Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM
If you put your best picture ever on your online profile, is that lying?
If you don’t mention an arrest for public nudity under “What Makes Me Special,” is that lying?
If you list “blue” under “Eye Color” when your contacts are actually the thing that is blue, are you lying?
How about if you neglect to mention that you’re in a wheelchair? Is that lying?
We recently heard from Carol who set up a date with a man she met online. He said he was “a lawyer, tall, liked to walk on the beach and loved to travel.” What he didn’t say was he was in a wheelchair.
Carol brought the date to a quick conclusion and left feeling she’d been majorly deceived. Here’s what you had to say.
JORDAN: Give him a break. Wheelchair-bound people do travel, practice law and can go to the beach. And no one gives their height while seated.
It was just a casual first date; lighten up, lady. If faced with the alternative —”Hi! I’m Hank. We haven’t met yet, and I have a wheelchair. Let me tell you all about my disability and how it came to be, and here’s a list of where I can and cannot roll” — you’d complain of TMI. It’s a wheelchair; it’s not all there is to his personhood.
DANIELLE: Being in a wheelchair is pretty much essential info, and she should have been told.
MARGARET: No one leads with his weak points. Everybody is hiding something. Some things, like a wheelchair, are just harder to hide.
America has so many wounded warriors — for all we know, the guy is a war hero — they shouldn’t be treated like they’re committing some kind of crime because they’re looking for a date online.
I know a woman with a prosthetic leg who says when a man asks her for a date, she makes sure he sees her prosthesis and accepts that as part of her before she accepts.
TAYLOR: Being wheelchair bound is a big deal and being coupled with a wheelchair-bound partner is also a big deal. But a casual first date isn’t a life-defining moment. Even if you’ve got some huge anti-wheelchair thing going, all you’ve been “tricked” into under these supposed false pretenses is an hour over coffee. It’s not like the guy hid the wheelchair until they were at the altar.
DAKOTA: Is a woman with, say, diabetes, being dishonest if she doesn’t post that on her profile?
HAYDEN: I used a wheelchair for three months after a severe knee injury. It was an eye-opening experience because my life still went on. I went to work, to my kids’ sporting events and to the store. I didn’t want to be isolated from my friends, so I still met them for dinners and concerts.
But even if this guy did use a wheelchair all the time, it might not have precluded walks and travel.
DAWN: I think he should put “wheelchair user” on his profile just to avoid this kind of a situation. Why should he waste his time with someone who isn’t comfortable being with him?
When is the best time to reveal a major disability, illness, bankruptcy, etc.? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.