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Dating in the Disability Community

February 10, 2015

Are you looking for love and companionship? If yes, Valentine’s Day may intensify your desire for a romantic relationship. Have you thought about where you will begin to look for love? Have you started dating in the disability community? Below are some ideas about how you can embrace dating in the disability community and, hopefully, find your soul mate.

It is the time of year when everyone seems to be professing their love. As Valentine’s Day approaches, there seems to be an increasing amount of advertisements prompting us to buy chocolates, order roses and send greeting cards to people we love. These are helpful reminders for many, but some of us can’t wait for the holiday to pass. After all, finding true love seems like a hopeless cause sometimes, right?

Valentine’s Day can be a reminder of one of the most exciting and complex human conditions: falling in love. While it’s important to use this day to celebrate love in general, rather than focus on romantic love, it is easy to get caught up in the web of discouragement. When is Mr. or Mrs. Right going to come along?

This question plagues some people in the disability community, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day. People living with disabilities are not excluded from having feelings of love, desiring romance, or longing for companionship. However, the paths we take to find love tend to be different from society at large.

Why is Dating in the Disability Community Different?

Living with disability can be a lonely experience. Do you ever feel like the people you are closest to don’t truly understand you? Remain hopeful; there may be more people who share your struggle than you think. However, one reason why dating in the disability community is different than other parts of society is because we aren’t always meeting people who have similar qualities as us, and therefore, understand us.

More so, the need for relational attachment can be easily overlooked for people in the disability community. The people who help to support and empower us are focused on helping us with education and medical needs, and everyday tasks. Helping us find outlets to new relationships tends to fall low on the list of day-to-day priorities. But this doesn’t mean dating is not important. If you long to find love, there are several paths you can pursue.

Finding Love by Dating in the Disability Community

Finding love begins with knowing what (or who) you are looking for. When dating in the disability community, one of the first questions you need to ask yourself is whether or not you want to date someone with a similar impairment as you. Take Sherry Nevius (52) for example. She wants to meet a man who is in a wheelchair. As a person with cerebral palsy, she gets around in a wheelchair and wants to be on the “same level” as her man.

If you are looking for someone who also lives with disability, you do not need to look much further than the Internet. In the past decade a long list of websites and social networks have come available for people dating in the disability community.

Online dating is not the only path for finding love in the disability community. Several local organizations host gatherings for people with disabilities each week. Get involved with a variety of programs that take place in your neck of the woods. The more plugged-in to the community you are, the higher chances you have of meeting someone you like.

Dating is all about being proactive. If you are sociable, either online or in person, you are more likely to meet the man or woman of your dreams.

Safety when Dating in the Disability Community

As you explore new social programs and online dating websites in your efforts to find love, remember to be safe. The thrill of seeking romance can cloud your vision and cause you to do things you might not usually do. Therefore, put some principles in place that can guide you as you date. Here are some suggestions:

  • Always meet in public
  • Be familiar with your meeting place
  • Don’t give out too much personal information
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol
  • Be honest

The process of finding love is a winding road, but you will be ready for the journey if you have rules in place to protect your body, mind and heart. While you want to be open to finding new love, remember that the right relationship will take time to form. Try not to rush into relationships.

There are several avenues people take to find love. Dating in the disability community is not easy – but it is possible. With online dating websites and local programs for people with disabilities, you may be closer to the person of your dreams than you think.

Have you had success dating in the disability community? What was your experience like? Share with us and our readership by writing a comment in the “reply” section below. Similarly, if you are struggling to find love after years of online and offline effort, we want to hear from you. If you feel comfortable, leave a comment below discussing the unique challenges people with disabilities face when dating.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and love is in the air. Is this the year that you feel ready for love to enter your life? If so, don’t let the holiday pass you by. Be proactive in your search for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

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