Dating in the Pandemic With a Disability
*This post was written in collaboration with Single Disabled.
The pandemic hasn’t been kind to any of us, but whatever your thoughts on the government, I think we can all agree that people with disabilities have been treated fairly badly. I worked in a centre quite close to home for adults with disabilities, and a few months into all of this I ran into a colleague. When I asked him how they were coping, he said they were doing sessions vis Skype. While that’s lovely and I’m so pleased they carried on, it also made me sad that the customer lost that element of physical contact with someone outside of their family home, and this has been the story for many disabled people during the pandemic. Dating might not be at the forefront of anyone’s mind at the moment, but people are starting to become optimistic now there is a vaccine and there are plenty of ways you can make dating work for you.
Find a good dating site
When I worked at my old job, there was a dating site specifically for adults with learning disabilities which I helped a few customers use. Many of our customers used regular dating sites, but some were just more comfortable using a speciality dating site. There are specific sites for disability dating if that is something you are more comfortable with.
Find different ways to communicate
Depending on what tier you are in or if we are on the never-ending merry-go-round of lockdowns, you probably wont be able to meet up with your potential date in person. I’m showing my ages but I used to love helping our customers write letters to their love interests, and you know what? A nice letter doesn’t have to be THAT out of fashion. There is something romantic about a hand-written letter. There are also a number of video conferencing sites you can use like Skype or Zoom (although Microsoft Teams may be a bit too business-like). If the thought of just chatting is a bit nerve-wracking for you, maybe you could both agree to ask each other five questions to get to know each other? Or you could always watch the same film or break the ice with a game.
Think about what you want before you join a dating site
There really is a dating site for every different person. If you are looking specifically for someone who maybe shares the same disability as you, you might want to use a site that is very specific like an amputee dating site, or you might not be fussy about that sort of thing and just want to meet new people. The main thing about using a speciality dating site if you are disabled is that you might find someone who you can really talk to, about your shared experience. It can be lonely anyway, without the added stress of the pandemic, and even if you don’t find the love of your life, you might just find some new friends or new people to speak to.