The dating world isn’t always easy. Dating with a disability adds another layer to the already complicated task of finding love. Whether you prefer to hit the bar scene or use online dating apps, questions about your disability will come up. Although now happily married, Quantum Consumer Advocate Stewart Lundy has some advice to share as a former single person who has a disability.
I am not unfamiliar with the dating scene as I dated before I was married, while living in Miami. (Side note: I highly recommend going to Miami and hitting the social scene, at least one time while you’re single.) These are my dating do’s and don’ts if you have a disability:
Be 100% real. If a person is into you, you’ll know it despite anything and everything you may say to them regarding your disability. Also, do you really want to date someone who is hung up on your wheelchair or power chair? If anything, that will tell you more about them.
Tell your story one time, explain things when they need to be explained regarding your disability. However, this shouldn’t go on forever. You are getting to know one another, this is not an interview. I understand people are curious about people who are different, but at some point, it gets very annoying to you as the person who has a disability.
Don’t go out on a date with someone who feels like you are their inspiration. They are not dating you, they are dating your journey.
Remember this: no one is out of your league. If you see someone you are attracted to, confidence is your best friend. Even if you need to fake it. This goes for able-bodied people as well as people that may have disabilities. Confidence, confidence, confidence. I cannot stress that enough. Confidence is your friend, and it will make you a wheelchair boss.
If you find someone attractive and they find you attractive, remember to be patient. This may be the first time they’re dating someone who has a disability. Make sure they’re into you. If they ask you questions, be sure to ask THEM questions. Keep it balanced.
The more you can do for yourself, the better. If you’re comfortable with it, the person you are dating can do things for you, but you should always hold onto your independence. Not so tight that it pushes the person away, but be your own person.
Don’t be afraid to be put in the friend zone. Some people see this as rejection, but I like to think of it as working behind enemy lines. When you are someone’s friend, they confide in you. If you’re in the right friend zone, this becomes an asset. Now this person looks to you for guidance. This is how people fall in love.