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“I use a wheelchair and need help with every day activities like eating and drinking. I just met someone I want to ask out on a date, but I’m not sure how to ask or how our date would work?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Eva as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

Eva Says:

This is a great question and not one talked about nearly enough.

The first thing you need to remember is dating is always awkward at first, no matter if you’re disabled or able-bodied.

As for asking someone out, be casual and just say “Hey, do you want to grab coffee or lunch?” When they say yes (and they will say yes) you can casually explain how the date logistics will work. If you have just met someone, you probably will not want them to help you eat and drink. You want them to focus on learning how awesome you are! And you should focus on getting to know them too and not on teaching them how to assist you. However, bringing an aide can be awkward at first. So in my opinion (and experience), explaining why you want a helper to accompany you to the first date  is a good idea. You can even explain how on future dates, once you two are comfortable with each other, that an aide won’t be necessary.

Also, I think you should have a conversation with your aide about how long you need them to stay (for example, just for the meal)  and when to “take a walk” (I just point to the colon sign on my letter board and my aide casually excuses themself). I think having an aide close in age helps you to not feel chaperoned. But if you discuss it with all parties, it shouldn’t matter how old your aide is. If your cutie has questions about how the date will work, that’s not a bad sign. In fact, it’s a great sign because that means they’re thinking about your needs.

On subsequent dates, if your cutie wants to learn how to help you eat and drink, your aide can show them rather than you trying to explain. Dating and needing help with certain things is a little more tricky but if you have good communication, it can be totally cool.

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