People with disabilities dating services

Over the past five years, several sites—such as Prescription4love.com, Nolongerlonely.com, and Cisforcupid.com—have launched to serve the needs of people with conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to Crohn's disease.

Be honest with yourself and each other about the limitations a disability might bring to a relationship. By openly discussing the physical challenges as a couple, you’ll be working to overcome a far more common (and destructive) kind of dating disability: lack of communication.

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone—just keep your feet on the ground when you do so. It may be a little awkward to talk about a disability at first, but that’s a hundred times better than avoiding the subject. Sometimes romantic attraction takes an unexpected turn, which may just lead to life-long love.

Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.

Let's face it: How do you drop that bomb on a potential love interest? She considered a number of online dating venues, but she says asked too many questions on its enrollment form, e Harmony was too "religious," and My Space was too much of a "hookup zone." "I wanted to meet men with my same diagnosis so we wouldnt [need to] have 'the talk,' or fear of rejection and transmitting," she says.

Now three years old, the site currently has 8,000 members who represent nearly 40 health conditions ranging from genital herpes (2,425 members) to Tourettes syndrome (32 members). “He was having a hard time with that, so I thought if he could find someone who had the same disease, or someone with a colostomy bag, he wouldnt really have to discuss that.”Since launching the site, Durham, 48, who previously dabbled in the stock market and worked as a bartender, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

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.

Post script: Stephen and Marietta have been married for 15 years.

Getty Images Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.

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.

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