A couple enjoying a drink in a pub beer garden to represent the topic of the article - How To Enjoy Dating With Disabilities | Romance and Relationships | Unwanted Life

How To Enjoy Dating With Disabilities

Dating can be a minefield at the best of times, but things can become more complex if you have a disability, especially if that disability is invisible. However, having a disability or a mental health condition shouldn’t stop you from dating or finding love.

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

Planning For Your Date

 

What you can do on your date is likely not really impeded by your disability, but rather because of the limitations of the locations you could go to for your date or ability to get there, being limited only by if they’ve adapted to your disability needs or not.

 

For me, there are no real places that are off-limits for my invisible disabilities, although my reactive hypoglycaemia is often a problem. To get around my reactive hypoglycaemia I do like to check if I’ll be allowed to eat wherever I’m going, in case I have a hypo or if they offer low carb or slow absorbing carb food options. The latter is always a headache when eating out, so much so that I just don’t bother checking anymore and just take a snack for when the hypo eventually hits.

 

It always pays to make sure the place you’re considering for your date meets your personal disability requirements, like provides food options you can eat (especially if you have allergies or dietary limitations) and if they have the kinds of access you might requre (for example, wheelchair accessible). Most businesses and organisations will only be too happy to assist you as best they can if you reach out to them and make them aware of your needs. Thus, with a little pre-planning, your date can and will be fun.

 

Just because you have a disability, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy going on dates like:

  • Enjoying live music.
  • Going to a comedy gig.
  • Touring a museum.
  • Visiting an art gallery.
  • Going to a class together, such as a dance class (I went to a ballroom dance class every week with my partner and friend and we had a blind participant who was a great dancer).
  • Watching a film at the cinema.
  • Vising a zoo.

 

One of my friends uses a wheelchair and we wanted to go clubbing quite a few years ago now. However, the club we wanted to go to had a main entrance that was just a set of stairs with no wheelchair access. After reaching out to the club, they allowed us to use the back exit to enter instead. The same club, more recently, also allowed me to bring snacks to manage my hypos, which was quite a surprise.

 

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Disability-Friendly Places To Go For Your Date

 

Below is a couple of examples of places you can go that are disability-friendly, but this is but a small snippet. There are lots of disability-friendly locations you could visit on a date or a getaway, just try googling disability-friendly locations.

 

British Museum

One of the best disability-friendly museums in London, if not the UK, is the British Museum. The main entrance has a self-operable wheelchair lift, so you don’t have to rely on others to get you into this very old building that never had disabilities in mind during its construction.

 

A photo of the inside of the British Museum to represent the topic of the article - How To Enjoy Dating With Disabilities

 

Dans Le Noir?

Located in London, this restaurant offers a unique experience, dining in the dark, where you’ll be guided and served by a blind or partially sighted person. This one of a kind dining adventure could make for an interesting dating experience that will also help tackle disability stigma.

 

National Gallery

The National Gallery, located in London, is not only an amazing place to go but if you need a ramp, then the gallery has four step-free entrances for you to choose from.

 

A photo of the main entrance to the National Gallery to represent the topic of the article - How To Enjoy Dating With Disabilities

 

Royal Botanic Gardens

If the weather is nice, then you could spend the day at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, which is also disability-friendly due to its efforts to provide the best possible access to all visitors.

 

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My Thoughts On Dating With A Disability

 

Before my physical health started to deteriorate and I developed inappropriate sinus tachycardia, reactive hypoglycaemia, and got diagnosed with persistent postural-perceptual dizziness (PPPD), I was dating with mental health conditions. When I was dating with my mental health problems, I didn’t know if I should be honest about my mental illnesses, because, although mental illness is rarely seen as a disability, I felt like I was dating with a disability, if that makes sense? For 20 years now I’ve experienced psychotic episodes brought on by my anxiety disorders which were extremely debilitating. Every time I left my home my agoraphobia would start kicking my arse and the hallucinations would start. Luckily, thanks to graded exposure, my psychotic episodes are a lot less debilitating to live with.

 

I eventually decided to outline my mental health conditions in one of my online dating profiles because I’d rather weed out people that couldn’t handle being with someone like me, who couldn’t be understanding. Due to my issues with attachment caused by my borderline personality disorder, I just thought to myself, “why put myself at risk of more rejection than I need to” while dating, as if online dating isn’t already hard enough on your ego.

 

However, I can understand why some people would choose to hide their disabilities if they can, I didn’t exactly sing mine from the rooftops, I was just tired of how online dating made me feel. Thus, I can understand why people with disabilities might be reluctant to share their disability until after they’ve built a raptor with the person they’re engaging with through online dating.

 

The picture is split in two with the top image being of a lesbian couple, one in a wheelchair, laughing together and the bottom image being of a gay couple, one in a wheelchair, having a drink together in a pub. The two images are separated by the article title - How To Enjoy Dating With Disabilities | Romance and Relationships | Unwanted Life

 

Since developing my invisible disabilities, I’ve often feared not being believed, which was made worse by how people spoke about my mum behind her back due to her disabilities. Nothing highlighted that fear more for me personally like when I got my disability freedom pass, which allows me to travel for free around my city. I was so fearful of using my disability freedom pass and having someone question my disabilities, but it never happened.

 

My mum developed myeloma cancer a few years back which absolutely destroyed her back, causing her to need a rollator (a walking frame with wheels) and a wheelchair. My mum lost a foot in height as a result and has a problem with her bones due to her cancer. Thus, if using an online dating site designed for dating for disabled seniors is something my mum might benefit from and make her happy, I’m all for it. Everyone can do with the support of a partner. 

 

One of the issues that often develops with having a disability is that you can struggle with body image and body confidence. Even though my disabilities are invisible, they nonetheless make me hate my body due to the limitations my disabilities cause. But there are a few things you can do to help love your body, for example, according to Single Disabled’s YouTube channel that focuses on a range of different disabilities in detail, you could praise yourself by using positive affirmations and follow social media accounts of people like you. Your disabilities don’t define you and your body is worthy of love, so rather than following people that just make you feel bad about yourself, follow those that make you feel great about yourself instead. There are wonderful disability bloggers and social media accounts out there worth following rather than people like the Kardashians.

 

I was lucky enough to meet my current partner who knew all about my mental and physical health issues and still wanted to be with me. But if I hadn’t met my partner, I would have tried using a dating site for the single disabled, simply because it would be nice to not have to worry about my health issues being an issue in dating. There is nothing more draining than trying to hide how much your disabilities are affecting you. I’ve been out on a date where I’ve been crashing so hard (hypo) that I felt like I was going to pass out, yet rather than seeking help for that, I was more concerned with the person I was on a date with not knowing what was going on with me. I don’t miss that.

 

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As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences dating with a disability in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget to bookmark my site and if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications of new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.

 

Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, then you can make a donation of any size below as well. Until next time, Unwanted Life readers.

 

 

 

49 thoughts on “How To Enjoy Dating With Disabilities

  1. Great post. I always love how open and candid you are because I know it’ll help start the conversation with your readers. I can’t wait to go out dating with my man again, I am much more aware of things like access, toilets etc since the lockdown!

    Rosie

  2. I couldn’t imagine the anxiety and frustration you must feel thinking about if your date understands your mental issues and everything that comes along with it. I’m now excited to go to more places with my boyfriend but maybe not anytime soon. As always, love the straightforwardness and information with your posts. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.lifebeginsattwenty.com

  3. I can understand it for sure as my brother had a process of this a few years ago. He didn’t understand why no one wanted him for him even though he’s an amazing, he felt he had faults which he doesn’t. He’s engaged now which is good.
    These are all wonderful tips, great post 🙂

  4. This is such a great post. I love how open and honest you were about everything. I enjoyed reading it and learned a lot from it!

  5. Great post. I appreciate your openness about your health; I struggle with that, and I keep things to myself when I maybe shouldn’t. I’m not “officially” disabled, but I have a medical condition that makes it hard to be on my feet for long periods of time. I’m still getting used to having limited mobility; I used to be pretty athletic, so it’s been a big change. I can’t imagine dealing with this and dating. Dating can be hard enough without also having to plan around accessible locations, or finding safe foods or quiet places.

  6. You have given some great suggestions, shared some helpful, practical tips, and shared some honest thoughts. Communicating, preplanning, and going for the right person are such encouraging tips.

    Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

  7. This was a very interesting read and alway appreciate the honesty when you share your experience! I can only imagine how frustrating and hard it must be not only to date, but to consider if something like the place you’re going is accessible. Thanks for sharing!

    • It’s surprising how many places still aren’t accessible for people with mobility issues, even just train platforms still being step down ones is shocking. How hard can it be to make it universal so everyone with mobility and sight issues can always enter and exist a train without needing someone’s support

  8. These are some great tips to help people who may be struggling in this area of their lives. You have also shared some great date ideas. Thank you for sharing. I hope this helps a lot of people.

    Lauren

  9. These are a few brilliant tips for enjoying dating with a disability, and I think it’s so important to remember that there are so many accessible places to go and do, so dating is just as enjoyable whatever you choose to do 🙂 thank you for sharing x

  10. What a gem!
    I can imagine your words will be the encouragement that someone will need to get out there and enjoy dating.
    Well done on another wonderful post. Thanks for sharing!

  11. That this so awesome that the club let you and your friend come through an entrance that was wheel car accessible and that the club allowed you to bring snacks. That is so cool. Hopefully more places become like this.

    • It would be nice if such accommodations didn’t have to be made for people in wheelchairs and everywhere was disability-friendly, but what you have to work with what we have

  12. This is such an insightful post! Sometimes we tend to take for granted the things in life that are simple for us. That Brittish museum looks incredible! Thank you for sharing your viewpoint.

  13. Dating is an absolutely daunting experience at the best of times but I imagine factoring in disabilities must be even more anxiety inducing. Some great tips here and I love your list of venue suggestions. I am definitely a live gig and museum type of lady!

  14. Another great post about an important subject! I love that you included some suggested disability-friendly places for the reader! I’ve been married for a long time, and haven’t dated in ages, but I still think being open, honest and up front (about anything) is the way to go. And you’re right, weeding out those that have zero interest is just better. Glad you’ve found a good partner to spend your time with!

  15. Dans Le Noir? sounds like an incredible place that offers an immersive experience while breaking down barriers around the healthy and wholesome lives people with disabilities live.

    Love that you share some thoughts on how to enjoy dating with disabilities, as well as ways to find like-minded and interested people to connect with! So many places are making or have made changes to make their establishments friendly and welcoming to all. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. It’s so important to talk about the invisible disabilities too – anxiety disorders and depression can really have a strong impact on relationships.

  17. I like the idea of going to a museum or park for a first date! So many fun distractions and conversation topics, not to mention moving and fresh air and not worrying about the food landmines. Nice post, thanks.

  18. Good golly, man. I’m one year out of my separation/divorce (after 12 years) and still haven’t waded back into the world of dating. Online dating sites seem intimidating and complicated enough, I can’t imagine trying to navigate it with those additional challenges. Good post. And I love the message of how every BODY is worthy of being loved. Something everyone needs to hear.

    • Thank you. Re-entering the dating world after being married for 12 years must be an experience that comes with it’s own set of anxieties and difficulties, but there’s no rush, start dating when you’re ready and enjoy life in the meantime

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