There is all kinds of advice on the internet for how to date if you have a disability. But it’s harder to come by advice for dating a disabled person. That’s not to say it’s impossible, because that’s exactly what we’re offering you. We all know how it feels to fall in love with someone who has a little extra baggage. But that baggage shouldn’t get in the way of you enjoying a happy and healthy relationship together. So what do you do when you fall in love a disabled person?
1. Embrace It – You aren’t going to want to focus on your dates disability. You have to recognize that they are their own person, aside from the disability. It should never be the focus of your thoughts, actions or glances. But, you don’t want to completely ignore your dates disability either. This can make them feel insecure about themselves and you. It is a part of their life, whether they’re happy about it or not. Like every other aspect of your dates life, you want to show some interest. That brings us to our next piece of advice.
2. Ask Questions – Don’t feel embarrassed about this either. You may or may not know how to properly accommodate your date. You may be curious about the disability itself. You may wonder how it feels to live with this disability. You may want to know what kind of challenges your date might face in the future. Human curiosity is completely natural. So if you want to know something, don’t hesitate to ask. But don’t be a jerk about it either. Don’t ask things that are disrespectful or insensitive. If your date doesn’t want to answer certain questions, then don’t try and pry. This will end badly for everyone.
3. Plan Your Dates – One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have a “responsibility” when you’re dating a disabled person. They are capable of taking care of themselves and if they aren’t, they likely have support outside of you. But, having said that, there’s some responsibility when it comes to planning the date. Unless your date is the one doing the planning. But if you’re planning, make sure that you’re considering accessibility. If you’re not sure about a location, call and ask. You can call your date and get recommendations where they would be most comfortable. Or you could call the restaurant you want to go to and make sure there won’t be accessibility issues. This could be wheelchair access, or loud noises, or dim lighting. There are so many disabilities that it’s hard to predict what you might want to consider. That’s why asking your date is the best idea. Your date knows better than anyone.
4. Honesty – While on the subject of who knows better than anyone, you know yourself. If you’re uncomfortable by your dates disability, you need to be honest about that. If you’re nervous about messing up by saying something inappropriate, express that too. It can be a weight off your shoulder to just be honest and upfront. Your date may have a great sense of humor and if they do, you’ll feel less uncomfortable. If you date is just as uncomfortable as you, maybe you can dawn the great sense of humor. Just make sure you’re being tasteful and not inappropriate.
5. Be Yourself – Really, that’s the best advice we can give you. Whether you’re dating someone who is disabled or not, just be yourself. Your personality is enough to carry the date. After all, your date was attracted to your personality, right? You were obviously attracted to theirs. So relax and enjoy yourselves. Let the sparks fly.