February is the month of luurve and the perfect opportunity for the AIM Centre to tackle a specific, sometimes-taboo topic – yes, we’re talking about dating someone with a disability. Disabilities don’t hold the people living with them back from reaching their dreams, and they certainly don’t hold them back from wanting to fall in love or looking for that special someone with whom they can spend the rest of their lives. Here’s everything that you need to know about dating a person with a disability, as well as some refreshing dating advice for those actually living with disabilities.
Treat Them Just Like You Would Anybody Else
‘Able-bodied’ people are often nervous to cause offence and worry about how to approach a conversation with someone with a disability, but it really shouldn’t be any different to how you talk to any other able-bodied person. There’s no need to pretend that the disability isn’t present, just don’t show pity or make it the main topic of discussion.
Ask Them What They Need
If you’re unsure about something, such as how much of your help would be appreciated and how much is too much, just ask. Most people living with disabilities are more than happy to tell you exactly what they need.
A Message to People Living with Disabilities Looking for Love
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It is possible to find a partner who loves you for you.
Freelance writer, Cara Liebowitz, has cerebral palsy and claims that 90% of all the relationship problems that she has ever experienced have had absolutely nothing to do with her disability. She wants other ‘disabled daters’ to know the following:
“I’ve met so many disabled people who think there’s no way a non-disabled person will ever be interested in them or that a non-disabled person will never truly accept them, period. I used to feel like that, too. Just be yourself, disability and all. If you relax and stop worrying so much, you’ll find people who accept you for who you are. You’ll also find people who don’t – but those people aren’t worth your time.”
Here’s to a romantic, memorable Valentine’s Day and month ahead. Remember, if you love and accept who you are, regardless of whether you have a disability or not, others will too.