Dating is difficult enough without adding some of the unique challenges of disabled dating.
Keep reading for 5 great tips to help you navigate the dating world in a wheelchair.
1. Be Yourself
This is easier said than done. First dates are famous for being awkward, this is intensified when you’re in a wheelchair.
While a wheelchair doesn’t define a person, it does shape your personality and life. Disabled dating changes that world too. Prospective partners from regular online dating sites may reject you based solely on your wheelchair. Some will apologize like it is their fault and others won’t know how to react.
Be open about your disability without allowing it to be a focus. Communication makes it easier to relax and be yourself when disabled dating. It does have to be a consideration.
Plans to go ballroom dancing in an upstairs studio will put a damper on the evening if your date didn’t consider mobility barriers to the activities.
2. What Do You Want?
It can be hard to know exactly what you want and if a prospective date has the qualities you are looking for. Even when you have clear deal breakers, it can be uncomfortable to broach many topics early in a relationship.
Online sites specifically geared towards disabled dating have become a viable and successful option for many who are looking for love. It’s an opportunity to explore someone’s personality before you’re awkwardly sitting across from them in a restaurant with no main floor restrooms and no common interests.
A connection can be formed before the added pressure of meeting in person, allowing for a conversation about the best date options. This saves any worrying or uncomfortable moments due to inaccessible or inappropriate activities being mistakenly planned.
Many find it easier to discuss difficult topics with someone and feel more comfortable sharing information about themselves when online rather than face to face.
3. Do You Have A Plan?
While spontaneity can be great, disabled dating can go smoother with a plan. Emily Ladau, disability advocate and national speaker, suggests being upfront about your disability before meeting in person.
It’s good to have a list of a few restaurants or venues that are wheelchair friendly, not just barely accessible. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions and express your needs as you plan to meet in person. Online dating can give you time and opportunity to do this in a more relaxed way.
4. Be Safe
This is a crazy and often dangerous world out there. This is true in cyberspace as well. Do your research, be safe and take care of yourself. Plan to meet in a public forum and don’t give personal or financial information to anyone you don’t trust.
Be safe physically and emotionally by taking care of you as you travel through the dating world looking for your perfect companion.
5. Have Fun
Disabled dating is all about having fun and making a real connection, hopefully finding a soul mate. This can be a tall order in the dating world. It’s hard to meet someone when we are all so busy and let’s face it, how many do you know when meeting a prospective date face to face whether they are a match.
You may be physically attracted to them but it’s hard to get to know their mind, leading to a lot of arduous and fruitless dates. This can leave you feeling discouraged, but you are meant to be having fun.
Create a fun online profile in an online community of interest to you and get to know what is really out there. Confidence is key in life and especially in the disabled dating world.
So build your confidence and continue to journey to find true love.