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Saturday 5 December 2020

How to date online if you're disabled

Dating Disabled Online

Online dating is categorically the biggest way people are meeting each other over half of relationships now start online, further supporting with the pandemic which has seen online dating grow substantially. So it's understandable that dating apps are where people tend to go first when beginning to date. But what happens if you have a disability?
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The nature of online dating is that a lot of people make snap decisions based on a picture or a brief bio but if you're disabled that probably doesn't even give a glimpse of the whole picture. Disability is a catch all term for any type of chronic impairment that can effect your mind or body to work differently to what's typically expected. All disabilities come with their own challenges and that can lead to further challenges when considering online dating. There are specific dating sites for people with disabilities* which can alleviate some of these concerns, it can help you meet likeminded people or at least people who are open to learning about your disability and understanding the challenges you may face

Should I tell someone about my disability?

This is a really personal experience and one you need to consider. If you have a disability it will come up at some point so you need to work out how to tackle it, and that tends to come down to your own thoughts about your disability. You could absolutely write about your disability on your dating profile so any potential matches are going into the conversation with all the facts - this is probably more likely if you have a noticeable disability that can be seen in pictures, or if you're using a specific dating site such as a deaf dating app*

You could try and let the conversation flow naturally and mention it when it comes up, people are not defined by their disability so this makes perfect sense too, but I'd recommend mentioning it sooner rather than later. Opening up about something personal to you can make the other person open up too and you can begin building a deeper connection. It can also help you wean out the people who aren't ok with dating disabled people - and it's better for this to happen before you get attached or grow to like them.

Another approach could be to have a prepared message, it's a catch all that you would send to any potential matches once it's reached a point that you think you might want to meet up in person, it helps to break the ice and ensures that your date is prepared.

Where should we go for our date?

If you've reached a point where your talking has gone well, your potential suitor knows about your disability and you're ready to meet in person (government tier restrictions permitting) where do you go for your date?

If you're disabled you know that you can do absolutely everything able-bodied individuals can, in your own way - but a first date probably isn't the time to push those boundaries. There are already heaps of things going on and pressures associated with a first date so remain in your comfrot zone. Pick a location you know well, you're comfortable with and one where your disability doesn't become the central aspect of the date. 

Online dating is for everyone, make sure your profile is in tip top condition and get out there and have fun

Dating Disabled

Where's your ideal first date?

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