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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing dating-related content over the last year or so. My most recent post was date ideas for gamers and before then, I’ve spoken about how to date virtually and hairstyles for date night among other things. I like exploring the different avenues around relationships and dating as it’s such a large part of so many of our lives!

Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Today we’re going to be talking about dating with a disability. And looking at some various ways to stay as safe as possible when delving into the dating world. Disabled dating is just as important as the dating ventures of any able bodied people, whether that’s both parties who are disabled or just one. And safety should always be a main priority when it comes to dating and meeting new people!

Be honest and open about your disability

To start with, being open and honest about your disability and limitations can be really important. However being so open with someone you’ve just met (or maybe not met yet!) can be incredibly daunting in any situation. This quote from Lila perfectly sums up this point:

Choose your dating sites wisely

If you’re partaking in online dating or through apps, you might want to start thinking about the best disabled dating sites. I think whatever your situation, it’s important to choose a suitable dating site for you, as they’re all so different. Using more specific and specialized sites might be a better option as you’ll be more likely to find someone on your wavelength.

Pick an accessible meet-up location

We all know that accessibility can be a huge problem in public places. So choosing an accessible meet-up location for your date is really important so you can actually spend your time focusing on the other person and building that connection, rather than external worries and barriers.

“I think my top tip is honesty from the get go. Be 100% specific in your limits and your needs, and if you find the person your dating struggles to work with it, then move on. The right person will accommodate your needs.” – Alchemy by Amy

Related Read: Disability and the Question of Sex

Tell someone else where you’re meeting

I think this goes for all dates in my personal opinion and is just a common sense element of staying safe when meeting someone for the first time. But always tell someone else where you’re going and what time. Heck, even use the Find My iPhone app thing so they can track you for extra safety!

Start with something fairly casual

Again, something that can definitely relate to all dates but starting with something fairly casual, like coffee or drinks, can be a better starting point than a full day out or a meal. Which requires much more commitment. A more casual affair will give you the chance to built up that relationship and acknowledge whether there’s a spark.

Forget the medias portrayal of disabilities

We’ve seen plenty of movies portraying characters with disabilities. But the truth is, it looks very different in real life. Bodies look different. Limitations are different. So for the sake of your own mental and emotional safety, forget about that idea of the “perfect” date and see where it goes!

If you’ve dated with a disability, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

46 Comments

  1. Honesty is really important! And if whatever it is is an issue for them, it’s better to know that early so you don’t waste time. Really important tips to consider! x

    Sophie

  2. Excellent advice Jenny! I couldn’t imagine going back into the dating world now but I know from when I met my partner that honesty is the best policy for these things. That and taking them through it slowly.

  3. I try to be really up front about my autism diagnosis when meeting new people, because if they’re initially put off or they spout harmful stereotypes at me, I already know that’s not going to happen

    So I definitely agree that being open and honest before even meeting someone in person is really important. And be aware of how they treat you while on a date – if they infantilize you or make assumptions about what you can and can’t do, that can be red flag.

  4. I love this. While I don’t personally have a disability, I have friends and family that do. I had a really good conversation with a friend a few months ago about the additional concerns she had dating and I’ll be honest, I had never considered most (if not all) of them before. You can’t be too cautious. Safety should always be a top priority.

  5. This post is well thought out. While I don’t have a disability, I do have family members who have disabilities who are a little hesitant to date. I will be sharing this article with them so maybe they are able to feel like they can safely put themselves out there in the dating world. Thank you! -Andrea

  6. This is a very thoughtful post…it is important for people to be safe. Honesty is important for any relationship. Getting off to a good start, means being honest from the very beginning. You have mentioned both of these points…safety and honesty. I think these two things top the list for anyone, whether they have a disability or not. Very good post! 🙂

  7. Such a needed post! And I especially appreciate the point about being open but not TOO open–it’s ok to emotionally protect yourself too and assess the person and situation.

  8. These are some great tips, Jenny! And to be honest these can be applied even to new friendships. I met my husband before I was chronically ill but I now dread making friends and feeling rejected because of my needs and limitations. So even from that perspective, these tips will come in super handy!

  9. I’m grateful that I knew all about my husbands illnesses before we got serious and even though it didn’t change a single thing, the importance of honesty is paramount. This is such a thoughtfully written post x

  10. This was such a thoughtful post! I agree that it’s not a weakness to hold back on speaking about disabilities or other conditions until you’re more comfortable. Sometimes, you just have to feel ready first before taking the leap!

    Dating safety is something that is completely undervalued these days, but a person can never be too careful!

    When my fiancé and I went on our first date, my family members took down his licence plate, just in case 😅

  11. Brilliant advice here for anyone dating. It is not an easy thing to dip your toe in to and the worry of keeping safe can put people off.

    I agree that people need to be very honest about any disability they may have, as much as we need to show a true reflection of ourselves online x

  12. This is such a brilliant post and I know that it will help so many singles! It’s something I’ve not really through about in too much detail but as we get older and we get married, things like illnesses etc. come into play!

    Rosie

    loverosiee.co.uk

  13. I feel lucky that I met my husband before I became ill 20 years ago, with what is now classed as a disability because I’ve often wondered how I’d explain my limitations to someone new, so this is a really important and helpful post xx

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