They’re gut wrenching. They make me nervous. They're fun. They can make or break you. They are first dates! It’s an evil necessity one must get past to see if a second date will happen, not to mention a possible relationship.
With today’s technology, chances are when you do meet, you’ve already spoken many, many times and have even probably spent some time ”face to face” using Skype or some other kind of media outlet. I find the visual aspect, at least for me personally, extremely necessary.
Having that woman know I’m paralyzed is one thing but seeing it is completely different. I cannot move anything below my shoulders, so when I Skype with that person, I’m usually either sitting in my wheelchair or, again sitting up, in bed. Although all they can see is from my shoulders up, they normally can grasp the idea of my movement abilities, or lack thereof.
I’ve been super fortunate to have met overall great people, so after a few times of talking on the phone and over Skype, we agree to meet in person. This is when the nerves start! Reality starts kicking in that I’m going to meet this woman who, more than likely has never spent any significant amount of time with a person in a wheelchair, let alone tried to date them! All I want to do is make them feel comfortable as humanly possible, despite freaking out on the inside while trying to play it cool.
After having been on a few of these sometimes terrifying, yet wonderful first dates, here’s some advice I can offer you:
- Be yourself. That’s all the other person wants. It doesn’t do you justice to put up a front. Let them see why they decided to meet you for that first date. At this point they know you’re disabled, so show them your ”normal”.
- Be careful how much you talk about your disability. I know that’s the thing that makes me a little uptight at first, so I personally would not want to spend all my time discussing it.
- Give it time. Not everything about a disabled person’s life is pleasant, so while you want to be honest, it doesn’t mean everything needs to be discussed the first time meeting in person. Hopefully there will be other dates to discuss more intimate subjects.
- Have fun and relax! She/he agreed to go on the date because you did something right!
And by the way, If any quadriplegics out there have been able to figure out the first kiss, please let me know!
Thanks to Aaron Wood for sharing awesome dating advice. Share this post with anyone getting ready for some first dates in a wheelchair!