Column Two: Dating, Defying and Daring …to Live a Life of your Dreams


I’ve been talking with people about what they find attractive and unattractive about other people, and it’s amazing how most people want similar attributes. Another commonality is we’re all a little hypocritical in one manner or another. The person who can’t stand oppositional, is usually oppositional. The person who wants a rock hard body doesn’t have a rock hard body (that’s me). The person who wants an accepting partner is judgmental. You get the point.

I know I sound like a broken record, but start your dating path by looking in the mirror…literally and figuratively. Confidence will attract other confident people, and confident people usually are pretty healthy (as in not clingy). I love people who are independent and self-aware, because while they are who they are they still are concerned what others think about them. I hate when people are offensive and they follow their bad behavior with, “I am who I am, deal with it.” Guess what? I don’t have to deal with it and I won’t. People need to know how to act in certain situations, we aren’t children anymore.

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Confidence is Sexy!

Independence is sexy. Are you independent? If you don’t know, here are a few things to consider. Do you live on your own? If you can’t that’s one thing, but if you’re afraid to that’s a whole other issue. Will you eat alone? I actually love eating alone. I’m around people enough, so that’s my downtime. I know what people are thinking when they see me alone in a restaurant, “Awe, how sad that girl in a wheelchair is all alone, and she has such great eyebrows.” In fact, recently I had a guy sit down at my table and ask if I got stood up…I clearly had just left the gym. He must be a glutton for punishment because he wouldn’t leave my table despite my snarkiness, and then he found me on Facebook! Reference to the last article: Don’t be a creeper.

Back to the independent thing. Are you capable of making a decision on your own or do you have to run it by someone? That screams needy. Do you like being alone or do you hate it? People always assume I’m alone not by choice, but we all know what the old saying is about assume. On the other hand, too independent can be a hindrance when it comes to maintaining relationships. It’s all about balance, but finding that balance can be hard.

Another important part of dating is knowing what you want. Identify what’s important, and don’t settle for less. However, have realistic expectations. For example, my list of must haves includes a love of food, a conversationalist, someone with drive, and humor. Of course I have other things I want, that’s more of a foundation I build from. You may be thinking, “Wait, I thought she wasn’t wanting something serious.” I don’t, but I even have expectations for those I’d like to casually date.

The key word being “like” to casually date. Why’s that? Well, I find that a lot of men are looking for something more serious. Before I know it things get weird, so before someone gets hurt I distance. Could I be reading into and they’re not interested in anything serious? Definitely. However, it’s not the only reason I distance. Those guys that cling on or bring drama early on, I’m out. So I’m beginning to think casually dating someone is the equivalent to a mythical creature, therefore pressure free casual dating is a unicorn, a frickin’ gold unicorn named Sparkles.

Dating has been a common discussion lately. I find that I get inspiration from the discussions I have with people as much as I get inspiration from the dating itself. I was working out with Donald, my trainer, and telling him how recently I had someone who got annoyed with me that I didn’t put aside everything I had to do to spend time with him (RED FLAGS). That was going to be the third time I hung out with him, only the third time! I can’t deal with that type of unnecessary drama. As I was telling Donald about everything he said, “I bet you treat your guys like crap though.” I was shocked, I didn’t think so.

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I wanted to know what he meant by that. He said, “I bet you treat these guys just like guys do to side chicks. They don’t have any value to you.” (For those middle-aged white people reading this, a side chick is someone you may date but would never be in a relationship with). I told him I didn’t agree they don’t have value, however it made me think. I’m sure some of these guys have felt like I was a jerk, but I’ve been direct from the beginning that I’m not looking for something serious. I think it’s unfair for any of these guys to put me in the position that I need to reiterate my intentions.

Now, if you’re thinking, “What? Do all these guys just fall head over heels?” No, not even close. Some of the guys just aren’t interested in me, there are a multitude of reasons. Some guys I could probably make the casual dating thing work, except they’re either all looks and no brain, or no looks and all brain. Remember what I said? I’m shallow like the pool I dove in. I like a balance. Then there are those few guys that really want to see me again, and when they push it I’m instantly turned off. I’m telling you a little bit of rejection works with any powerful person.

I had gone on two dates with a guy, and on the second one he went on and on about an ex. A third date was obviously a no go, but later he messaged me that he wished he had met me when I cared about people, because he really liked me. Ummmm, you don’t get to obsess over an ex and then blame me for the third date not happening. Take the advice I’ve already given: look in the mirror. To the rest of you men who might try the same thing in the future, don’t think insulting me is a way to guilt me into a third date…I’ll be outie like a belly button nobody wants.

So can I just say to those men I’ve hurt, I’m sorry. Kind of. If I was a jerk I’m sorry, but if you’re hurt because I didn’t want something serious, I’m not sorry. Don’t try and change the people you’re dating, it always backfires. I might sound jaded, but I’m not. I keep dating because I’m hopeful I’ll find what I’m looking for. I guess if I were totally honest, I wish I could find someone who made me want something serious. I suppose at the end of the day, we all dream about having that fairytale romance. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll ride off into the sunset with Prince charming…on Sparkles our golden unicorn.

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Gina Schuh, Editor, Law and Advocacy

Gina, a C-5/6 quadriplegic, describes herself as a “politically incorrect foodie who is an equal opportunity offender.” Beyond that, Gina is a law school graduate who grew up on a farm in California. Gina’s true passion is food, and you’ll often find her posting food pictures on her Instagram under Ginaisonaroll . Raised by a strong mother who had an insatiable appetite for any educational psychology materials, Gina swears she was raised by an unlicensed psychologist which led to her being so introspective. After people observed her success in dating, they asked for tips, which eventually led to her regular contribution here at Push Living on issues of dating, disability parking, and medical supply reimbursement, leading to the role of Editor of Law and Advocacy.

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