Met a guy online, found out he has Cerebral Palsy

  • Lunastar

    Posts: 328

    Mar 18, 2013 7:48 AM GMT
    Really interesting experience. I met this guy on okcupid and spoke to him daily for about a week, we had engaging conversations that were tinkered with sexual tension. I thought he was quite attractive based on his pictures.

    And despite that we were not a match at all (according to the algorithm lol). And some obvious differences, he smokes, drinks and does drugs (though sparingly) and is not into sports at all, I went in with what I thought was an open mind and that the physical attraction would be enough.

    So I finally met him tonight and.......the first thing that struck me upon meeting him was the inverted manner in which he walked with and dragged his feet as well the way his arms positioned themselves and the way he carried himself. And although he was still handsome, he had eyes that looked rather crazed and stoned. So I didn't let my initial shock show, hugged him and we talked for about an hour. But this time, nothing sexual, just talking about various things, including him having cerebral palsy and what that means. The conversation was nice but I'm not intent on pursuing him. The thing is I think he's still interested in me and I don't know what to do without letting him down because we had good chemistry online but it kinda went away in person, at least to me. So if I do reject him, he'll know it's because of him having cerebral palsy.

    For him, it's the reason why he doesn't drive or play sports, and prior to meeting I kinda just took those aspects about him at face value.

    He never told me he had it when we talked online and I'm not saying I expected it but part of me is wondering if he should've revealed it about himself. The sad truth is that I have to look at my own prejudice and know that I'd be rejecting him, not just because of him having cerebral palsy but all that goes along with that including not driving, limited to short distances walking, not playing sports. I know that while I'm looking for someone I'm physically attracted to, I also do want to share these interests. The additional thing is the crazy eyes that he had that would appear when he looked directly at me. I'm supposed to meet with him again for lunch tomorrow so I don't know how to approach this.


    There you have it. I get it, this is to be expected with online dating, the image or persona you conjure up in your mind even when you have pictures of the guy, can be completely different from what you meet in person. I wonder how many guys would do the same or otherwise in my situation.

    Hopefully I'm not hated for this. I didn't run away like an asshole upon meeting him and did talk with him for about an hour. I really feel bad for him because it's I'm sure it's much more difficult for him to date and I'm not making it any easier icon_sad.gif
  • jvcs

    Posts: 4

    Mar 18, 2013 8:02 AM GMT
    I don't think that there's anything wrong with how you feel. At the most basic level, we look for people who we think are attractive and good to be a mate, and if we don't feel this way when we meet them face-to-face it's hard to justify being in a relationship with them. I've been in situations where I don't want to date someone because of physical/ mental disabilities before and I feel so horrible for seeming so shallow. However, I know that being with a person just because I feel sorry for them or because I don't want to seem mean is not going to benefit either of us. Both of you deserve to find people with whom you are attracted to and work well with. I think that as long as you don't treat him unkindly due to things beyond his control you are still being a good person.
  • jackooh

    Posts: 109

    Mar 18, 2013 1:37 PM GMT
    Maybe the cerebral palsy is why you're not attracted to him n maybe that is a bit shallow if you get on very well,
    however if he isnt capable of pursuing the hobbies and interests that you want to share with a partner (your sports n walks n whatnot) then theres no reason you should feel guilty, its a perfectly reasonable excuse to not date him!

    if you really did have chemistry n both loved to sit around the house getting stoned n drinkin then i'd say look past the cerebral palsy n continue to get to know n like the guy your with cus the sexual attraction may come back once you're used to him

    but you're off the hook! you wanna meet a guy thats into the same stuff as you n thats perfectly ok
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 1:59 PM GMT
    I had a similar experience to you when I was in my early 20's Lunastar. I met a guy with cerebral palsy and did date him for a couple of weeks. He was a an intelligent and handsome man, and had a good job, but I still couldn't really get used to his condition. After about a month, I broke it off and I have never seen anyone more hurt.

    Anyway, I think you made up your mind that you don't want to be with this guy but you are trying to find a politically correct way to reject him. I don't think there's an easy way no matter how you put it because people usually can see past bullshit excuses. I think you should just be honest but gentle. He'll probably appreciate your honesty. Do it early on and don't let it drag on.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 18, 2013 2:12 PM GMT
    I think he should have told you in advance. He's put you in a difficult situation by not telling you. I can 'understand' why he didn't but, still, it is keeping a big secret from someone he's potentially interested in and then letting the ball drop in your lap. I mean, is it really any different than him being fatter or older or disfigured in some other way and pretending to be something he's not?

    Here's a question, would you have still met him had you known in advance about his condition? That's a hypothetical question that might be difficult to answer for sure but an interesting one. For example, lets say you liked the personal interaction with him well enough that even when he told you, you decided you'd give it a shot and see whether it made a big difference. This would have made your meeting a very different experience for you and, in this hypothetical, perhaps the connection would have continued despite his Crebral Palsy and you would have grown to look past it. Or, on the other hand, perhaps you would have seen right off why certain things you don't have in common that are important to you make having a relationship with him not very likely and you would have chosen to not meet in the first place.

    Anyway, I feel it is unfair of him to have set you up for feelings of guilt in this situation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 2:25 PM GMT
    I honestly couldn't figure out why you were meeting after the long lists of reasons you were NOT compatible. Sure the Cerebral Palsy does play a part in your decision, after all, it's him. You can't overlook it any more than you can overlook that "he smokes, drinks and does drugs (though sparingly) and is not into sports at all".

    Sure you could say using these is a cop out but really, don't those reasons alone make it suspicious about entering into a relationship? Add the CP to it and I'm not sure the whole package is adding up for you.

    I would share that although you enjoy chatting and all, there are just too many issues of concern, including his physical issues, but not just those. It's hard but I think he deserves to know that also. Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 3:04 PM GMT
    eb925guy saidI honestly couldn't figure out why you were meeting after the long lists of reasons you were NOT compatible. Sure the Cerebral Palsy does play a part in your decision, after all, it's him. You can't overlook it any more than you can overlook that "he smokes, drinks and does drugs (though sparingly) and is not into sports at all".

    Sure you could say using these is a cop out but really, don't those reasons alone make it suspicious about entering into a relationship? Add the CP to it and I'm not sure the whole package is adding up for you.

    I would share that although you enjoy chatting and all, there are just too many issues of concern, including his physical issues, but not just those. It's hard but I think he deserves to know that also. Good luck.


    This and to elaborate (I'm basically saying the same thing as eb925guy), it appeared that you were willing to overlook the dating algorithm. Otherwise, why did you meet him knowing full well that you're not a match? Next time you see or talk to him, tell him the truth by saying you're not interested.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 3:11 PM GMT
    It's not going to work. If you are having second thoughts and even though I don't blame him for not telling you he has cerebral palsy, I still think if it's not working for you then that doesnt make you shallow or a bad person.

    You are a human being and who you want to be with is your choice, you should never feel ashamed of it.

    Also in my personal opinion, you should cancel that lunch. I personally would like to be dumped on phone or an email rather than on a lunch, because after that lunch all I would want to do is throw up.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Mar 18, 2013 3:13 PM GMT
    Why can't you two just be friends?
  • Lunastar

    Posts: 328

    Mar 18, 2013 5:48 PM GMT
    Medjai saidWhy can't you two just be friends?


    Because if I reject him, especially when he's still interested, then trying to "be friends" is doing a disservice to him I feel.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Mar 18, 2013 5:52 PM GMT
    Lunastar said
    Medjai saidWhy can't you two just be friends?


    Because if I reject him, especially when he's still interested, then trying to "be friends" is doing a disservice to him I feel.


    Is it? So if guys aren't fucking, there's no reason to associate?
  • Hothouse

    Posts: 2204

    Mar 18, 2013 6:20 PM GMT
    This presents a good learning experience for you.

    You said, despite the obvious differences, you wanted to meet him and hoped the "physical attraction" would be enough.

    Enough for what?
    A long term relationship,
    A short term relationship,
    A friend, a quick fuck?

    I'm not passing judgement on you - just that you knew going in that there were a lot of reasons not to be involved with this guy, but you held out hope that something would be there because you were attracted to him.

    Thing is, physical attraction is never enough. It might be ok for a quick sexual thing, but not much else. I don't know of any long term relationships - couples or friends - that have lasted based on finding someone physically attractive. I've met some really good looking men that very quickly become ass-holes once you get to know them. Someone's appearance may be what attracts you to a person in the first place (I know it plays an important role in relationship dynamics) but it is not going to be what sustains a relationship or friendship - it's how you connect to a person on a mental and emotional level that determines how a relationship will grow.

    I'll also say the guy you met should have told you about his condition before you met. It's one thing to keep some information from someone you're chatting with online, but it's different when you expect to meet. If he's hurt that you're not into him, then it's his responsibility to not spring that kind of thing on someone and expecting them not to react. He's at fault for not telling you prior to meeting. You were both on a site designed to match couples - so, he needed to be forth coming about something that important.

    So, from now on, when you meet someone online and then make arrangements to meet - keep things in perspective. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, and it won't be the last. Don't make any promises to someone online - tell them that you can meet and see where it goes - since the odds are good it won't go anywhere.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Mar 18, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
    Lunastar said
    Medjai saidWhy can't you two just be friends?


    Because if I reject him, especially when he's still interested, then trying to "be friends" is doing a disservice to him I feel.


    No, you're doing him a disservice because you're not openly communicating with him. What is confusing is what you want out of this. Do you want to still be friends with him? If that's the case then just say "Look, I don't feel like this is a romantic match, but I'd like to still be friends and hang out with you."

    If you're not interested in having any relationship with him, it does him no service to lead him on and slowly drag out the end. You've only been on one date. You don't owe him anything. Just tell him that you enjoyed meeting him but you didn't think it was a right fit. If the asks you if it's because of the CP, I'd tell him the truth, that that was ONE of the factors, but also the fact that he smokes, drinks, does drugs and is not into sports are also factors.

    This idea that not communicating or not being honest is the gentler approach is the cowardly way out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
    Erik101 said

    This and to elaborate (I'm basically saying the same thing as eb925guy), it appeared that you were willing to overlook the dating algorithm. Otherwise, why did you meet him knowing full well that you're not a match?


    There's nothing wrong with meeting someone knowing that you aren't compatible based on a dating websites "algorithm". If you're interested in someone, then you should try and meet them. Just because you're "not a match" doesn't mean there's no possibility of anything between y'all.
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Mar 18, 2013 6:31 PM GMT
    Medjai said<
    Is it? So if guys aren't fucking, there's no reason to associate?


    maybe if he has a beach house
  • blueyedgrey20...

    Posts: 285

    Mar 18, 2013 6:48 PM GMT
    maybe give him a chance?
  • confidentcrip

    Posts: 111

    Mar 18, 2013 6:51 PM GMT

    As someone with Cerebral Palsy, I would advise that you tread lightly here. Being different and gay is fucking hard, and I know what it feels like when someone rejects you... no matter what their reasoning... my go to is: "Oh, they can't handle my disability". So, you need to make precisely clear WHY you are not interested.... and if it is the CP, you need to tell him upfront.

    I have been on the side of rejection b/c of my disability WAY TOO MANY TIMES, and I must say that gnawing fear of rejection as a result of my difference never really dissipates.

    Just my two cents.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 6:58 PM GMT
    Confident, well said.

    Just realized, Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, has Cerebral Palsy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Mar 18, 2013 7:03 PM GMT
    confidentcrip said

    I have been on the side of rejection b/c of my disability WAY TOO MANY TIMES, and I must say that gnawing fear of rejection as a result of my difference never really dissipates.

    Just my two cents.


    have you ever dated another guy with CP , or similar disability?

    I think it would totally be possible to fall in love with someone who's differntly abled, and lets face it any of us could end up in a wheelchair for any number of reasons, so maybe it just takes finding the right match, regardless of physical abilities.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 7:05 PM GMT
    Hmmm. I can appreciate your feelings of guilt and disappointment but I can't help wondering if you are walking away from (possibly) a great friendship. I've read your profile and its obvious you are an active guy but you also have a lot of interests that won't require someone in great physical shape.

    In all honesty I probably felt the same way 30 years ago. At this point in my life, though, it's easier for me to appreciate that looks fade and physical limitations will develop in time for all of us. Regardless, when I look at my friends from that long ago I don't see 50 year old "trolls" but rather the same group of "teens" I grew up with, if you understand what I mean.

    [i.e. the same great friends who are still a bit heavier and older looking than me. Lol! How little things have really changed, all things considered! :-)
    ]
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Mar 18, 2013 7:33 PM GMT
    If you don't know what to say then just say the truth.
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    Mar 18, 2013 7:40 PM GMT
    Slim2010 said
    Erik101 said

    This and to elaborate (I'm basically saying the same thing as eb925guy), it appeared that you were willing to overlook the dating algorithm. Otherwise, why did you meet him knowing full well that you're not a match?


    There's nothing wrong with meeting someone knowing that you aren't compatible based on a dating websites "algorithm". If you're interested in someone, then you should try and meet them. Just because you're "not a match" doesn't mean there's no possibility of anything between y'all.


    You obviously failed to read the part where the OP said that he's not interested in pursuing the guy AFTER meeting and finding out he has CP.

    Meh, like I really give a shit....


    ***exits thread and shuts door***
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 8:09 PM GMT
    I agree with those who've already said you're in the right for breaking it off with him. CP is a pretty big thing to withhold when online dating. Conveniently for you, you also seem to have a lot of differences, which could make it easier for you if you want to let him down easy and just say "the chemistry isn't really there for me." Or you could be straight up with him and say you probably wouldn't have met him if you knew be had CP. I'd probably take the easy way out and say I didn't feel chemistry.

    Good luck. You sound smart and level-headed so I'm sure you'll be fine and make the right decision.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2013 9:34 PM GMT
    OP: he should have told you in advance. He most likely knew if he did, you would reject him. Maybe he was hoping his personality would win you over rather than outright rejection before meeting. Maybe deep down, he felt like he would at least make a new friend that could do the things he can't physically, such as enjoy sports through you, watching you... etc.

    I have a niece with severe CP. She is in her 40's. She has had a hard time making friends. She also has had numerous surgeries just so she could walk. She lives with terrible back pains. She has to have help doing so many things. I had a brother with severe CP. He was never able to walk or talk. His CP contributed to his death at the age of 21... but.. he had a heart of gold.

    I've met people with CP online and if I were in the dating pool, I would never reject a man just for CP. I've known a couple really hot men with CP. lol However, if it was severe, I may have to make some changes. CP doesn't mean a person has a bad heart or is incapable of a good life. Maybe his supporting you, going to your ball games, cheering you on, etc... would be all he could do, but he would do with all he had, whether as a date or a good friend.

    You owe him the truth. But, above all, please don't discount him as a person, as a potential friend just because he has different abilities from you.

    One other thing.... the crazed look in his eyes is NOT a symptom of CP. You said he did drugs. Maybe he was high out of fear that you would reject him and walk away as soon as you met.

  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Mar 18, 2013 10:00 PM GMT
    You can blame the other guy for not revealing his situation from the get go, but this is not about blame and I think you ought to forgive that and possibly educate him about what he withholds. You do need to be honest about what you want or don't want and not drag it out. But, you also need to ask him directly what his expectation is before you proceed. A relationship has many levels. You said you are not intent on pursuing him. Does that mean you want no connection or does it mean you don't want a deep, intimate connection? Maybe he is willing to accept you as a friend and not something more. Can you do that if that is sufficient for him or is it all or nothing on your side? I believe you must also be mindful of the impact rejection has on someone who has likely dealt with a lot of rejection. So, you should chose your words carefully. You can be nice without being false.