When it comes to dating and relationships, confidence can be hard to find (not least for us disabled people). Regardless of how confident you are, or how comfortable with your impairment you may be, it can be extremely difficult not to blame a rejection on the fact that you’re disabled. So, with this in mind, here are our tips for creating a confident trademark out of your features (including your impairment), and owning it!
A talking point.
Whilst no-one wants a thousand questions about their impairment or a particular aid the first time that they meet someone, this ‘see the person, not the disability’ rhetoric doesn’t really fly with us, either. Come on, of course many impairments are visible, and that’s more than okay! We don’t have to pretend they don’t exist, they just don’t have to be an all-encompassing identifying factor, either. If you’re confident about, or even proud of, your impairment, don’t be afraid to show how you feel it a way that fits with your style. It can be a great feeling when someone comes up to you and says ‘Wow, I love what you’ve done with your wheelchair, that’s the coolest one I’ve ever seen!’ instead of crossing the street to avoid any interaction.
What about all those other gorgeous features?
We might sound like the Queer Eye team here (and trust us, we are MORE than okay with that!) but remember to focus on all of your other identifying factors that you love and not just the aids you use in everyday life. Got a great smile? Wear some popping lipstick to show it off. Love a certain style, pattern or colour when it comes to clothes? Wear them, and make that your trademark. Perhaps piercings and tattoos are your thing, or suits and paisley shirts. Whatever it is, make it ‘you’, and then people will have so much more to talk to you about than the elephant in the room (and it makes dating ice breakers a little easier, too!)
Inside always shows on the Outside
Ultimately, none of these tips are any good if you still feel shy, insular and unable to take action on the inside. Wearing a colourful outfit means nothing if you don’t radiate positivity and an open, welcoming attitude. This may sound a little strict (but we hope you know where we are coming from): If you want to be seen as more than a disabled guy or girl, you have to show those other facets to yourself in a loud and proud manner because, sadly, society is still waaaay behind in its perceptions of disability. Let everything that you are shine through, and be proud of it, every single bit of it, ESPECIALLY the bits that are unique to you.
Sending love x