Dating Someone in a Wheelchair
Can we agree that the dating ritual stinks? Ok, time to temper this remark: For many, the dating ritual can call forth all our latent insecurities—especially the pressure-cooker called the first date—when we put on our cologne or perfume, test our breath, and wait for the doorbell to ring or our date to arrive at the determined meeting place. Is it safe to assume these feelings are increased when it includes dating someone in a wheelchair?
Consider the Following Realities When Dating Someone in a Wheelchair
Are You Ready to Date Someone in a Wheel Chair
This answer requires honesty.
There are things you must consider that may be taken for granted during previous dates. You must adapt to specific things that wheelchair users go through, such as phoning ahead to determine if your dating destination is wheelchair accessible. This may limit your choices.
Put Yourself in His/Her Shoes
What if the tables were turned? Would you want people seeing the chair instead of you? Notice the chair, but then focus on the human.
A wheelchair is how they get around. It does not diminish the potential that they just might be the unique person who becomes the love of your life.
Getting to Know You
Your date is a person with the same fears and aspirations which make us a human family. Never forget this.
You may be curious to find out what led them to be in a wheelchair, but timing is everything. In the beginning, focus on getting to know the person. Eventually the subject may come up.
Some wheelchair user’s stories are tragic and it may be very difficult for them to discuss what happened.
Have a great time, get to know the real person, and you never know, you may have met your soul mate.
First Date (and Beyond) Pointers from Someone in a Wheelchair
Unless we ask, please don’t suddenly start pushing us
We know that you mean well, but if you accidentally hit someone or something, the embarrassment is on us.
There’s nothing more mortifying than having your wheels stuck in a door frame
We love spontaneity as much as the next person, however, unless you know 100% that your idea is wheelchair friendly, phone to double check first.
Don’t let go
If we have asked/trusted you to push us, don’t ruin it by letting go down a slope.
Not all dates have to be sedentary
Plenty of wheelchair users take part in sports and activities adapted for them.
Don’t automatically presume we cannot have sex
Many wheelchair users enjoy a healthy sex life.
Expect our friends to be over-protective of us
Until they see you’re here to stay.
Parting Words of Wisdom for Those Contemplating Dating Someone in a Wheelchair
- Ultimately, you date a person, not a body.
- There is no reason why you shouldn’t date someone in a wheelchair. If you have good chemistry, give it a go.
- Be open and upfront about any concerns regarding his/her lifestyle. Provide them the chance to explain before you write off the idea.
- If you decide that dating someone in a wheelchair is not for you, that’s okay. There is someone out there for everyone.
- What will friends and family think about my partner in a wheelchair? Do you really care what someone else thinks? Don’t pass over a great potential partner because of they worry about others’ views. A person is more than a wheelchair—they are people with dreams, desires, feelings, and hopes!
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