Dating Difficulties: The Issues of Dating with a Disability
Dating is hard enough without the worries of a disability to think about. Of course, people with wheelchairs, visual impairments, and countless other physical or mental concerns deserve a chance at love, just like anyone else.
While online dating websites and apps have made it easier for those who don’t get out much to connect with people in their local area, some people with disabilities still struggle to feel confident enough to connect with someone new online. It’s easy to assume that anyone you speak to is going to end up more focused on your disability, than who you are as a person, and what kind of relationship you can offer.
Common Concerns in Dating with a Disability
It would be naive to think that dating someone with a disability wouldn’t come with a few challenges to think about. For instance, if your date needs a wheelchair to get around, you either need to plan your evening around places that are wheelchair accessible or make sure that you have a portable wheelchair ramp available in your car.
At the same time, there are certain things that someone with a disability simply can’t do, and that means that you need to be strategic about the time you spend together. However, just because you need to be more thoughtful when dating a disabled individual, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the effort. A disability doesn’t make anyone less beautiful, charming, inspirational, or less likely to be the one for you.
Tips for Dating with a Disability
Ultimately, dating with a disability, whether you’re the person with the impairment or not, requires a solid game plan. While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for the perfect date, the following tips could help you to make some informed decisions about your dating activities.
Remember Not to Focus on the Disability
If you’ve never been around someone with a disability before, and you suddenly find yourself on a date with a guy in a wheelchair, it’s tempting to fixate on the chair, rather than the person. However, it’s important to remember that love is all about those intangible qualities that aren’t affected by a person’s physical condition. Remember that the heart of your dating partner should still work fine, even if other parts of their anatomy don’t. Treat them exactly as you would any other date, and get to know them for who they are beyond the disability.
Making sure that you don’t get too caught up in your date’s disability doesn’t necessarily mean pretending that it doesn’t exist. Be realistic and make sure you think about the limitations that the disability might impose on you when you’re planning your time together.
Speak to your Date
Finally, when you’re dating someone with a disability, or you’re dating as a person with a disability, it’s important to remember that communication is the key to success. As a couple, you’ll need to overcome plenty of challenges together. While it might be awkward to talk about a disability at first, it’s much better than just avoiding the subject.