Sometimes dating can be scary - everyone feels nervous when they are meeting someone for the first time or trying to impress them. So I decided to write the dos and don’ts of dating from my experience...

Dos

  1. Do date someone with or without a disability. Get to know the person - if they've got a disability, it shouldn’t be an issue, and I would like not to just date other people with a disability, as I like to broaden my options.
  2. Do listen. If you are shy, don’t worry, sometimes quiet people are more interesting, but try to listen to people and reply to what they are saying. Ask them about themselves and listen.
  3. Do give compliments. Compliment people you like, you never know, they may have had a crap day and you cheered them up but don’t expect people to respond how you want, know you are ok as you are and it’s their thing how they respond. 
  4. Do tell friends where you are. Tell your friends if you are going on a date and even ask someone if they could sit near to where you are meeting him/her if you are scared - safety is important. If the date is going well, still be careful - you only just met. You hold the cards, play them well!
  5. Do meet in a public place. Meet in a public place not your home - safety is key!
  6. Do dress comfortably. Wear smart but casual outfit, and wear comfortable shoes, so if you have to leave quickly you can make a quick exit.
  7. Do make sure they're single. I feel its ok for people to ask other people out, but make sure you find out if he/she has a partner so if you fancy dating them, you wont be in an awkward situation. 
  8. Do charge your phone. Make sure you have your phone charged so you can call your friends or a taxi afterwards. Also have money for the taxi!

Don'ts

  1. Don't shut it down before it's started. Don't have a strict idea of your "ideal partner" - there is no ideal; just ideal for you.
  2. Don't give too much information. If you are asked about yourself only tell people what you want them to know, we don’t have to give out a great novel about ourselves! 
  3. Don't rush into things. Well it’s up to you guys, but I wouldn’t go back to his/her place and vice versa until you met a few more times - maybe boring but it’s safer!
  4. Don't stay if you don't want to. If the date is as successful as pulling teeth, make a polite excuse and leave - you have a right to a safe and happy life. 
  5. Don't be afraid to try a blind date. I sometimes have been fixed up by friends in the past which can be ok if they choose well. It’s actually probably better to choose people yourself as you know what suits you - not always your mates. But I still think it's worth a try! 
  6. Don't worry. Just be yourself on the date and enjoy it! 

Nobody should have rubbish from meeting somebody - romance and friendship happens when it’s the right time. Remember, you are in charge! Just have fun.

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