Dating in general can be intimidating, and dating with a disability can add some extra worries and doubts.
Everyone hopes they can find someone who’s easy to talk to, can make them laugh, and likes them just as they are. And with a bit of honesty and confidence, everyone can present their best selves in the dating world.
We hope these tips help make it a little easier if you’re intimidated by the idea of dating.
It’s normal to be nervous about telling someone about your disability for the first time. But it’s important to be open and honest from the start to avoid any surprises or confusion down the track.
It can help to provide some specific examples of how your disability impacts you in your daily life. For example, if you use a mobility aid, you struggle to read, or you have a support worker or caregiver around a lot of the time.
If you choose to hide this part of you from your potential partner, chances are they won’t be upset that you have a disability, but rather that you chose not to tell them. And if they do have a problem with it, you can give those lemons the boot before wasting any more of your time!
Don’t let negative thoughts talk you out of going on a date or close yourself off from meeting the right person. Instead, try to enter the dating game with a positive attitude knowing your strengths and great qualities.
Your disability doesn’t define you. Remember you have interests, passions and hobbies that make you the unique and interesting person you are. Be confident and let your true self shine.
It might help to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your concerns, or as a reminder of all the traits that make you a catch. A pep talk from a loved one could be just the boost you need.
Our blog post How to Silence Your Inner Critic offers some great tips to help you deal with self-doubt in a healthy way.
You’re probably used to being surrounded by people who understand your experience and don’t need explanations around what you can do and what you need help with.
Be patient with your date as they learn about you, ask questions, or do things to “help” you. They may not know anyone with a disability or with your particular disability, and there may be a bit of a learning curve for them.
With this being said, remember it’s your right to only share what you’re comfortable with, and if their questions become too intrusive, you’re allowed to express boundaries or change the subject.
This one’s simple: You deserve love and respect, so don’t settle for anything less.
If you’re having a hard time or need a hand sorting through your thoughts and fears, it can help to talk to a counsellor. You can learn more about our confidential counselling service here, or call 1300 364 277 to make an appointment in person, over the phone, or via Zoom video chat.