Everyone gets sweaty palms when it comes to dating, but when adding a disability to your list of “what ifs” can makes success seem even farther from a possibility. The key to conquering the “what if” wall is to take steps to be sure you are in acceptance of who you are and put your best foot forward. From there you will follow through with your dating plan with confidence and expectation rather than avoidance and dread.
What Are You Thinking About?
Just starting out can be frustrating because you aren’t sure what to expect. You don’t know what other people are thinking, and they don’t know what you’re thinking. So to make it easier, you have to know what you are thinking when it comes to a friendship or a relationship. Once you have thought about the type of relationship you want, the next step is talking to someone about what you are thinking about.
When having conversations on the phone or on Special Bridge, it is important the person you decide to share your thoughts with, is worthy of your trust. Choose someone you admire for their wisdom, good character and kindness. Sharing your ideas is important, you are giving out information, but the next step is harder. If you trust the person you are sharing your thoughts with, you have to listen carefully to what they say. You must think about what they mean when they say it. Communication is a two way street, honesty is important, you give your best, and you often receive their best in return.
This is the same thing you will be doing when you begin a new relationship. Only, when you start to share ideas with a new person, it may be the person you want to have a relationship with. Being honest about your feelings and talking about being a disabled person takes practice. Learning about how the other person feels takes concern and patience. Some people need to know someone as a friend for a while, before they are comfortable enough to go on a date. Meeting people online is an easier way to talk and share because it’s less intimidating than when you are in the presence of the person you like, very much.
Making an Investment
If you decide you have met someone you like very much, and this person tells you that he or she also likes you, it is time to make an investment in that person. Some people make the mistake of assuming the person they like wants the same things, but people are very different. People don’t always want the same things in a relationship. All relationships have boundaries. You will have boundaries too. Making an investment in someone means you care about that person and you want him or her to feel comfortable and happy when you are near them.
The first step is, of course, finding out what makes them comfortable and what makes them uncomfortable. This takes a lot of talking, which is usually easy, because people who find out they like each other often want to talk to each other, a lot. There is a stage before dating when two people want to find out what makes them alike and what makes them different. Why do they like each other, what are their favorite things, and what do they want in the future. Some people like going for walks in the rain, some people dislike the rain, but if they both like pizza, forget about going for a walk if it’s raining, and go get pizza.
As you start talking more and more, you will want to remember the things he or she says are favorite things, like favorite colors, favorite flavors, favorite animals and favorite TV shows. The best way to start knowing what to do when you are with the person you like, is learning what they like. The best way the person you like will know what to do when you are both together, is if you talk about things you enjoy too.
Ideas About Spending Time Together
As the two of you spend time together, you will both share some ideas with each other. Often someone will want to share an activity he or she enjoys with someone they care about, to see if it is fun for them together. Most of the time it is a good idea to try an activity you have never tried before with a person you like very much. You would be surprised how many times people find they really like doing something they never thought they would like, just because they are sharing the experience with a person they really like.
This could be your first date together, but it doesn’t have to be. It could just be two people sharing an activity to see if you both like it. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, kite flying on the beach, painting a ceramic statue or listening to favorite music. It could be anything at all. Some people like to cook for others, some people love to eat, this could lead to a good relationship. Some people like reading books out loud or singing songs, others may prefer to listen or even join in, or take turns. Some people love to give gifts, flowers, a pair of gloves or favorite book. Some people love to get gifts, but don’t think about buying them. This is the part where you find out how much alike you are, and how different you are from each other.
Remember as your relationship grows, be honest with each other about what you are thinking and invest time with each other, doing what they like and what they are able to do. Be sure you are both comfortable and happy doing the things you decide to do together.