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Finding the best place to go for dates can be so hard. Especially if you have a disability. Suddenly you have twice as much to think about before commiting to one place. There are plenty of accessible places you can go for dates, but it has to be something you enjoy as well. Dating with a disability can be hard at the best of times, never mind telling someone that you can’t go somewhere because it isn’t accessible. I would recommend that if you are asked on a date, look up places yourself and pose them as suggestions to avoid your date being disappointed. Or at least have open communication about what you need. Of course, there are lots of different disabilites, so I’ve tried to make an inclusive list.
All of these date ideas should be considered with your current local COVID restrictions in mind.
Date Ideas When Dating With A Disability
Most cinemas are accessible these days. And what is better than not having to (potentially) force conversation for hours on a first date? This will give you something to discuss and talk about afterwards whilst also being accessible for you. A lot of cinemas now also have subtitled or audio describes showings. You can even book a meal in for after the cinema to give you time to get to know your dates interests, if you enjoy the same things about films and generally figure out if you like them romantically.
Stay In When Dating With A Disability
Disabled dating doesn’t have to be much different from what you would expect from a date. You can still stay in and plan a meal, watch a movie or even find a good series to watch. These can be the best dates because people are more likely to be themselves in their own home, or in a homely environment. This opens up the date activities to a lot more as well, you could try painting, general crafts, or even cocktail making. It also means you can *potentially* be nosy and have a look around your dates house/flat. See their decorating style, if they keep their places clean etc.
Head To A Museum
Museums are a great way to get to know your date. You get to see what makes them tick. What type of history are they interested in? And do you share that interest? The other bonus is that museums tend to have large open spaces and flat floors meaning they’re great for people with mobility issues. They also normally have audio guides that take you through the museum and large print leaflets to help people who need it enjoy the exhibit as much as everyone else. Some museums even have braille! Look up beforehand to make sure the museum you’ve picked has exatly what you need, if you can’t find information give them a phone, they’re normally happy to accommodate.
Check Out An Art Gallery
Art galleries are normally also great for accessibility, for the same reasons as above. They’re also a fun way to see if you have the same interests as your date. Does the painting move them? Ask them why. Get to know each other while sharing an experience. It’s also great conversations starters, are they interested in art? Do they have a favourite artists? etc. I recently went to the Ray Harryhausen, Titan Of Cinema Exhibit at the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Two) with my partner and even after 4 years learned more about what his interests are. I know that exhibit is wheelchair accessible, and there really is something for everyone in the exhibit. I highly recommend it.
Head To The Theatre
As with cinemas, most theatres are accessible these days. They also host a wide range of different shows you can go to see. From musicals to Shakespeare there is bound to be something you are both open to seeing. That being said, I would maybe avoid the major tearjerkers for a first date. This also takes the pressure off conversating with your date because it gives you a clear and defined thing to talk about, even if you meet up before the show. You can talk about what you’re excited to see.
Pack a picnic and head out to an accessible park. There is nothing like getting some fresh air whilst enjoying good food! You could make it even more fun by asking the other person to bring their favourite picnic food (and you bring yours too) then you try each others and see if you’ve discovered a new picnic food. If you time it for good weather as well this can be a really romantic way to get to know your date.
Find A Wildlife Park
Wildlife parks are generally accessible, or have options for you when you get there. If they have some areas that aren’t accessible, they normally make this clear on their website. If you don’t mind missing out on a couple of things, it would be a really fun date. It’s always fun to be able to see the animals in a safe environment. You’ll also be able to find out what your dates favourite animals are and see how they cope with not being able to see certain things due to accessibility issues.
Check Places Out Beforehand When Dating With A Disability
It goes without saying that you should check places out before going. If you are the person organising the date, but aren’t disabled yourself, here is a list of things you should be looking out for (as stated before there are lots of disabilities to consider, I am listing the most common issues that come up):
- Is there a ramp?
- Does the restaurant have low tables?
- Are there accessible bathroom areas?
- Just ask. If you don’t know what a venue offers, phone them up and ask to make sure they have what your date needs.