Dating as a Blind Person: Some Tips and Tricks In The Age of Social Distancing

Dear readers,

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.

Thank you.

Beth

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Part 2: How Does Matchmaking Affect Disabled People?

Dear readers,

Matchmaking is a popular alternative to just letting love find you, but in the previous piece I wrote, I discussed foreign brides. This is a pretty big business in Asia, and I got a sleazy email about meeting sexy Russian women, and there I am a female who has a man already. How does this big foreign bride business affect disabled people? Well, let’s take a look at the stats and numbers regarding disabled potential mates out there.

One thing, blind people are most likely to be single, not able to find a mate, especially if they are living at home with parental figures. I was unable to pursue this while at home in Florida for obvious reasons. My parents really didn’t get to see a lot of who I was because they suppressed it. On top of this, I had fallen for a Haitian black man who was rather a lot like me, and his child needed a better mother who would talk to her, play with her, and do things with her like, as she grows older, help her with schoolwork and homework. It would be obvious if Michael had picked me for his wife, but foreign bridal markets could have swayed Michael to pick someone else from someplace like Russia, Africa, or Haiti itself. Michael should know that spam emails exist to bait him and other men who are seeking a wife and it is ill advised to get a foreign bride.

Foreign brides like those in Vietnam are also taking up spaces where disabled women could end up married or productive. Disabled women, by the way, are more than capable of having and raising children, but a woman with intellectual disability should at least have proper case management and resources to teach her how to parent a child correctly, and there is a correct way to parent. Disabled women who want to be in a matchmaking service should consider that the partner they are matched with could be one of a few things: nondisabled and abusive, disabled but poor and still abusive, or disabled and loving and very devoted to making sure the woman feels comfortable. A disabled bride should look forward to the third option most likely, and I would highly advise disabled brides to be never to use a matchmaking service for their particular culture because most Asian and African cultures, for example, don’t like disabled women period. They also sell their young daughters off, no matter what continent you’re on, for a price to an older and perverted gentleman, or just plain man. Bride prices range from maybe $600 to $6000 depending on the wealth and prestige of the groom. If the groom has other wives, it makes it more difficult for the bride to get settled as the senior wives might claim the man as theirs, not allowing him to fall in love with her. I would never consider being a junior wife to someone, only one wife in my case. Why? Because husbands might find a nondisabled wife more desirable, blame my blindness on everything, and mistakenly believe that my offspring will be blind. This is another issue i’ll take up in the next piece. Polygamy is a real issue that the U.S. has dealt with and especially Utah and Arizona. Watch for another piece on the Colorado City/Hildale wives and you’ll be surprised at the ending.

So the foreign bride market might not only close the real spaces needed for blind women to marry, but it could either way pose a problem. Foreign and disabled brides who land in both categories could face murder and abuse at the hands of a nondisabled husband. I’ve been given too much in the way of superiority games played by my own father, and I have to remind my partner that such games are inappropriate for any moment in play or otherwise. My partner understands when I tell him that what he does is wrong, but other men might not understand. Other men might say, “I can see, you can’t. You have to do what I say, and what I want you to do is eat, sleep, cook, sex, whatever.” So think about this, disabled women. What do you want in a relationship? I personally want a love that lasts, yes, but there’s more to it. The secrets to my relationship are as follows, and I’m willing to show you guys what makes it tick.

One, we’re meant for each other and compatible with each other’s needs. Trenton is blind, and so am I. We’re both in love with each other, which helps immensely. We speak the same language, we live in the same area. Those things help, so to those who think they’re in for a foreign bride, watch out. Unless that woman is in your personal network, she’s not to be considered. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, can’t speak to her in person in her language, if you can’t hang out in person and get alone with her a few times, it’s not worth it. Blind or otherwise, you gotta see a man’s or woman’s true colors. You got to know how this potential mate behaves around you, his mom, his dad, her mom and dad, etc. Trenton treats his mom like a queen, and so should every male. If a man doesn’t respect his mom, odds are he will treat you the woman like trash. That’s another secret to good relating to the one you love.

Disclaimer: I want to do a piece dedicated to how the arranged marriage systems in some cultures affects the LGBTQI+ communities, but most foreign women sell themselves off to men, not women, and there’s nothing wrong with lesbians wanting to be with female partners. However, since most of the marriage market affects heterosexual females, that’s who I’m mostly talking to at this moment. Please don’t be offended if you’re gay or queer and reading this, but take heart. Disabled, female, and queer does not have to be a death sentence.

To the disabled women who want to flee the abuse of family and kin relations, go for it. You have only one life to live, and this is your life. You can go wherever you want, and please, whatever you do, seek asylum in a country like Canada or the United States because we will teach you our languages and let you be yourself. Make the president mad, as a matter of fact, so that Biden can fix the immigration rules. You don’t want to pay a thousand bucks you don’t have, especially if you’re a foreign wife of a guy or a foreign woman who can’t live in a country like the Philippines or even India or Laos, don’t worry, if you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in, or don’t feel comfortable in, just get out. Those are the best words of advice I have. For blind women, don’t think your standards can go lower so you can find more men. You could be sifting through a haystack looking for a gold needle for years, and could cost you your life. So do us all a favor and keep your standards high, don’t let someone lay a hand on you, and don’t slip and fall into the trap of “If I do or don’t do this, he’ll love me more.” Self respect is highly important, and men need to listen to you. You will carry his child, do the things necessary to begin life itself, so he needs to let you lead the family and not attack you for being the one to protect yourself and your children to be. Thank you all for your support.

Beth

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Dear readers, especially to female readers,

Are you desperate for a life outside the country you’re in? Are you poor, financially unable to provide, can’t find a good man to marry? Well, you can do one of a few things, but they’ll ultimately put your life at risk.

A Vietnamese woman was murdered by her Korean husband, and that woman was desperate for a better life. Vietnam is supposedly a poor country, and there are many women who leave there and go to places like Korea through something called a marriage broker. I have a few problems with marriage brokers.

One thing, marriage is supposed to be about love, not money.

Marriage brokers won’t marry you if you’re a disabled woman, probably too damn risky.

Marriage brokers don’t care about language barriers. The Vietnamese bride could not speak Korean to her husband, and it turned into a murder case. I’m not saying that the language issue was the only reason, but the man was also quite aggressive, patriarchal, and rather drunk perhaps. However, he’s spending fifteen years in a Korean jail for his crime of killing his young Vietnamese bride.

Marriage brokers can be deceiving and rather shady in my opinion. this also includes everything from Muslim matchmaking services to Indian matchmaking services to those brokers who mess with Russian women, women in general. There are websites where child brides could be trafficked into a marriage at age eleven or twelve. What these men really want is sex, not marriage. They could kill your daughter, you, or your sisters, your cousins, so do me a big favor and stay away from marriage brokers.

There are a few things South Korea is doing to curb abusive behavior in husbands, and foreign women could be here safely. they are going to require a lot from a spousal visa, which is great, but more needs to be done in other countries like India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and so many others. Asian women get the butt of every joke when it comes to financial things, and they don’t always have it good in the marriage market. The marriage brokers should never be allowed to traffic these women and hook them up with abusers. Korea is doing more to address it, like I said before, but other countries should do the same, including the United States. Russian women often try and marry American men in the U.S. because of the circumstances in their country. Russia is now a political issue here, so i doubt this is happening very often, but I’ve gotten crazy emails about the “sexy Russian bride” that I would meet and make my life dreams come true. ugh. I’m a woman, so I erased that email and those emails. I have seen one that read, “Desperate Asian girls looking for dates.” That one is a red flag, so why am I, a female with no real potential in that market, getting emails about Asians looking for dates? I wonder, but women in the marriage market should be very very careful. It’s important to note, for example, how your potential husband behaves. If he constantly argues with you, that’s a red flag. Get away from him immediately. How I wish I could translate this post into Vietnamese and put it somewhere in the world, but foreign brides beware. It’s important that your man respect and honor your wishes and don’t expect there to be a good selection of men. If you’re a foreigner bride to be reading this, know this. You are not alone, and you may experience domestic and financial abuse at the hands of a marriage broker. Please consider marrying in your own country or perhaps marrying someone you love, not through a broker.

Beth