'Jewish Matchmaking' Gives Us a Glimpse into Dating with Disabilities Thanks to Pamela Schuller (EXCLUSIVE)

Jamie Lerner - Author

May 3 2023, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

Spoiler alert: This article contains minor spoilers for Jewish Matchmaking Episode 8.

Nothing is more fun than watching random people date each other and decide who we think deserves to find love. Of course, in Netflix’s Jewish Matchmaking, we follow several Jewish singles on their journeys to find love. Matchmaker Aleeza Ben Shalom sends these singles out on dates with potential matches, and one of those matches is Pamela Schuller.

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Pamela first appears in Episode 8 of Jewish Matchmaking as Stuart’s date, during which they play ping-pong and talk about their lives. Pamela explains she’s a traveling comedian, speaker, and disability advocate who “talks openly about her Tourette syndrome.” Distractify spoke with Pamela about her experience on the show and what it means to date with Tourette syndrome.

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Pamela Schuller openly discusses her Tourette syndrome in Netflix’s ‘Jewish Matchmaking.’

When we first meet Pamela, we notice her 4’6” stature and beaming positive energy. She quickly reveals that she is a professional comedian who has Tourette syndrome. “I can be funny onstage, but on dates, it’s much harder,” she joked. As she mentions her Tourette syndrome, she says, “I’m sure you noticed, I’m a little twitchy. Especially because I’m a little nervous."

But this isn’t just some throwaway comment. Pamela has spent her entire life figuring out how her Tourette syndrome affects her life, from the professional side to her love life. She only recently started feeling comfortable dating, so when Aleeza approached Pamela with the opportunity to find her match, Pamela was more than open to it. But before she could date, she had to learn how to love her Tourettes.

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“I loved Tourettes before I was comfortable dating with Tourettes,” Pamela told us. “Those were separate timelines for me. I think I've really settled into the fact that everybody has something and I think that was a big realization I had—that Tourettes does not at all take me out of the dating pool. I think I started the dating pool later, so I'm probably a little behind other people.

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“But Tourettes doesn't take me out of anything. I think it's almost like a fun tell. If someone doesn't like me because I'm twitchy, and not just in dating but in friendship, they're not supposed to be my life. With a man, he's not my bashert, which means match,” Pamela said with a laugh.

Pamela was excited to go on 'Jewish Matchmaking' to give more representation to people dating with disabilities.

Even still, it was meaningful for Pamela to go on Jewish Matchmaking to show that people with Tourette syndrome and other different abilities can date the same way and the same people that all people date. When we asked what it means to date with Tourette syndrome, Pamela shared, “Tourettes is noticeable when I’m nervous, which is first dates.”

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“Although my Tourettes is very much a roller coaster where some days it's more noticeable, some days it’s less noticeable, and kind of every day in between, on dates, it's often more noticeable. And so, it's one of those things that in dating, you don't have to disclose everything right away, but Tourettes is noticeable.

"So what's the balance of like, ‘I don't feel like you need to lay out your medical history’ and ‘How do I make it so he's not only paying attention to my twitches’ while also getting to know me? That always feels like an interesting balance.”

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While Pamela came to this experience solely to find a match, not even knowing that when she said “yes” to meeting someone, she would be on Netflix, she was excited to be a representative for disability in dating. “I don't think we see disability in dating represented, especially not on TV. When we do see it, it's like, people with disabilities dating people with disabilities.”

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We immediately think of Love on the Spectrum, which Pamela remarks is “a beautiful show,” but it's not always representative of how people with disabilities date. “There's this umbrella of mental health challenges in disabilities where I date anyone. Tell anyone who's ever sent me up on a blind date, people with disabilities don't just date people with disabilities. And so I think there's something really beautiful about the focus being Judaism, and I have a disability,” Pamela shared.

Where are Pamela and Stuart now? Well, they finish their date by becoming Facebook friends, and the rest is left up to us to find out in a potential Season 2!

All eight episodes of Jewish Matchmaking are now available to stream on Netflix.

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