Dating a Person Who Lives With a Disability

2 min read
Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

Have you ever been on a date with a person who lives with a disability?

One Reddit user, hoping to make a good impression on her first date with a visually impaired young woman, wrote in for advice and received some great tips.

According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 12 percent of Americans live with disabilities, but this group has been historically underrepresented, meaning lots of us aren’t educated about the basic realities of living with a disability.

Luckily, there were plenty of Redditors ready to weigh in with helpful advice, lots of them were people with disabilities themselves. Here’s what you need to know.

If You’re Not Sure, Ask

As user RunningTrisarahtop pointed out, you can always ask, respectfully, if there are things your date would like help with or things they would prefer to do on their own.

“She’s gotten through her life to this point so treat her like the capable adult she is, not like she’s a child who needs help paying/selecting food/talking to others/tying shoes/etc.”

Another user with a disability echoed these sentiments.

“Thank you! Lol I’m not the girl but I’m disabled as well (wheelchair) and I just want to say this is sooo true.” -Kevin_rules1

Trust Your Date To Take Care of Themselves

As another user writes, people with disabilities know their limitations better than anyone, so you can trust them and follow their lead.

“I’m deaf and I don’t really need help, unless it’s life or death. (I walked into the street in front a car I couldn’t hear the other day, my husband yelled at the driver to stop.) But sometimes I can’t navigate a situation, and that’s when I ask someone to step in. I’d say just trust her and follow her lead.” -WalterWhitesHairLine

Be Sensitive About Terminology

As with any group, people with disabilities are not a monolith. Each individual may have different preferences about what terms you use to talk about disabilities. For example, although the Redditor who wrote in for advice used the term “differently-abled,” one commenter with a disability said they didn’t like the term. Luckily, the original poster clarified that it was a term her date had used first, which is why she repeated it.

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