Dating is difficult for most people, but it is especially challenging for wheelchair users. Finding someone you truly connect with and share common interests with is not easy. Then add the fact that you are in a wheelchair and the task becomes more complicated. But it really doesn’t have to be. There are many couples that are together and it doesn’t matter to them which one is a wheelchair user and which one is not. It’s what you bring to the relationship that counts the most. Just getting to the first date is difficult enough. Keep in mind the following details when you date someone who is a wheelchair user.
Are You Ready to Date a Wheelchair User?
This question is one that you need to honestly ask yourself. You will want to consider and be prepared to adapt to specific things that wheelchair users go through, such as calling ahead to see if the restaurant or movie theatre is wheelchair accessible. This situation alone can limit where you eat, visit and have fun. You have to be willing to overlook visiting your favorite museum if your date can’t enter the building.
See Beyond the Wheelchair
Let’s be honest, anyone can end up in a wheelchair at any point in their life. Imagine if the tables were turned and you are a wheelchair user. Would you want people only seeing the chair instead of you sitting in it? It’s natural to notice the chair, but after 2 seconds it should disappear and your focus should go towards the person sitting in the chair. That’s just the way they get around life, but they are a unique and exquisite person that just might be the love of your life.
Don’t Be a Hero
Most people in wheelchairs don’t want to be rescued or treated like they are in need of a hero. They just go about life differently and are really looking for what everyone else is, friendship, companionship and true love. They don’t need rescuing and wheelchair users will find you quite arrogant if you choose to portray yourself that way. Equal partnership is essential from the beginning.
Is Your Home Wheelchair Accessible?
When considering dating a wheelchair user, you really have to be prepared ahead of time. Eventually, you will be inviting them over to your place and they need to be able to enter and exit easily. Is your home or apartment building wheelchair accessible? You may find yourself purchasing a small ramp to enter and exit your home and moving your furniture around so that it is easy for your date to roam freely through your home. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are another issue. You can make additions by installing bars near the toilet and in the shower for their convenience. View an infographic on how to make your home wheelchair accessible.
Wheelchair Date Ideas
Wheelchair users are people just like everyone else that are interested in a variety of different dates. Below you will find excellent ideas for dates that will impress your new love.
- Music concerts
- Art museums
- Wine tasting
- Sport events
- Nature trails
- Coffee date
- Shopping Malls
Depending on the stage of the relationship or common interests you can choose to go anywhere that is wheelchair accessible. Check out these 15 dating ideas for wheelchair users.
Due to the fact that anywhere you go has to be wheelchair accessible you will always need to plan ahead when visiting a new place. Call ahead of time to assure that the place of choice is wheelchair accessible and inquire if a separate entrance needs to be used. This will limit embarrassment of just showing up at a restaurant to find out it’s not wheelchair accessible and you will have to go somewhere else.
Getting to Know the Person
Your date is a person and you should always keep this in mind. You may be extremely curious to find out what caused them to be in a wheelchair, but timing is everything. In the beginning, maybe the first few dates, just focus on getting to know the person. Eventually, your date may feel comfortable enough to bring up the subject. Remember that some wheelchair user’s stories are tragic and it may be very difficult for them to discuss what happened. Never force or push your date to tell you unless they are ready.
Once you go on several dates you will know whether a relationship is developing or not. Always be clear of your intentions with your date and never lead them to believe something that is not true. Nobody, wheelchair user or not, has time for games. Respect for your date is always required. Remember to plan ahead, don’t be the hero, have a great time and get to know the real person sitting in the wheelchair, and soon you may realize you have met your soul mate.