Dating. I’m not going to be humble, I’ve had lots of success in dating. I’ve never thought, “I wish I had someone.”
I’ve always had options, and I currently maintain a relationship. You may think it’s because of how I look or some other reason you’re different and these tips won’t apply to you, but that’s not the case. There’s a person out there for everyone, you’re probably just doing it wrong.
I’ve learned a lot about love and here’s 10 things I’ve learned along the way:
1. Be Upfront About your Disability
I’m about to give you the best advice you’ve ever gotten. When you meet someone new, they know nothing about you, and it’s totally up to you how that person sees you. What you talk about and share with the other person molds their perception. You are completely in control of other people’s opinions of you. That’s an immense amount of power, and you need to use it wisely. You want people to believe you, and if you’re not direct about your disability it puts doubt in the minds of others. Whether they assume you’re insecure about it or you’re being disingenuous, it’s not a good start. You want to be open and honest because you want your partner to be open and honest with you. If someone won’t date you because of your wheelchair, consider yourself lucky you didn’t get stuck with that asshole when you were able-bodied.
2. Then Drop It
Once you’ve addressed the topic of disability, don’t dwell on it. Address the most common questions, and let them ask the rest. If you’re dating able-bodied people it’s better to stick to topics they can relate to. If you go on and on about your disability you’re defining yourself by your disability. Talk about hobbies and positive topics.
3. Put Yourself Out There
If you’re having a hard time meeting people in the first place, switch up the scene. Be outgoing, nice, and open to meeting new people.
4. Don’t be a Victim
If you don’t want to address your issues as a human, blame it on the wheelchair. This is a common practice. I’m part of an online SCI group and I can’t count the time’s I’ve read, “They won’t date me because I’m in a wheelchair.” Meanwhile, I click on their page to see they are unemployed, posting non-stop about politics, living at home, and hating life. I think that’s more the issue than their assistive mobility device made of metal.
5. Choose a Place You’re as Independent as Possible
Choose a place to meet where they won’t have to help you. You want it to feel like a date, not a job interview. I’m a quadriplegic, so I’m not going to go to the BBQ place with messy ass ribs and steak I need cut for me. Give the person the chance to get to know you, they’ll want to help you in the future.
6. Take a Shower
Gross hygiene is, well, gross. Do your hair, trim your nails, scrub your butt, shave your balls, do what you need to feel at the top of your game.
7. Laugh and Ask Questions
Laughter is the great equalizer. It’s contagious and sexy, don’t underestimate the power of a good laugh. In addition to laughing at someone’s jokes, ask them questions about themselves. My Dali Momma always said, “If you want someone to like you, ask them questions about themselves.”
8. Talk Sex
A relationship without sex is just a friendship. Intimacy is important. Potential partners want to know what you’re capable of, just like I would want to know what a dude is working with. Humans are curious.
9. Don’t Ignore the Red Flags and Don’t Settle
What’s the rush to suffer? Seriously, think of your worst relationship and imagine reliving it. Well, you’ll have a failed relationship if you ignore the red flags and settle.
10. Prepare for Rejection
I’m talking both ways here, there will be people you like and people you don’t like. You’ll reject more people than you get rejected. It’s not a big deal. If it doesn’t work out, don’t stress it, it’s 2017 and there’s such a thing called Tinder where there are 50 million fish in the sea.
More Good Reads:
- Into the Minds of Devotees & Admirers of Women with Disabilities - December 20, 2017
- Gina is On a Roll: Success in Dating with a Disability - December 10, 2017
- Being In a Wheelchair Makes You an Inspiration or No? - November 28, 2017
- Gina on Fire! Disabled Community: “Stand Up (for yourself) Lazy Ass”! - May 19, 2017
- “Gimp Gatherings”: Organized Vigilante Style Advocacy - April 30, 2017
- Disabled Parking: How Disappointing is the Current System! Swallow a Few of These Facts - November 30, 2016
- This One Goes Out To All My Tets…The All Too Familiar Awkward Hand Shake - November 21, 2016
- Politicians Determining The Needs Of Disabled Individuals Is Pure Arrogance - October 25, 2016
- My Road to Recovery After Betrayal…and The One Tinder Date That Rebuilt My Trust in Love - June 30, 2016
- Gina Schuh - June 7, 2016