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Problems with international dating

"And lets face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool." Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.A new breed of dating site has emerged to play cupid for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

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.

Both sites require members to disclose their illnesses upfront, clearing the air for what might be a deal-breaking revelation later.

Within her first week on Positive Singles, she went on three dates and has since gone on seven more, which fostered one romantic relationship and a friendship over the past two years. “I dont think I would have been able to have 10 dates without the site,” says Lana.

All of these can make dating—often an ego-shattering minefield for those in perfect health—even trickier.

"On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine.People with mental health problems, from chronic depression to schizophrenia, have also benefited from specialized sites.Jim Leftwich, 39, a college librarian from White Plains, N.(Access to the sites full features is available for per year.Thats substantially cheaper than sites like and e Harmony, which can cost upwards of per month.) “To me, thats pressure right there,” says Robert Watson, the executive director of the nonprofit dating service Date Able, which caters primarily to those with physical and mild psychiatric handicaps.Y., has lived with schizoaffective disorder, a condition that combines features of schizophrenia and mood disorders (such as depression), since 1992.In 2004, after years of brushing up against the harsh realities of the dating scene, Leftwich founded No Longer Lonely, a dating site that caters to the mentally ill.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.“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.

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