I have seen many posts and articles about dating as a disabled person, but the disabilities the articles mention are never sensory, including my own, blindness. When I looked at the article I recently saw in the microsoft News app about dating as a disabled person, it was written by a sighted guy or girl with neuromuscular disability. It did not include access to the picture based content that so many blind people are forced to deal with if they want to date online.
Katy, a blind professional, says that so many of the apps may be picture based. Rachel, another blind professional, may say that blindness is just a major turn off for some people when it comes to dating. I remember reading an article by the late Adrienne Asch where she basically said that with job interviews, people find ways of getting around hiring a blind people, but “potential dates go bananas” if they don’t know you’re blind. The finding out that a person is blind is a problem for so many people. Megan, who is also blind or visually impaired, says that she met her partner on okCupid, but not a lot of people can see or access the features on that site. Katy says she tried Tinder, okCupid, and some others have tried Plenty of Fish. I’ve even done the Craigslist Personals, but it never worked for me either. Famed author J. E. Pinto says she tried online dating, but the guys she came across were not safe. Given these comments, would you date online as a blind person? Well, here’s some tips and tricks for those unmatched who want to try the dating game.
Transportation needs. This is a hard one. Pinto says that anyone wanting to go on an online date should always meet their date first in public places. Yes, I agree with this, however, she also states, “use your own transportation.” Lyft and Uber aren’t always in small towns, and there are blind people in small towns. Blind people in small towns don’t always have access to supports that lend themselves to helping with transport. Titusville is an example of a small town in Florida that doesn’t have good transport.
Meeting in a public place. While the transport needs can be hard, it’s also hard to meet in a public spot that is closed. First and foremost, public areas to meet might vary, but make sure there are lights and people by that public area. For example, meet at a restaurant or place with people in it. Don’t meet in a park or remote area in a small village. Anything could occur there.
Screening for safety. Pinto says for safety reasons, she doesn’t want to try online dating again. She says a guy who was creepy tried to take advantage of her. This might happen more often to disabled women, so here are a few things to check on. Does the guy have a domestic assault charge on him? Has he been charged with felony battery? Anything with such charges is not worth dating. If he doesn’t openly tell you that he has molested children, for example, check on that. Google the man’s name if you find something off about him. Use your gut if you can, listen to your body language. If you’re a woman, listen hard to what your guts are telling you about a man you just met online. If the guy you met online is creepy, you will feel it and notice it in his body language and it will become more apparent. Sex offenders are off the list, and if you find that the guy has a hardship driver’s license and a DUI, that might tell you something about his responsibility and stuff. If you’re dating as a man, same applies. Women don’t always tell the truth either, and if someone lies about their past, you’ll know it. Google her name and phone number and see what criminal past pops up. For anyone who’s dating online, google the person who pops up in your radar, and see if the police will show you reports if you have an inkling about someone you’ve met online.
For LGBTQ peoples who want to date, there are lots of groups on Facebook for meeting such people, but the usual online ways like Grinder might not be accessible. Depending on your country, you might not get access du to laws regarding homosexual relationships. However, Grinder has made it a point to keep their clientele safe. If you are LGBTQI+ and want to try dating, or if you’re just now discovering yourself, feel free to connect to others who are in the same boat through a personal network. I’ll explain how I met my significant other in just a second. But a personal network is the best way to find a date for all people.
If you’re a blind person looking for a date, here’s the best way to do it. First, feel free to talk to others like yourself on email lists and Facebook, but in the email lists, you are not required to put up a picture or pay to chat. I have friends who met each other in groups for singles who are blind on Facebook. They met through a network of friends who were also blind, and that’s also how I knew the name of my significant other. I met Trenton on Twitter, but before then, his girl at the time, Stacey, had set us up sort of. She told me I should meet him, that he’s like right there in my backyard, etc. what she didn’t realize was that I’d find him in the end, and a little voice of reason told me this would be my husband. It was the best most electric feeling I’d ever had. Trenton and I hung out at a public area, but then we went to my house, watched Ellen, and then I sent him back east to his own home. Trenton is a sweet and loving guy, and we’ve been together for four years. I hope we have four hundred more, not that we have four hundred years, but you know what I mean.
The big thing about dating as a blind person that I took away from the experience was that not every person who is blind will respect your boundaries or not judge you for skill levels. Some blind men expect girls to cook and clean, and they want what they want, but that’s just my experience with some blind men. Other blind men just don’t get the word no as an answer. I guess the universe gave me a good guy and made it relatively easier than most. However, there were bumps in the road like any other couple had. I was removed from my church’s directory and told not to come back, was told that I was sinning by living with Trenton, and was not going to receive help and support. This church, Grace Community in Westminster, is not the best church I would say for blind or low vision people, and they are exclusive and believe we should be asexual. Dating a Christian would have been a bad idea. I found that even the Conservative guys want to enslave women these days, and I have to work through issues relating thereto as far as past breakups and other problems go. Trenton has been incredibly supportive of therapy, mental health screenings, and all that. Most men would not date a woman or anyone else for that matter with a mental illness. Most people have a mental illness issue, but for me, the issues are about abuse, being told that I could not, being pressed for time and energy to do certain things that don’t fly with me, and some of the time I felt like an unpaid maid or servant. I won’t stand for that mentality with guys, and requiring a woman to cook and clean and do chores around the house under duress is wrong, and that happened to me.
Marriage is work. Communication is key to a good relationship, they say. Sometimes Trenton is a bit slower at communicating than the average dude, but I know why. Sometimes I forget, but his communication is fine by me. If you have a successful online relationship, feel free to twitter about it, Facebook about it, but comments here are disabled due to trolls.