
One of the most common hurdles to dating is internal: body image. Many people have various body image issues, and things are not different for amputees.
Once someone experiences limb loss, he or she goes through various stages of grief and needs to relearn how to live their lives.
Many amputees find that they struggle with feeling comfortable in their own skin as a prosthetic user, despite having a strong support system. When in front of a potential partner, it's easy to let the doubts drown out whatever self-confidence they initially had.
Before venturing out into the dating scene, it's vital for you to work on arriving at self-acceptance and self-confidence. Having strong self-esteem is the best antidote to body issues and doubts, which will be stronger in front of a potential partner.
If you are dating online, you can save yourself time and energy by indicating in your dating profile that you've experienced limb loss. Although you are not defined by your amputation, the reality is that some people may become awkward when talking about your prosthesis. So, don't be afraid to let your personality shine from the photos you choose to post down to how you write your bio. Eventually, putting yourself out there will feel comfortable.
The Three People You Will Meet
If this is your first foray into dating, especially online dating, be aware of the three types of people that you will meet.
The first type is the one with all the questions. This person genuinely wants to learn more about limb loss and is curious about how life is like for you, as they may not know any other amputees. As long as they are respectful, talk to them. This is a great way to educate others about life as an amputee.
The second type is the person who only sees your prosthesis. Beware of this type as they can put on an understanding front. You will know if the person you are talking to belongs to this category because they will make you feel uncomfortable to the point that you will want to end the date as fast as you can.
Finally, some will see you for who you are. You will recognize them because they make you feel at ease and comfortable, no matter the situation. They may appear elusive, but they exist. Be patient and enjoy the process. Dating can be an excellent self-discovery exercise.
It's also important to remember that you are not in a race—date at your own pace. There's no need to compare your progress with others and learn to enjoy the highs along with the lows.