In addition to providing their users with a more hospitable environment, these websites defuse the tension over how and when to disclose an illness, which is often an issue for people with diseases and disabilities who venture onto mainstream dating sites.
Next Page: When health problems equal heartache [ pagebreak ]When health problems equal heartache After some “horrible” results on other dating websites, Lana joined Prescription 4 Love and the STD-specific site
“I thought to myself, ‘There should be something like this out there, and I was surprised to find there wasnt,” says Leftwich.
“If youre mentally ill, its kind of a hostile world out there.
As one of its first members, he should know: He met his wife, Lynn, at a Date Able Valentines Day party in 1988.
“I didnt want to try it,” says Watson, who has moderate cerebral palsy and was working as a national project director for the United Cerebral Palsy Association at the time.
People with mental health problems, from chronic depression to schizophrenia, have also benefited from specialized sites.
Lynn lived 60 miles away, but we made it work.” By pushing a “friends first” concept, which has been emulated in the communal blog and forum features of Prescription 4 Love, No Longer Lonely, and other illness-specific sites, Date Able members can get up to speed on the dating world in a familiar environment without the prying eyes of the Web.“People with disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, are typically behind the eight ball because they havent had the practice of dating in college or their young adult life,” says Watson.“Many of them never had the puppy love, been broken up with, experienced the fights, or the good stuff.” To make up for this lost time, his best bit of advice is to be totally honest.Ricky Durham founded Prescription 4 Love in 2006, inspired by his late brother Keith, who lived with Crohns disease for 15 years before passing away in 2004. Though he doesnt find it appropriate to be a member of a community he founded, he says he can empathize with his members.“He was a good-looking boy, and he could find dates, but when do you tell someone you have a colostomy bag? “Its nice to find someone whos going through what youre going through,” he says.