If you’re dating someone with cerebral palsy, then we understand your desire to learn about the condition, support your partner in the right way, and understand what’s helpful and what’s not.
If you currently have CP, then perhaps you need a bit of advice on how you can effectively and kindly enforce boundaries and communicate with your partner.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cerebral palsy and dating.
Then, we’ll tell you where and how you can find love online, whether you live with cerebral palsy or are open to dating someone who does.
1. You’ll Do a Ton of Research
When you first start dating someone with cerebral palsy, it’s normal to want to read and research the condition as much as you possibly can.
You’ll comb through books, online forums, blog posts, and try to make yourself an expert on the subject.
This is fine and shows that you care enough about the person you’re dating to want to understand what they’re going through and the best ways to help them. And chances are good that you’ll also pick up some genuinely useful tips and tricks.
But doing all of this research can also cause you to see your partner as, first and foremost, someone who has a disability. It’s easy to accidentally find yourself thinking that having cerebral palsy is your love’s defining characteristic.
This is a trap you should watch out for — and if you’re the partner who has cerebral palsy, don’t be afraid to bring this up.
Saying something like, “I so appreciate all the research you’re doing to learn more about my condition. I just don’t want you to forget that I have other traits and that I don’t see this as the most important thing about me. You should feel free to ask me any questions you like as we continue to see each other because I am the ultimate authority on the uniqueness of my condition.”
There will be a learning curve on both ends, for sure. But the sooner you communicate, answer questions, and give gentle reminders to an overly-enthusiastic partner, the better off you both will be.
2. Let Them Maintain Their Independence
It’s only natural to want to care for the person you love.
But when you’re getting into cerebral palsy and dating, you need to ensure that you maintain a firm boundary between “lover/partner” and “caretaker and nurse.”
Don’t baby a partner with cerebral palsy — and that also means understanding that their disability doesn’t give them a “free pass” to treat you poorly. Yes, their ability to help you with chores, etc. may be in limited in some ways, but they can and should offer you support in others.
Above all, when you’re dating a person with cerebral palsy, you’ll need to be patient. This is where that “caretaker” role can sneak in and wreak havoc on your dynamic. Of course, they’ll need your help every once in a while.
But you shouldn’t attempt to finish their sentences for them, do tasks for them that they can handle themselves, or try to make things “easier for them” when it’s clear they want to see if they can do something without any help.
Just like any other partner, people with cerebral palsy want their independence.
If you’re the person with CP in the relationship, you can and should remind your partner of this. You can say something like, “I know you only want to help, but I would prefer to do this on my own,” or “Please be patient with me. It can be infantilizing when you try to speak for me.”
3. Try a Cerebral Palsy Dating Site
If you are a person with CP, then you’ve likely wondered if there are specific sites dedicated to dating for people with disabilities.
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
There are lots of reasons why, especially if you’ve never dated before, you’re interested in meeting someone who also has CP or a similar condition. You may be tired of constantly having to explain what CP is, or you may not want to deal with annoying questions like whether or not your able-bodied date is your nurse.
You may just feel much more comfortable on cerebral palsy dating websites because you can focus on finding the right person, not on someone who understands and accepts your CP.
Dating someone who shares your condition is also an awesome way to enjoy life and get your confidence up.
4. Plan Date Nights the Right Way
Finally, just like any other couple, you and your partner will want to go out on the town for a special date night.
There are a few things you may need to take into consideration to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Make sure that, if needed, the place where you’re planning on going is wheelchair accessible. You can call ahead and ask, or even do a quick visit there to make sure everything looks good.
It’s important to approach your relationship with a person with CP as you would one with anyone else. When you broach the idea of a date, don’t ask things like, “Are you able to go? Are you feeling strong enough?” Instead, just say, “Would you like to go on a date to the park with me this afternoon?” or, “Do you want to go to a movie?”
Dating Someone with Cerebral Palsy Is a Beautiful Experience
Dating someone with cerebral palsy doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might seem.
Instead, it’s all about having active communication, being honest, and telling/asking a partner how they can help.
Whether you’re dating someone who has Bipolar Disorder, has limited mobility, or has Asperger’s or any other differences, we’re here to help you navigate the dating and romance scene.
The same goes if you’re the differently-abled partner yourself, and need a bit of advice on how to help your partner help you.
Above all, we invite you to join our dating site.
After all, the love of your life could already be waiting for you.