Dating can be tricky for anyone! I know I have had some pretty interesting experiences myself. Here is a list of tips for dating women with disabilities. As the great Dr. Maya Angelou once said: “When you know better, you’ll do better. Until then, do the best you can.”
1. Compliment her. Avoid saying things like “you’re pretty for a woman in a wheelchair/with a disability.” Comment on her hair, eyes, nails, etc.
2. Take her out. Women with disabilities often don’t get past the first date, if there’s one at all. Many people feel planning an accessible date is too daunting a task. If you need help, ask. It will make her happy to see your efforts and let her know you enjoy being with her in public. If there’s a second date, ask if she wants to go out or stay in.
3. Ask questions. It’s a common misconception that we are easily offended by them or don’t want to discuss our disability. For many of us, questions help us understand your concerns and let us know you care. If you’re unsure how comfortable she is with questions, ask permission first.
4. Make her a part of your world. Ask her if and when she’s ready to meet your family and friends. Invite her to a gathering or plan a formal date. If you care about her, she shouldn’t be a secret. She deserves recognition regardless of what anyone says.
5. Show her love. If she likes the occasional public smooch or hug, go for it! If not, surprise her with something she likes when you see her (flowers, a cupcake, etc.)
6. Provide moral support. Life with a disability can involve grueling therapy sessions or pivotal doctor’s appointments. Ask to accompany her every now and then. If you can’t, text or call to see how it went. This is very important! Similarly, do your best to comfort her when she’s in pain or feeling down.
7. Be sex savvy. Have a talk about her likes, dislikes and needs in the bedroom before the big moment. Whether it’s latex free protection or extra pillows for comfort and positioning, knowing her needs will take the pressure off you both and increase potential for passion.
8. Practice honesty first. Don’t lead her on or flip flop. If you don’t have or lose interest in her, say so. She may be upset for a bit, but she’ll respect your honesty and may be open to being friends.