9/26/12: Paralyzed race car driver ready to begin dating

Hey Tiffiny,

I was injured on August 13, 2005 racing motorcycles in Canada by braking my back. I was only 12 at the time. That was a huge change in my life with being paralyzed after. Up till I was injured, I had 14 national championships. I was having the time of my life! In 2007 I was cleared to start racing again which was very good!

By 2009 I had won another 3 championships racing go karts. In 2009 I started racing cars (kinda look like an IndyCar). In 2011 I was third in the Championship running with the best drivers in the U.S coming up the latter. This year is my first year running on a pro level racing cars. Its amazing! In a few years, hopefully I be racing IndyCar! I love what I do!

I have some questions on the dating scene. I have a few “girl” friends that I see sometimes either around where I live or at the race track but I have never been on an actual real date. I’m not sure really. I would love to go on dates and end up dating someone! What am I doing wrong? I do know that with me being in a chair may have some reasons and of course all my traveling for racing.

Since I’m only 19 (will be 20 October 2) I can’t go to bars in the U.S. I have tried online dating like Plenty Of Fish but nothing came out of it. Can you give me any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong or how I can find someone that would want to date me with everything I have went through and what my career is?

A lot of my friends that I race with and friends from school are all dating so I want to enjoy the dating scene as well.

I know some of this was just rambling on but I just wanted to get your opinion on all of this.

Thanks so much.

Michael Johnson (my official racing site)


Dear Michael,

Have you asked a girl out on a date yet?  If you haven’t, that may be where your problem lies. I know it can be stressful asking a girl out.  It sounds like you’re worried a girl may turn you down because of your disability, but since you’re the  guy, you still have to do the asking out.

At your age – 19 – it’s true, most guys your age have been on a least a few dates, but I’m going to give you a pass because I know how hard it is to adjust confidence-wise after a spinal cord injury (especially in your teens). I was injured when I was 14 and even though I had a few pseudo-boyfriends I met at disability camp the first couple summers post-injury, I didn’t go on an actual full-fledged date until I was 19. I too was too nervous to approach AB guys (I finally met a guy online).

I’m glad to hear you’ve tried internet dating, even though it didn’t amount to much yet. In that venue you need to be aggressive as well. If you see a girl that you think is cute, send her a message. Don’t let the fact that you’re in a wheelchair stop you. She very well may not write you back, and that can happen, but don’t ever let that stop you.

When trying to meet a girl, in many ways it can be a numbers game. You just need to start talking to as many ladies online and offline as possible, until you meet someone you have a romantic spark with. Even with the girls you mentioned that you see and talk with at the track, try to be more flirty with them.

Even try giving them a small token of your affection; anything fun, or funny (girls love that kind of flirty stuff). Just try being more flirty and complimentary to the ladies. You’re a race car driver. Go with it.

Now, the one thing you have going against you is that some girls just don’t know if you’re going to be interested in dating or not because of your SCI, especially at your age when you’re dealing with girls who don’t have a lot of life experience.

You’re going to have to make it very clear to them, that even though you use a wheelchair, you’re still interested in the opposite sex and everything that comes along with it – sex, marriage and kids – you want it all, can have it all, and WILL have what you want. A lot of women don’t realize this is still possible, so it’ll be up to you to make sure they know it is.

Out of ALL the men in wheelchairs I’ve seen date successfully, the most successful are the confident ones, the ones that are even borderline cocky. At the end of the day, girls love a guy who knows what he wants and goes after it like a mighty hunter, wheelchair or no.

Now get out there and ask a girl out on a date, Speed Racer. You should be dating a supermodel by now.

Wishing you luck in love,


Have a dating question? Write me at tiffiny@beautyability.com

Archive for Dating on Wheels

  1. Well said Tiffany. Michael, you have nothing to worry about. Hell in comparison I am an old fat quad guy (35) so not that old but all in perspective who spends too much time on the Internet running an e-commerce business. CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE. You are no different than anyone else. I have had no problems meeting or dating women. Use the Internet to your advantage to screen out those that simply find the wheelchair as mind-boggling. Put yourself out there in all of the situations you try and achieve. Post pictures in your wheelchair and do not hide it. You do not have time for the ones who are willing to cause and be open-minded and realize that they would be seriously missing out to pass you by on something so trivial as a pair of shoes that roll faster. Heck you are a racecar driver, you do not have time to walk and wheels are your natural mode of locomotion. Believe that yourself and they will believe it and no longer see the wheelchair.

    All jabs against myself aside, I wanted to put things in perspective. If I, and many individuals with disabilities far far far more limited than you or I can have success with the opposite sex; a young race car driver with full use of your hands surrounded by hot young women in short boy-shorts who have no qualms about their femininity has little to worry about! I would kill for hand dexterity, but seriously, walking is overrated. I know you see it the other way because your perspective is different. Turn your wheelchair into an advantage as you accidentally nudge them into falling into your lap and a quick exciting spin. If you have fun with them, they will have fun with you. Your career is not a disadvantage. It is a major advantage. You have the potential and opportunity to show them new adventures and new experiences that few other men can. That is the zest of life. Make a fool of yourself and ONLY you will notice, they will find you intriguing. And after a few fools and follies all will fall into place. Roll with it!


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