Dating with a disability

Insights for all

from Disability Horizons

There are so many misconceptions about dating someone with a disability. We’ve asked Becky, whose partner Dan uses a wheelchair, about common disability and dating questions.

As an ‘able-bodied’ person, I’ve had a lot of people presume that dating someone in a wheelchair is dull for me. I’ve often had to set the record straight – I’m not Dan’s carer and neither of us need any pity. We’re having an amazing time and we have a healthy relationship!

Becky & Dan

I’ve complied a list of the top five awesome things about dating someone with a disability (in my opinion!). I could go on forever, listing things that are amazing about being with Dan. But I’ve tried to make this more specific to the effects that disability has on dating.

1. Communication

When someone has a disability, they usually need to be really open and honest from the start. They need you to understand their disability. They need you to know what they can do, and when they might need your help. Once that discussion is out of the way, you can get on with dating and having fun.

2. Adventures!

People often think that those with disabilities lead pretty sheltered lives. They presume that having a disability means someone is unable to be adventurous, active, and have an exciting, busy life. Dan is the perfect example of how that is usually NOT the case.

Finding out you have a condition like Friedreich’s Ataxia, certainly puts things into perspective, and makes you realise what’s important to you. This has given Dan a real zest for life and positive outlook. He wants to do all of the things he enjoys, and have loads of wonderful experiences, whilst he still can.

3. Meeting new people

Dating someone who has a disability often opens up a whole new social world. I can only speak for myself and my own experiences with Dan, but I get the impression this is the same for a lot of people who have a disability. Not only does Dan have a great support network of friends and family, but he’s also met a lot of wonderful people purely because of his disability.

4. Learning about yourself

Sometimes, we need to take a step back in order to change our perspective and learn about ourselves. Most of us hit a crossroads at some point in our lives, where we’re not sure what we want, or what our direction is. An unexpected effect that dating Dan has had is that I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and gained some clarity on my own life. As I got to know Dan, and found out more about his condition, I acknowledged that so many of us take a huge amount for granted. I also recognised that my own attitude and psychological barriers are often the things that are holding me back- not my actual ability.

5. The freebies and conveniences

The bargain-hunter in me loves this aspect! This perk is great for both the person who has a disability, and their date! So many places and attractions offer a concession, allowing one free admission with each ticket that is for someone with a disability. This aims to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, enabling their carer/ companion free entry along with them.

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SOURCE:  Disability Horizons 08/02/2019 

Top 5 reasons why dating someone with a disability is great

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