Are you having problems dating when disabled?
So myths exist about people with disabilities and their sex life that it’s normal to feel anxious about meeting someone new.
Fortunately, we’ve got your back with tips on disabled dating and how to find romantic partners.
Just keep on reading.
Disabled Dating – Your Disability Is Not An Obstacle
If dating were an easy job, there wouldn’t be so many online dating apps or so many people struggling to find the right woman/man.
However, when you have a disability, making the first step to dating and meeting new people might seem truly impossible.
You’re anxious and stressed about how other people will react to your physical disability because you don’t want their pity or disgust.
But you’re not bound to live without love or remain alone for the rest of your life. There are many ways to meet someone special who will love you with all their heart.
To help you gain courage and confidence, we’ve prepared seven tips on dating when disabled and how to meet potential partners! But let’s first talk about what dating means.
What Does The Term “Dating” Mean?
Would it shock you to know that people understand the term “dating” differently?
For some, dating means going for a coffee with someone to have fun with no further obligations. For others, dating means an exclusive relationship.
While dating can be casual or serious, its purpose is to find another person that fits your type, makes you happy, and with whom you can share experiences.
Dating doesn’t mean that you’re ready to have an intimate relationship with somebody or marriage.
You might date a person because you want to have a good laugh, have a conversation, meet new people, and experiment.
The best thing about casual dating is that you can break it when you realize things aren’t going to work out with someone.
Moreover, sometimes you might not gain a romantic partner, but find a good friend with whom you can share things without it being awkward.
As such, there’s nothing scary in dating. You’ve got more to gain than to lose if you don’t date, no matter if you’re a disabled woman/man or an able-bodied one.
7 Tips on Dating When Disabled
Dating shouldn’t be a stressful experience or feel like a chore. If you’re not ready to meet someone new, don’t allow people’s expectations to force you into an uncomfortable situation.
But keep in mind that it’s not healthy to close your heart to the world and allow your disability to prevent you from having a fulfilling relationship.
So, let’s see our 7 tips on disabled dating that will help you find the courage to go out and have new experiences.
#1 You’ve Got a Right to Date
If you want to go back to the dating scene, it is important to free yourself of any negative attitudes or thoughts.
No matter what disability you have – if you’re in a wheelchair, have tremors, can’t communicate well, or are blind and deaf – you still have a right to date.
Your disability doesn’t make you less worthy of having romantic relationships and doesn’t condemn you to a life of solitude.
It’s your choice to date or not, but your disability shouldn’t be an obstacle or an excuse not to have fulfilling sexual and intimate relationships.
Remember that loads of people in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities date, use Tinder, post on online dating sites, and find the right match.
While attraction has a lot to do with appearance, it’s not the defining factor. You’ve got lots to offer, and it’s not your fault if other people can’t recognize your potential.
Get rid of any negative thoughts and emotions, anger, and low self-esteem. Have a positive attitude towards new things/experiences and be comfortable with yourself.
#2 Be Honest and Open
When you’re creating an online dating profile, it’s tempting to leave your disability out of the picture. After all, first impressions are crucial, and you don’t want people to pass you over just because you’re disabled.
While many people put misleading information in their online profiles, you don’t want to build a relationship on lies.
You’ll never be able to hider your disability forever, so it’s better to be honest and open from the start. If things don’t go well, at least you won’t waste time with someone who can’t see past your disability.
To make it easy to have these upfront disability conversations, prepare a statement in your head. Be honest about your limitations and tell your partner what you can/can’t do.
The trick is to do it slowly over a couple of dates to avoid overwhelming your potential partner with too much information. And be ready to answer any questions your date might have.
#3 Don’t Settle
When you’ve been searching for a partner for a long time, it’s tempting to settle for the first person that shows any interest in you.
Don’t lower your standards just because you’ve got a disability. It doesn’t make you any different than the thousands of other people looking for their soul mate.
Settling for someone who doesn’t make you truly happy or doesn’t understand you can be a big mistake. Sooner or later, you’re going to regret this decision and end up hurting someone’s feelings.
#4 You Don’t Have to Date Only Disabled People
It’s easy to assume that you can only date other people with the same disability as yours. After all, they know the best what you’re going through, right?
However, love doesn’t accept such boundaries and works in mysterious ways. You might find your match in the disability community, but you shouldn’t limit your search to disabled people.
Relationships are about being with someone that sees the world the same way you do, a person that makes you laugh and stays by your side when you cry.
#5 Be Positive
Would you date someone who sees his/her flaws as an obstacle to having a successful relationship and things negatively? Probably not.
It’s not always easy to enjoy life and its gifts when you’ve got a disability, but you should strive to remain positive and look on the bright side.
Millions of people in wheelchairs and millions of people with chronic disabilities worldwide have an active love life, have kids, and deal with normal relationship problems.
But if you think that your relationship is doomed from the start, all you’re going to achieve is scare away a potential partner or your current one.
Disabilities can’t stop you from finding the love of your life, as long as you believe in yourself, have faith, and try to have fun.
People without physical disabilities have the same difficulties when meeting someone special, so you’re not at a disadvantage.
#6 Rejections Happen
It hurts a lot when people don’t want to date you because of your disability and reject you without a second thought.
We would like to say that it will never happen, but some people still have backward views and opinions. Such people can be very
Remember that it’s their loss, not yours and that there’s no point in being upset about someone that sees disability as an obstacle to a relationship.
You deserve someone better, and you should get rid of such insensitive people as soon as possible. You don’t need their negativity in your life.
#7 No Pressure
As we already said, dating shouldn’t be something that you just scratch off your list. If you feel any pressure in dating, you won’t have fun and won’t open your heart to new possibilities.
There’s nothing wrong with looking for professional help or talk about how you feel and what makes it so scary to go on a date.
3 Disabled Dating Myths
Now, let’s bust some common disabled dating myths that you shouldn’t believe or allow to influence your social/sexual life.
1. Disabled People Don’t Have Normal Dates
No matter what disability you have, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay at home or that you can’t have what people call a “normal” date.
After all, disabled people enjoy the same activities as non-disabled people. You can take your girlfriend/boyfriend to a restaurant, cinemas, cafes, art galleries, etc., and have fun.
Moreover, most establishments are disabled-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about getting there.
2. Dating Someone With a Disability is a Burden
Unfortunately, many people still believe that dating someone with a disability is a burden. Such people think that they will have to help their partner dress, eat, go to the bathroom, etc.
However, most people with disabilities learn to adjust to their limitations and find ways to do most things by themselves. No one likes to be dependent on another person.
Moreover, technology has created plenty of walking aids to improve disabled people’s mobility and help them deal have normal lives.
So, don’t allow this misconception to stop you from dating. You won’t be a burden to anyone, and you can make it clear to anyone that has ideas.
3. People with Disabilities Don’t Have Sex
Disabilities don’t cancel physical needs, such as the desire to be intimate with someone and have sex. But they can make things a little bit more complicated than usual for people in wheelchairs.
As long as you’re open to new experiences and willing to try new stuff, you can have a fulfilling sex life and satisfy your current partner completely.
How Can A Disabled Person Meet New People?
Meeting new people can be stressful, but it’s the only way to find the person that will wake up those butterflies in your stomach or light the spark in your heart.
But how do you meet new people when you’re got a disability? Well, you’ve got several possibilities that you can give a shot.
Nowadays, there are many chat apps that allow you to make new friends, no matter where you’re. We’re talking about WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, Messenger, and other chatting apps.
The good thing about apps is that they allow you to get to know a person a little better before deciding to go on a real date.
Moreover, apps are an excellent way to talk to new people if you’re shy because it’s easier to type than speak face to face.
Most apps are also free, and you can use them to find people with similar interests as you.
Online Dating Sites/Dating Apps
Online dating platforms are another excellent way to meet new people and start new relationships. All you have to do is fill your profile and wait for the perfect match.
Get a Pet
While carrying for a pet might seem like a challenge, cats, dogs, and other pets are an excellent way to meet other people that love animals as much as you do.
Take your cute dog/kitty to the park, and you’ll soon see how many people will come to admire and take photos.
Moreover, pets are good for your mental health because they don’t allow you to sit around and do nothing. You can also cuddle with your pet, play with them, and unburden your worries to them.
Go to a Day Center
Day centers are another great place to meet new people, participate in daily activities, and improve your quality of life.
Moreover, day centers might offer transportation from/to the building so that you don’t have to worry about getting there.
Join a Club/Group
Another way to meet new people and find a possible match is to join a club, a support group, or charity groups. All you have to do is find what’s available in your area that you are interested in participating in.
It’s a matter of time before you meet someone who has a few things in common with you. Be as sociable as possible and don’t think too much about it and you’ll find your match before you know it.
No matter what type of disability you are dealing with, you can find a person for whom the disability won’t be an obstacle or a burden.
But for this to happen, you have to accept yourself and your disability as part of you. Don’t think about it as something that makes dating/relationships impossible, but something that makes you unique.
Be optimistic, be brave to try new things, and have fun while disabled dating. That’s the most important.
What do you think about these 7 tips on disabled dating? How do you meet new people and do you go on dates often? Share your experience with us in the comment section.
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years. Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER