Dating on Wheels: Newly paralyzed chef stuck with woman he doesn’t like

Dear Tiffiny,

I am a 27 year old chef and was recently involved in a motorcycle accident leaving me paralyzed from the chest down. I was really concerned that I would never date again and then in the hospital I met my current girlfriend and was really happy.

It’s been 5 months since the accident and now I am kinda realizing that I don’t know if I really like this girl at all. I feel I might have fallen for her because she was taking care of me. I’m really afraid to be alone and don’t know if I should continue with this relationship or stop now before it goes further. There’s more details but I didn’t want to bore you, please tell me your thoughts!!

Thank you!! Oh and ps I’m opening a restaurant if you want to check it out and give me some feed back that would be awesome!! Thank You!!!

Chris Bales


Dear Chris,

Thanks for writing! For starters, sorry to hear about your injury. You’re in for a long road (I always say the first three years are the hardest when it comes to adjusting), but maybe by then you’ll be walking again.? Who knows…at being paralyzed for only five months, you still have a lot of time to get movement back.

Now let’s get to your dating predicament. What you are going through right now – dating someone you’re not 100% happy with – is something everybody before you who’s also paralyzed has also gone through. One of the first things to go vamoosh when becoming paralyzed, other than losing it the ability to walk of course, is your self-esteem. It takes a beating in the beginning.

Everybody thinks when they wake up paralyzed that they’re damaged goods, and somehow less than they were before. It takes a lot of journeying of the soul to get to the point where you realize this is bullshit. Let me save you the trouble of having to figure it out on your own: You are just the man as you were before.

You did find out right away, which is damn lucky, that it was possible to meet someone despite your paralysis. Your current girlfriend, even though you don’t like her, is proof in the pudding that if you breakup with her, it’s possible to find someone again. So, why the fear of being lonely? Did you think meeting her was just dumb luck, and that there’s no one else out there who will give you a chance?

There are plenty of woman out there who’ll not give a rat’s ass you can’t walk. Please – stop thinking you’re going to end up lonely.  I can guarantee you that you won’t. And btw, hooking up with your current girlfriend so quick after injury probably wasn’t the best idea. Take some time to get to know you better, focus on rehab, then start searching for the perfect woman for you.

And think of your disability as a great filter. Not only will you still find women who will find you attractive, you’ll now find women that have good souls. Don’t ever think you need to settle because you’re a paraplegic. I have met so many talented men with paralysis that have had their pick of the litter when it comes to dating. You can and will find a better woman.

So please, break up with your girlfriend. As your motorcycle accident proves, life is way too short to waste it any longer on something that’s not making you happy.

And as a side note, your restaurant idea sounds cool  I love that you’re committed to staying in the industry. As a paraplegic, you can still be a working chef. Several out there are doing it. And your menu at Sans Limites Cafe looks delicious.

Just remember, having too specific of a niche in anything can sometimes affect your bottom line. I love that you’re making sure your restaurant over the top disability friendly though. Hopefully you live by a VA to get muchos traffic!

Wishing you luck in love (and in food!),


1 comment
  1. Tiffiny, Thank you soo much for the advice i will defiantly take it to heart and break up with my gal! You are absolutely right and i am going to take your advice! 😉 Keep up your great work and i will let you know as soon as the restaurant is open so you can come enjoy a meal on me!
    Chef Chris Bales

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