Whether you have a disability or you’re dating someone who does, these tips are for you.
Eric, a quadriplegic and Sharon, who doesn’t have a disability, are one of those couples who make it look easy. Over the past few months, the both of them have overcome obstacles of their own, only bringing them closer. Eric says, “We’re in this for the long haul for sure.”
Dating tips for you and your partner when one of you has a disability:
1. Be active!
Visit reputable dating sites and start mixing around! If you have a disability, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
“The right one will always come along, there is always someone out there who will be willing to look beyond your disability…never give up hope. Don’t always see your disability as a problem. It is something that you can’t control…so why harp on it…there are still other things that you can control, your emotions, feelings, your attitude towards other people and your attitude towards the world”.
Remember, don’t pressure yourself into finding a partner, just get out there!
2. Be truthful to yourself
Looking for a great first impression when you’re going on a date? According to Mindbodygreen, when being true to yourself, you will feel a sense of openness, expansion, inner joy and freedom. Contrary to being true to yourself, it’ll show through feelings of contraction and tension, unease, disconnection, resignation, emptiness, discontentment or lack of fulfilment.
3. Be confident
“Self-confidence is not something that can be built overnight…but you have to change from within,” shares Eric. It’s normal to feel insecure at first with a disability, but you can’t let it take over. “You have to pick it up somewhere. If not today then tomorrow but if you keep dragging on. A day will pass by and it will never come back…overtime it will get better,” says Eric after 18 years of being a wheelchair-user.
“He accepts himself for who he is and loves himself very much. I think it is very attractive if you can love yourself because if you don’t even love yourself then I don’t think other people will.”
4. Stay positive!
“Generally people are attracted to people who are positive,” says Eric. Be positive not just in a relationship, but in life. If you think you can’t overcome an obstacle, chances are, you won’t. But it’ll make a big difference if you start telling yourself You can rather than you can’t.
“If you’re negative and whining all the time….or you can’t do this or can’t do that…I don’t think that will attract a lot of people. Being around positive people will help…be free to express yourself and open to the outside world.”
5. Communication is key
If you’re dating someone with a disability, it is important to understand what you’re comfortable with in terms of helping your partner.
“It’s definitely not smooth sailing…but you have to talk it out, know what you can accept and what you can’t.”
Eric and Sharon solve their problems, by talking it out to helps them understand the issue and their partner’s point of view clearly. “You can’t always rely on the person, giving and giving. You’ll have to give yourself in ways other than physically but emotionally…or any other aspects of the relationship,” says Eric, “It has to be a balance. You can’t always be receiving and not giving or always giving but not receiving, it will put a strain to the relationship.”
6. Don’t be with someone out of charity or pity
Sharon advises not to be with someone with a disability out of sympathy.
“Feelings like this will wear off and it’ll definitely damage to your relationship. They’re just a little more restricted but they’re still human beings.”
Finding a life partner may seem intimidating, but it’s not rocket science. Being true to yourself and your partner is bound to bring good things, whether or not you have a disability.
“At the end of the day it is what’s inside here that counts,” says Eric as he points to his heart.
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