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“Its easier to get rejected via email, and you can take baby steps online without hunting outside.”Though Prescription 4 Love didnt yield any dates for Lana, this fast-growing online community offers an alternative to mainstream dating sites for thousands of singles.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.“If youre mentally ill, its kind of a hostile world out there.
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.
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.“I thought to myself, ‘There should be something like this out there, and I was surprised to find there wasnt,” says Leftwich.
People would be more trusting and relationships might be more successful.”No Longer Lonely now has 16,000 members and a brand new interface (similar to those of social-networking sites) that allows users to upload poems, art, videos, and blogs.
The site has been responsible for more than 20 marriages.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.“But I probably knew everybody in my community and nobody I knew wanted to date me or vice versa.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.Lynn lived 60 miles away, but we made it work.”By pushing a “friends first” concept, which has been emulated in the communal blog and forum features of Prescription 4 Love, No Longer Lonely, and other illness-specific sites, Date Able members can get up to speed on the dating world in a familiar environment without the prying eyes of the Web.“People with disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, are typically behind the eight ball because they havent had the practice of dating in college or their young adult life,” says Watson.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating