March 19, 2012 by sharonbrennan
I saw today that Channel 4 are launching a new programme called ‘The Undateables’. It basically sends people with a disability or impairment to a dating agency and tries to help them find love. Is this a good idea?
The blurb is already pretty unfortunate.
It says that the programme will follow “a range of people whose ability to form relationships is affected by an impairment or challenging condition – such as being deaf, or having Tourette’s”. I’m not deaf nor do I have tourettes but I wouldn’t have thought either of those conditions has an impact on a person’s ‘ability to form a relationship’ as that complicated emotional stuff about commitment and falling in love doesn’t have much to do with whether you can hear clearly or not.
I do have Cystic Fibrosis. I know that lots of CF people do worry about whether or not they will find someone to settle down with as it does take a very special person to say ‘yes please’ to all the crap that CF entails (including not reaching pensioner age or, for me, having kids (although some CF people do have children). But I’d just like to add the other side of the coin: that having a serious illness makes you genuinely understand the brevity of our life on earth and that means that some of us don’t want to put up with shit relationships just so we can say we are attached. I’m pretty sure I once dated someone who was attracted to ‘ill’ people as it made him feel more like a man. I’ve also dated people who have emotional problems of their own that my crap lungs seemed like a small ‘problem’ in comparison. I didn’t want to stay with either of them just because they were ‘willing’ to date me.
Anyhow, I think for teenagers growing up with an illness dating is a bad enough worry without walking round town and coming across posters hailing you and ‘your sort’ the new undateables.
What does everyone else think? Is this programme a good idea or an absolutely crap one?
p.s. I’d just like to add I’m married to the most amazing man in the whole world so for anyone reading this and thinking their health might prevent them meeting their love, then believe me IT DOESN’T!