Discussing Disabilities in Dating Before Resorting to Search Engines
One of the most frustrating aspects of dating with a disability is when potential matches turn to search engines to investigate the potential extent of your limitations. Why not opt for the direct approach? We could openly discuss any questions or concerns you might have about my diagnosis and how it affects me?
The Key is Asking What You Don’t Know
You have the potential to perform a noble deed by being forthright and asking any questions you may have about dating someone with a disability. The key here is to ask about what you do not know. Directly seeking information enables a disabled individual to put things into perspective, while turning to the internet immediately raises concerns of prejudice.
Given that the internet tends to exaggerate and generalize conditions, it often presents situations as worse than they truly are. Many people can relate to the experience of searching the internet to understand the symptoms of a minor discomfort they have, only to be bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information that makes them feel as though their health is in jeopardy. I have certainly been guilty of this myself! The situation isn’t any different when it comes to seeking information about how a disability might impact someone’s life.
Not All Disabilities Are Alike
The term ‘disability’ might encompass only one word. Within that single term, a countless number of disabilities fall into various categories. Many fail to notice that two disabilities are not alike, even if they both fall under the same umbrella. For instance, two individuals might share the same disability, yet its impact could be significantly more profound for one person compared to the other.
The Ideal Thing is to Ask Directly
If you are intrigue about how a disability impacts an individual. The ideal thing to do is to ask them directly rather than disappearing on them or searching the internet for answers.
It’s perfectly acceptable to ask honest and valuable questions if you’re genuinely interested in wanting to get to know the person. It’s one thing to be curious and entirely different to be disrespectful by asking invasive questions.
There’s no harm with answering if the person is genuinely interested in you and looking to build a relationship. However, I draw the line when they view you as a mere challenge. No, I’m not here to satisfy your curiosity.
Numerous misconceptions persist regarding disabilities and the various limitations that disabled individuals may have to encounter on a daily basis. We all have limitations, whether we are disabled or not. Still, don’t assume that a person is less capable just because they have a physical or mental impairment.
If you have any questions or curiosities, do not hesitate to ask! And if, after asking, you find that you cannot date a disabled individual, be honest with them. Although it might be painful, giving them a chance to explain their condition could make it a little less hurtful.
Avoid Assumptions and Ghosting
Instead of making assumptions or immediately turning to search engines. According to the article, “How to spot misinformation—and what to do about it: Expert advice from psychology professor Lisa Fazio.” Lisa Fazio, assistant professor of psychology at the Peabody College states:
“As long as information is good enough and generally fits with what we’re expecting to hear, we don’t necessarily notice if there is an error.”Lisa Fazio
Rejecting Ghosting When Matching With a Disable Individual
If you match with someone online who has a disability, please refrain from the cowardly act of ghosting them. Ghosting people is so last season! Rather, ask direct questions about how their disability might impact their daily life. If you don’t wish to continue, communicate your feelings to them. Your feelings are valid, just as theirs are.
If people showed a little more empathy toward one another, the modern world of dating wouldn’t be so confusing. Apart from disabilities, having a wide selection of matches at our fingertips has also made people somewhat jaded. This is why many may not want to invest much effort in truly getting to know someone.
Focus On Quality Over Quantity in Dating
Nowadays, we regularly seem to prioritize quantity over quality. I, too, have fallen into the trap of believing that ‘more is better,’ which is not a healthy mindset to have. The entire dating scene is complicated, and there isn’t a specific or right way of doing things. In the end, the universe will bring that special person to you, regardless of how things are executed.
Everything involves trial and error, and dating is not the exception!
Vanderbilt University. (2020, September 22). How to spot misinformation-and what to do about it: Expert advice from psychology professor Lisa Fazio. Vanderbilt University. https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2020/09/22/lisa-fazio-how-to-spot-misinformation-and-what-to-do-about-it/