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Disability and dating: Tips for teenagers

Shagun (16) is a person with a disability. She has a crush on a guy in their class but does not know how to navigate the situation. Should she ask her crush out? What will people think? Is it hard for persons with disabilities to be in a relationship? Let’s find out in this week of That’s Puzzling. 

As a person with a disability, you may meet someone when you go out, or through online dating. Either way, the most important thing is to respect yourself and the other person.

Meeting people as a person with a disability 

If you want to meet someone special, you must put yourself in situations where you’ll get to know new people. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find someone you like. So the first step is simply to leave your house.

Try out a new hobby or sport, join a club, or take a class in something different. That way you’ll meet people with similar interests and it’s easier to start a conversation.

Or let your friends know that you’re interested in finding a partner – maybe they know someone you might get on with.

Also watch this video on Disability and Sexuality and read rest article below video:

Explore online dating

Online dating can be a great way to meet people, but, whether you have a disability or not, finding a partner online isn’t as simple as it sounds. Before you jump on the bandwagon and download dating apps, read this interesting story on online dating

There is a range of online groups available for singles with disabilities. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t join the other sites too – if you do, it’s a good idea to be open about your disability in your profile.

Here are a few tips if you’re considering online dating:

  • Be honest. There’s no point pretending that you don’t have a disability.
  • Don’t focus on your disability too much. If your date is only interested in talking about your disability, they may be more interested in it than in you as a person. Make sure your date wants to get to know you, not just your body.
  • Try not to feel bad if you get some negative reactions. It’s not about you. Some people are simply ignorant about disability or feel awkward around people with disabilities because they’re not used to it. This is their problem, not yours.

Dating someone with a disability

If you aren’t disabled yourself and you haven’t spent much time with people with disabilities, it may be confusing to find yourself attracted to or in love with a disabled person. But don’t let the feeling of awkwardness get in the way of what could become a fantastic relationship!

If you feel awkward, remember that it’s not because of the other person’s disability – it’s just because you’re not used to being around people with disabilities. But remember:

  • The disability is not the person. It’s just one part of who they are.
  • As in any relationship, communication is central. Do they feel attracted to you? Do they want to kiss, hold hands, or be intimate? You have to ask to find out!
  • Don’t assume that a disabled person is ‘lucky’ to be with you.
  • Dating someone with a disability doesn’t mean you’ll have to ‘take care of them’. They’re probably used to looking after themselves.
  • Dating someone with a disability doesn’t mean you’re missing out on anything. You can still have a great love life, and you can still have adventures together. Sometimes you may need to be a bit more creative, but that’s part of any relationship.
  • A disabled person wants to be loved and touched like anyone else.

Finding a partner and falling in love is a scary, complicated, wonderful experience. We all want to find love. Society often ignores people with disabilities, especially when it comes to dating, romance and having a love life. Yet, they have desires just like everyone else. There are many different forms of disabilities, and it may be more challenging to have a partner for some than for others. 

Photo: Shutterstock/Butsaya/Persons in the photo are models and their names have been changed. 

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