Dating with a Disability

Friday, October 28th, 2016
Dating with a Disability

Nearly 7 million people in the UK are classed as disabled, yet according to a survey by Scope ‘only 7% of people have been on a date with, or asked out, a disabled person’.

Having a disability can make online dating more difficult, but it should not stop you from joining an online dating website and looking for your ideal match.

If you have a disability

Be prepared for unusual questions

Unfortunately, there are lots of stereotypes of different disabilities, which can mean that people have preconceived ideas about what you will be like. Sadly, you will probably be asked some odd, or even offensive questions.

For example, if you have a mobility impairment, you might be asked the very awkward question ‘can you still have sex?’ 

Let your date know about what you need

If there are certain places, or situations that you would prefer to avoid, let your date know. For example, if you have a hearing impairment, you may wish to avoid places with lots of ambient noise. Or, if you have an anxiety condition which makes you feel uncomfortable in enclosed spaces, propose a date idea where you are in a more open space.

If you find that you are exhausted if you are out for a certain amount of time, let your date know that you would prefer to meet up for a few hours than for a whole day, or evening.

If you are dating someone who has a disability

Remember that a disability is only part of who someone is

A person is not defined by their disability, it is just one part of their life. Talk to your date about their interests, opinions, likes and dislikes so that you can find out more about them, while letting them know more about you as well.

Don’t make assumptions

Take the time to find out about their disability so that you don’t make assumptions. Look for information online and ask your date if there is anything that you are unsure about that will affect your date, don’t quiz them about their disability as it can feel intrusive.

However…

Don’t assume that your date’s disability will fit in with the online descriptions that you find as every person is different. Also, don’t start telling the person about their condition as if you are an expert. Your research may have suggested some ‘cures’, but it is not appropriate to share them on your date.

Do remember that conditions can change

Some conditions will change depending on how tired someone is, how stressed they are, whether they have been very active that day, or for a whole host of other reasons. Don’t say “you were OK when we last met”.