As 2018 draws to a close we naturally look back on the year and peer hesitantly at the year to come. The festive season also lets you focus more on family, friends and relationships. As a single you might be hopeful that the new year will bring new romantic opportunities. We truly hope that this is the case. David has never accepted that being disabled should be a barrier to love and the internet dating scene can be extremely adaptable if you proceed in a positive way.
TV shows such as ‘The Undateables’ have brought disability dating into the mainstream and cleared away prejudices and barriers that discouraged many in our community. Whilst life is not a reality TV show they believe there are valuable lessons to be learned.
If you are dating as a disabled person then you need a personal support network. Your family and friends should be there to encourage you and advise you as you start your dating journey. For example, ask family members what they think you can bring to a relationship, they are the people who know you best and they can help fill in the gaps in your dating CV. You can also quote your family’s comments in the profile itself. Instead of saying ‘that you have a kind nature’ you could say “Even my sister thinks I am worth a second look”. We all appreciate the power of testimonials in online selling so why not grab some 5 star ratings from those around you?
Family and friends are also essential in dealing with any knock-backs in you journey to coupledom, a good friend will tell you not to worry if a date doesn’t work out and reassure you that the disability dating pool is vast and growing every day. At disabilitymatch they have more than 50.000 UK singles. Many of the young disabled singles they have spoken to over the years make the error of misreading a situation based on their lack of self-esteem and confidence. You might be rejected and assume it is just because of your disability but very often it has nothing whatsoever to do with that and could simply be that they prefer blondes and you are a redhead or that you voted ‘remain’ and they voted for BREXIT.
If you are using a specialist disability dating site like disabilitymatch.co.uk you are less likely to be rejected for health reasons but you would need to be extremely optimistic to expect to click with everyone you contact or meet. Even on reality TV shows with a team of production assistants filtering and setting up your dates nothing is guaranteed. The mainstream dating sites and apps like Tinder are more likely to be physically judgmental and you do need to be quite thick skinned to date through them.
The best way to avoid potential rejection in the online dating world is to be realistic about location. Living in London and chasing romance in Liverpool or Cornwall is just going to make things more difficult than necessary. Many people have mobility problems so it makes more sense to target singles in your own area. All dating sites let you do this and give you a greater opportunity to meet people in person quickly and easily.
So, although your disabilities might have thrown obstacles and challenges in your path they need not be a barrier to finding romance online this festive season.
David Miller FRSA