OPINION: Finding love tends to be much harder with a physical disability

OPINION: Finding love tends to be much harder with a physical disability

By Adam Goodman, who is a Noorwood service user.

Adam Goodman is in his 30s, single and Jewish. He is a keen reader, loves comics, Italian food, lives in north London and has been dating on and off (with varying degrees of success) for years. Despite this, he’s still optimistic that Ms Right will come along one day soon. He sounds just like anyone else on the Jewish dating scene, but Adam has a mild learning disability – and is supported by Norwood. Here’s what he has to say about his search for love…

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I don’t know why it’s harder for people with disabilities to date, but it is.

I have an obvious physical disability and some people can’t see past it. I hate the word ignorant but in this case it’s the word I’d use to describe people who don’t bother to look beneath the surface.

It’s shallow. You should never judge a book by its cover, even if the cover is torn and tatty. Don’t try and work out what’s wrong with someone.

Try to find out what’s right. Look past the disability.

I might have one, but people tell me I’m kind, easy-going and laid- back. I like cosy nights in or walks in the park or on the beach.

I was born in the Chinese Year of the Dog and that really sums me up: I’m like a dog – hardworking and loyal.

People say it’s harder for Jewish people to find their other halves because there’s a smaller pool to choose from. Just think how much harder it is if you have a disability as well.

It may be how I was brought up, but I would like to go out with a Jewish girl – not because of the religious aspect as such but because of the tradition and the family values.

My last long-term girlfriend was Jewish.

Maybe people consider me boring because I don’t go out all the time. I’m not in with the in-crowd. I don’t have the latest technology or clothes and don’t keep up with the Joneses.

I’ve not done too badly just by being me, but right now I don’t go out much, so I don’t meet people.

I don’t go nightclubbing. I have a problem with my ears and even though I enjoy the music I know I’ll get tinnitus the next day. And you can’t get to know anyone in a nightclub, can you?

The road to love is paved with good intentions but if you’re not very outgoing it can be hard, not just for dating, for everything.

I don’t want to go speed-dating but maybe I’d go on a blind date. I haven’t tried dating on the internet; I don’t like the idea – you hear all sorts of stories. And you never know who you’re meeting online.

I don’t drink, and going to the pub for a soft drink isn’t the same. I don’t know quite how to put this, but it doesn’t help that I’m a little bit eccentric.

I collect rare figurines and I’ve got an Amazon habit. My room is like an old curiosity shop. I’m not shy but I’m happiest when I’m leafing through comic books and collectibles at the Forbidden Planet store.

I’d like to go out with someone who isn’t disabled. If you’ve got one disability and they’ve got another, they don’t always mix well.

Sometimes there can be a clash. The perfect partner doesn’t exist. If someone has the same interests as you, or doesn’t mind the same things as you, then that’s good.

I want someone who’s fun to talk to – not someone boring. Someone I can have a proper laugh with. She would also need to put up with a room filled with figurines and not mind my oddities. She’d have to like Italian food though: pizza, linguine, tagliatelle. I love it all. If she didn’t like it too, then she’d have to like kissing someone with garlic breath!

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