If you have ever been on a date or asked for a date, then you would know how it feels like from the time you the date is set until the time you have to actually meet your date.
Hundreds of thoughts run through your head – what to wear, what to say, what not to say, how to smile, how to greet …. then add to that one very important detail, that you have a disability. Then more fears and worries cram inside your head – will he or she accept me as I am, what if I don’t like her or him, what if he or she does not like me, how do I get out of this date unscathed, can I run away fast enough, if I literally have to?
The questions are endless leaving you, to say the least, very anxious and stressed. Being a little bit anxious would be normal, even healthy regardless if you are disabled or not. Dating could be quite a challenge for most individuals so try to overcome your nervousness with hopefulness and have the resolve to make something good and exciting come out of this endeavor.
What do the wise say? Do not put the carriage before the horse. Instead of worrying, get yourself ready for this very important date. If you have been chatting with your prospective date online, then you have somehow gathered some information on preferences such as food, music, literature, or interests. Choose clothes that you feel good and comfortable in to boost your confidence.
You can also read up on some of the topics you know he or she is interested in – music, poetry, literature, current events. This will give you something to talk about and lessen if not totally eliminate those awkward moments of silence when you are a loss for words.
The choice of venue is of primary importance. If this is a first date and you will still be checking him or her out, the same way that she or he will be checking you out, then a more “neutral” or a more public place would be ideal. Choose a venue that is noncommittal and very easy to get out of, if you feel you need to. A coffee shop that is suitably located would be a good first-date place. It could both be cozy/romantic and public at the same time.
You have to accept that there are a lot of things you cannot do at a normal pace because of your disability but you can definitely prepare for it in advance. You can plan the food or the drinks you will order that you can easily manager yourself. If you need to pay with your credit card, you can give the credit card information in advance. You can also come in early so that you can choose a place to sit that is not so physically challenging to access.
With a little strategic planning and a positive mindset, fun and romantic dates are possible regardless of one’s disability. If the first few dates turn out to be uneventful or even disastrous, don’t give up on it just yet. You will see that it will become less stressful as you get to know what will or will not work for you.