FINDING love can be tough.
But one woman is finding it particularly hard as she says men refuse to date her – because she's on benefits.
Lynn McDermott, 48, claims she has even been called a "parasite" by potential suitors after they find out she doesn't work.
The single mum, from Southampton, Hants., says she claims disability benefits legitimately.
But that doesn't stop men she talks to on sites like Plenty of Fish and eharmony dismissing her, she says.
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Lynn said: "I get Universal Credit, disability allowance, and ESA [employment allowance] – I get the full whack because of my disability. But it's not much.
"One guy told me I was a parasite. He said, 'You can walk and talk, why can't you work?'.
"I'm not financially able to take people out, but most of the men are divorcees who seem to think I'm after their money.
"I'm not looking for any kind of handout in any way, I'm looking for love and that's all I want. I just want to be loved and to love someone else."
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Lynn, whose children are grown up and have left home, says she receives hundreds of messages from men.
But, once they start chatting and she reveals her income source, she says they either stop responding or turn nasty.
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And, if she does manage to get them to meet up in person, the same thing happens – unless she can avoid talking about money.
Lynn was diagnosed with endocarditis and underwent a valve replacement on Boxing Day in 2017.
The mum was then in a coma for six months from December 2017 to June 2018, before having to go back into hospital a month later due to immunology problems.
After recovering from her ordeal, Lynn was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was found to be immunocompromised – meaning her body was unable to fight off infections and diseases.
Due to her health conditions, Lynn receives Universal Credit, PIP (Personal Independence Payment) and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) – totalling approximately £21,000 per year.
One guy told me I was a parasite. He said, 'You can walk and talk, why can't you work
Lynn, who used to work in sales, says this makes her feel like she is undateable.
She said: "My disability is that I've got heart failure but you'd never know it to look at me.
"I'm put down as disabled and unable to work because of my disability – but no one would know this because I don't have a leg chopped off or anything and I just carry on with my life.
"I had a PIP assessment and the paperwork with me with the issues I have – the heart failure and everything will not get better.
"If [men] ask me what I've done in my life they realise I've had a vast career, I'm driven and I think let's see what I can do.
"I'd like to question why people on benefits are not fit to be on dating sites – these sites ask you how much you earn and what your job is, so I say approximately £21,000 is what I get in a year.
"I get loads of replies.
"I last went on Plenty of Fish six weeks ago and had 354 replies from people – they obviously like the look but they just don't appreciate that I'm disabled and on benefits.
"I went out on a date with two of them and the first words are, 'Are you a divorcee?' and, 'Do you own your own home?'.
"A guy I recently dated asked on the second proper date about finances.
"I said, 'What's that got to do with anything?'. He said he didn't want someone sucking all his money away because he was loaded.
"The pound signs should not be about anything, it should be about what the person is like on the inside, not a disability or that they're 'sucking the life out of Britain'.
What I don't accept is that I'm undateable because I'm on benefits and people on benefits are no one, they're scum
"I'm an open book and that probably aggravates men because I will challenge it.
"I've had a couple of people say, 'Yes, everything you're saying is right – but it's still not for me and I can accept that'.
"What I don't accept is that I'm undateable because I'm on benefits and people on benefits are no one, they're scum.
"For me, I don't know where this hatred of benefits comes from.
"Every man I question says it's about what I can offer them rather than what they can offer me and they don't want someone who doesn't have the ability to take them out.
"I can still go out for dinners, drive, everything – financially I just cut my costs to whatever I'm going through.
"All I want is trust, reliability, for them to love me as much as I love them – it just shows they're so uneducated and judgemental.
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"A strong woman behind a strong man can only be a positive. It doesn't matter if they have pounds in the bank.
"If people want to judge me without knowing me, that's their failure."
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