Disabled and Dating? Some Tips For You By People with Disabilities
Abhishek Anicca, Kavya Makhija, Sameer Chaturvedi & Srishti Pandey
Tip 1) Be upfront about your disability
Spell it out on your dating profile. “Person with disability”. You can save details for later. Tell them the nature of your disability while introducing yourself, so that they know.
Tip 2) Spell out accessibility needs
Can’t climb stairs. Don’t want to go to a crowded place. Need someone to accompany you. Spell it out when you are fixing a place to meet.
Especially if it’s a first date, pick a venue you're familiar with.
Usually, people have a very limited understanding of accessibility. They might be unintentionally ignorant about certain things that are really important for us.
Tip 3) Get clear about your desires
Ask yourself what you are looking from this particular relationship?
Do you want a hook up, friendship, or love?
Clarify that you are sexual.
If you are not looking for a life partner, don't say you are because it sounds romantic.
This is more for you than them.
Clarity prevents hearts from breaking.
Tip 4) Be prepared for rejection
Most people probably haven’t met a disabled person before. In this able bodied world, people carry a lot of misapprehensions and stigma against the disabled.
Be ready for some of it.
That said, give everyone a chance. There is no need to be pessimistic about it. Try and enjoy the process.
Tip 5) Date other disableds
It’s a problematic idea because that's what able bodied society wants.
But hey, nothing says similar interests then caring similar traumas because of your disability. Give it a try. And if that's not your cake, date across disabilities.
A blind person's experience of navigating their disability is different from one with a locomotor disability or deafness. Even if it doesn't work out, you will grow a lot just by learning from each other's disabilities.
Tip 6) Find creative routes
Living with a disability can be taxing so opt for ways that work for you: Virtual dates, movie watch parties or sexting. You do you.
Tip 7) Explore. Explore. Explore.
Put yourself out there and talk to different people.
Take your time: The hustle culture also sort of pushes us to find our perfect match sooner than we're comfortable. But that's not how that works. Know that you can take it along at your own pace.