Tag Archives: dating

5 Tips for Dating Someone Who is Divinely Disabled

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Last week I shared with you my top tips for dating if you are disabled. Well, somehow that post was the most successful post in “Inner musings of a funny looking kid” history.

 

So, because now I have tickets on myself; here are my top 5 tips for dating someone who is divinely disabled.

 

  1. Keep a sense of humour:

Very early on in our relationship, I went to a partner’s house for dinner. As we were preparing to eat he went to the cupboard to get the plates. I was twiddling my thumbs and so I asked him “Would you like a hand?” Now this was a polite and fair question except that he didn’t (and I assume still doesn’t) have arms. Without batting an eyelid, he looked at me (straight-faced) and said, “Actually I’d like two.” Then proceeded to laugh at the embarrassment on my face. Faux pas will happen and, having lived with our bodies for a long time, a person with a disability can usually tell the difference between a Freudian slip or innocent mistake and a deliberate attempt to offend. And, if we like you, we’ll usually let it slide.

 

Having said that though, that doesn’t mean that your date is automatically up for being the butt of your jokes. Take a cue from them.  If they find it funny, then chances are that you can too.

 

  1. There is a difference between chivalry and being patronising:

As a general rule; if you’ve seen Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire or Clarke Gable do it in a movie, i.e. Hold a door open, push a chair in or pick up the cheque, this is chivalry. Anything else is patronising unless they ask you for the help. As a matter of fact, some will say that the above gestures are also patronising but I don’t see anything wrong with the occasional display of gentlemanliness. It’s one of my favourite things about Damion.

 

A lot of disabled people are very independent and others have a carer to help them when they need it. We are out with you because we want a partner, not because the carer has the night off!

 

  1. Be prepared:

Dating us is a lot like being a Boy Scout. You need to always be prepared.   I don’t mean that you should bring a first aid kit to every date, although don’t be surprised if we need one at some point (see tips 1 and 2 for how to handle this), but rather that you need to consider the venue or activity you are planning beforehand. For example, if your date is in a wheelchair then places without stairs are a good idea and rock climbing is probably not. This will get easier the longer you know each other and if in doubt, ask.

 

I once went on a date with a guy who was unsure as to where we should go. When I suggested the Roof Top Movies, (a cinema on the top floor of an open-air car park), he declined because he didn’t want to wear a harness. I don’t know what the hell he thought roof top movies were.

 

Also, if you don’t have a disability you might not have experienced the stares that you will get when we’re out together. It is not our fault; some people are just rude.  But chances are it is always going to happen. If it’s too much for you that’s ok but please tell us before it becomes an issue.

 

  1. Do ask and do tell:

If you are curious, it is ok to ask. If you both plan on a long-term relationship, then you will more than likely learn the answers to your questions eventually though.  So use your common sense as to what is appropriate to ask at which stage of the game and remember, your date is not your research project.

 

Yes, love is blind but if your love actually is blind (for example) it is a good idea to mention this to your family/friends before you introduce us to them.  This will avoid any awkwardness during the introduction and allow everyone to make preparations that will ensure everyone is as comfortable as possible. It also gives them the chance to ask questions or air any misgivings they may have out of your love’s earshot.

This is not patronizing, its practical.

 

  1. A tip from Damion:

Keep an open mind. People with a disability may look/act different to “normal” people but they will more often than not prove to be more loving and understanding than others. Which makes for a deeper and more fulfilling relationship.

 

For the record: I did not put him up to that.

 

Happy dating!

 

XOXO

5 Dating Tips for the Divinely Disabled

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Like millions of women the world over, I got my fair share of advice from others on what kind of man I needed when I finally started dating. I was told he needed to be as clever as me or I’ll get bored, a dormouse so that he didn’t mind that I did all the talking and I was even told that I needed a fella who worshipped me as much as my old dog Napoleon did. But perhaps the most unhelpful suggestion I got was that I needed, above all else, a man with a disability. coz you know, we’re in the same league.

Damion does not have a disability, but I don’t hold that against him. He is in fact the only person I’ve been out with (more than once) who does not, and he’s awesome! The only other “serious relationship” (if you could call it that) that I have ever had was with a gorgeous guy that did happen to have one. The relationship lasted for less than a year but I suspect that that had more to do with my incredibly low self-esteem, ( resulting in my constant need for reassurance) not our disabilities. Constant crying is never an attractive quality for anyone.  It is almost as unattractive as desperation.

 

On a side note, I mention the disability status of both of these men purely to make the point that this is not the deciding factor in my relationships. You would be surprised how many people ask me “what is his disability?” if ever I mention Damion. I will usually ignore the ignorance but if I do answer, you’d think I had said I was dating a 100-year-old (nothing wrong it that) and not someone who’s able-bodied. Such is the shocked reaction I encounter.

 

I have now seen both sides of the coin. That is, I have been the disabled dater and the disabled datee. When one or more of you have a disability, there are extra things to be considered, such as anything from; access to venues and how you’re going to get there, to how you’re going to shower at your partner’s house without your shower chair. Luckily though, with this being 2017, there is usually a way around everything if you want there to be.

 

I am no expert but since when has that ever stopped me? Here are my top tips for dating if you are divinely disabled:

 

1. Don’t hide your disability –  be upfront, honest and proud of your disability. If it’s too confronting to deal with on the first date, it’s unlikely to be any less so if you spring it on them in 2-dates-time. This is especially important if you are dating online. Trust me, the look of shock/disappointment that comes when your date sees that you are more disabled than they thought is not something that you really want to see.

 

I once went out with a guy who gave me that look. so, not wanting to seem any more disabled (as it was obviously an issue) I decided not to take my walking frame. This was a mistake, what I should have done was not go through with the date. Instead I wobbled around and eventually had to hold onto him for support which made us both uncomfortable. Needless to say, there was no second date.

2. You don’t have to take second best.

I had thought that because I am not perfect and my disability carries a lot of baggage, I should take anything that is offered to me and be grateful. That means  putting up with being made fun of,  or taking part in activities that I was not comfortable with, purely because I was afraid that nothing else would come along. Wrong! Sure, it is a possibility, but if you don’t find someone else straight away, at least you won’t have to shave your legs every day.

 

Similarly remember that you are not a curio. There is a myth out there that disability equals desperate and to use a phrase I heard a lady on BBC program “The Undatables” use; we are not here for a fascination fuck!

 

3. On the first date go somewhere you know.

It’s not always your choice, but if you can go somewhere you know well, then do. That way you can be familiar with where the easiest access points are and where you can sit down if you need to. Another perk to knowing the place is that, where applicable, you can peruse the menu beforehand. This avoids the awkwardness of having to ask your date to read it for you if you can’t. Although, their reaction to this request can be a good indicator as to how comfortable they are with your disability. Damion read the menu out for me on our first date.

4. Be happy with yourself first.

I know that everyone says this and it’s easier said than done, but it’s true. Unfortunately, unless your partner is as lacking in the self-esteem department as you (not recommended) or they have the patience of a saint, you won’t get the reassurance you’re after. You’ll get dumped! Try counselling and/or writing to overcome this. It worked for me

5, You gotta be in it to win it – put yourself out there.

This is not a movie, it’s real life. So, sadly, the person you’re looking for wont just appear on your doorstep and declare undying love for you. It’s frightening and yes, your disability might expose you to more rejection than you hope, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

 

If you’re shy, internet dating is a good option and you can do it in your pyjamas. It’s also good when, like me, your disability makes it difficult to socialise in the traditional way. You do have to go out in the big wide world eventually though.

 

There are lots of different sites out there but I had success with disabledsingles.com.au and more recently with Zoosk (it’s were I met Damion). There are people from all walks of life everywhere, so keep an open mind and just go with what your comfortable with.

 

Good luck and happy dating!

 

XOXO

Fact or Fortune 3 Part 2: What the Psychic thinks now

Okay well she didn’t do so badly the last time. 50% is at least a pass, and they say third time is a charm. So I went to the psychic again. 

 At this visit (August 2016) I was in a much happier place than I was when I saw her last. I was healthier and finally in a relationship that made me truly happy.  I just left my job in pathology that I had held for 12 years and was due to commence my new position the following week.  I was also eagerly awaiting settlement of my new apartment and the date for which I can move in. Basically, I was one happy little ball of nervous but very excited energy!

 I bounced on in, clutching a photo of Damion and the cutting from the plant (the bay tree again) that she always asks for. It’s meant to be from a plant that means something special to me, and it has been instrumental in the creation of many a delicious meal over the years. But in truth, I really only chose it because it was the closest plant to the car.

 She ushered me in and sat me down before asking, ” So darling, what’s been going on in your life?” Ever the sceptic I simply replied, “You know, same old same old” and left it at that.  Far be it for me to steal her thunder.

 While she examined the cutting and the photo that I had brought with me, I randomly selected eight crystals from the bowl on the desk. For anyone who is interested, I always have to choose eight crystals because eight is half of 16 and 16 is my favourite number. 

 The first crystal was tiny, not even half as big as any of the others. Apparently this indicated that somebody I work with , that I admired, and who I trusted had made me feel small (not hard, I am 4 foot nine)  and this has caused me to feel “pushed out”. But as the second crystal was clear, the path was open for me to start anew at a job that I would enjoy more. I did need to be careful though, because the next three crystals were cloudy and indicated that I was too comfortable where I was and that now I was terrified of the change ahead. This was in fact true.

  Apparently I had put too high an expectation on myself and that I couldn’t go into the new job pretending that I knew it all. It is okay to ask questions and I can accept help if it is offered to me.  There is no harm in letting others do something nice for me if it makes them feel good (what? This is against all my programming). Further, if I did not do this I would create walls around me.

She looked at the cutting again and told me that she saw that I had recently bought a property. This was apparently a very good thing. The last three crystals were also clear but they were oddly shaped.  Meaning the move would be positive but that living here was just a stepping stone to something else. It would be something good though. 

 She asked me who it was in the photo and I told her that his name was Damion but unfortunately I cannot remember whether or not I identified him as my boyfriend. She then went on to describe him to a tee  and to tell me how gentlemanly he is. She told me that we shared a connection and that we could be quite happy together.  But that because we both had free will and “there is no such thing as a fortune teller” she didn’t know if he was “The one”.  For the record, I did not actually ask her that question.

 Before closing she told me that for once in my life I needed to stop and smell the roses. I needed to stop expecting something bad to be around every corner and to accept that sometimes life has good lesson to teach me as well. If I didn’t I would drive everything good away. I freely admit that I am now and have always been a pessimist. So I am trying to keep this advice in mind.

 But she wasn’t done…

 

“Who has a birthday coming up” she asked. Dad’s birthday was the week after the reading and that’s what  I told her. “Well” she said, “your Nonno wants you to wish him a happy birthday”  . This made me laugh. I don’t remember my Nonno ever being particularly chatty in life yet this is the third time he has popped in for a chat during a reading.  Perhaps he is just making up for lost time or maybe he’s a bit bored. Apparently the atmosphere in the afterlife is a bit dead (sorry I had to do it).

 

I’m pretty sure I have this psychic reading stuff out of my system now

 

XOXO 

Dating the Enemy: My boyfriend is an Eagles supporter

footy Nina 

 

 

 

It always takes a while to get to know a new partner. To get used to their quirks and habits. And to learn the day to day stuff, like how he takes his coffee (white with two for anyone playing along at home).  

 

When you stumble on something that you may find unnerving; he chews with his mouth open, leaves the toilet seat up or picks his nose at the table (for the record Damion doesn’t do any of these things) then you may just have to live with them.  After all without the little quirks he wouldn’t be the same man you fell in love with. That is, unless your boyfriend is a West Coast Eagles supporter!

 

 

Of course I knew of this flaw  (possibly the only one he’s got) before I even went out with him. We got all the skeletons out of our respective closets (Secret families, criminal records and penchant for the music of Milli Vanilli etc) very early on.  But like millions of women the world over, I thought that I could change him. Unfortunately this is proving to be more difficult than I had anticipated.

 

 

Two weeks ago Damion asked me a question that I have dreamt of being asked  for my entire adult life. No, not “will you marry me,” but rather “Will you go to a Fremantle Dockers Game with me?” Naturally I said yes and proceeded to Facebook to make the announcement just as you do with any relationship milestone. 

 

On the day of my first ever AFL football game  I was beside myself with excitement. So much so that I insisted on getting to the stadium more than an hour before bounce down just in case I missed anything. It was a massive game. Dockers v Sydney and Matthew Pavlich (a Dockers legend) was celebrating his 350th game.

 

We had great seats right on the 50 metre line (thanks to Damion’s awesome brother in law who is a Dockers member) and despite the fact that it was raining heavily and very cold (The only reason I ate the disgusting and hideously overpriced hot chips available), I was having a ball although I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the players who had to run around in the rain while I was wrapped up like an Eskimo. 

 

In the end we lost by 90 points (I had forgotten to bring my footy boots so I couldn’t get onto the field and help them out) but I did see Pavlich up close so I was happy. Damion was very sweet and considering that this was my first time at the football and we had received such a thrashing he did his best not to rub it in, much!

 

The following week I went to the football again but this time the stakes were much higher. It was the Western Derby, Dockers versus the Eagles. The biggest game of the season for any Western Australian AFL fan.   The sun was shining (of course it was, this time I had brought with me a poncho) and the temperature was slightly warmer. 

 

I had decided that if ever I was going to bring Damion over from the “dark side” it would be at this game and when we were winning at half time I really thought I had a shot. But alas, our lead was short lived and we went on to lose by 48 points. Would I ever get to see my beloveds team win? Damion was again gracious in victory.

 

It was at this point that I realised while I was trying to bring him over to my side, Damion was trying to drag me over to his….

 

Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen. Go Freo!

 

XOXO 

Confucius say: beware of man with hot accent – The post script

Previously on “Inner musings of a funny looking kid” we met “Mr Sweetheart,” the star of my last post “Confucius say: Beware of man with hot accent” whom I described as; tall, dark and handsome. While I still acknowledge this to be true I would now like to add incredibly brave (some might say clueless) to that list.

 

After some encouragement from some friends whose opinion I value greatly, I contacted “Mr Sweetheart” whom I shall now refer to as “Mr Braveheart” and asked him to call me back as I had a question for him.

 

Before you say it I know, I know. Making contact with the one who has so obviously followed his jewels to greener pastures is a huge dating no no and may have set the cause of women’s liberation back about 20 years (possibly this is an exaggeration). But what can I say? I was curious and to his credit he did call me back. Unfortunately, though, this is where his credit runs out…

 

The conversation began as any other. We exchanged pleasantries, enquired about each other’s families and engaged in idle chit chat, until I decided to cut to the chase. I told him that I had used my supreme intellect to deduce that he had had enough Nina in his life but that I had only one question. Why? Was it because I am disabled? God that sounds pathetic!

 

Of course he said no and he told me he had “accidently” met someone else (no surprises there). Almost as if it was the most normal thing in the world he went on to say that he’d had a fantastic time with me, that he really enjoyed talking to me and that we should still make plans to catch up. Adding that if things didn’t work out with the new girl that there was still a chance for us. I assure you my dear “Mr Braveheart” there is not.

 

For the first time in my life I was totally speechless. I mean honestly, the balls!

 

 

XOXO

Confucius say: Beware of man with Hot Accent!

Now I don’t want to make an assumption, but if a man hasn’t called me for more than three weeks I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to. No matter how many times we pashed on the driveway. It’s a real shame too. He was everything you could want in a man; tall, dark and handsome with a good job and a nice car. And a sweetheart to boot. He did have one major flaw though; he is a West Coast Eagles supporter. So perhaps I dodged a bullet there.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I would still like him to call (although I’m not sure what I’d say to him if he did) and I am a bit disappointed that he seems to have   had enough Nina in his life. But surprisingly (to me at least), I am not devastated. I am just confused.

 

After my last relationship which I ended in July of 2015, I had said “no more dating.” It had taking me a long time to get over breaking up with Matt, my first long (ish) term boyfriend and I did harbour some resentment towards him for breaking up with me. It wasn’t until the shoe was on the other foot and I had to do the breaking up that I realised how hard it actually is to breakup with someone especially when you actually do care for them.

 

From then on I decided to work on me and by the end of the year I was happier, more content and more confident than I had ever been. I liked my job. My blog and my writing career were really starting to take off and were creating new and exciting opportunities for me every day, and my apartment with the “Carrie Bradshaw” wardrobe and city views had finally begun construction. In short, I had managed to convince myself that all of this, along with my sparkling personality and incredible wit (let me have this) made me a very attractive person, at least on paper. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and I was happy to go it alone.

 

Then a cute boy with a hot accent crossed my path and that all changed. We talked a lot and by the time we finally met we knew more about each other than most couples learn in a decade. We even knew each other’s blood type (don’t ask). Yes, the first date had a few little awkward moments but overall it seemed to go well and he called me the next day to say he wanted to see me again.

 

So I am not really sure what happened. I would like to think it wasn’t anything to do with my having a disability (yes I made sure he knew about it before we met) but maybe that is what it was. I suppose if you don’t have one yourself, a person with a disability might seem a bit daunting. Surely it couldn’t have been me?

 

Just like the Apple TV I got for my birthday that I didn’t particularly want but now can’t live without, I have realised that maybe I do want someone to share my adventures with after all.

 

I don’t want someone to be my life (I have my own) and I don’t want to be the centre of theirs. I have been there and being worshipped isn’t as good as it sounds. Having said that though, I refuse to be anyone’s after thought either. Is that too demanding?

 

On a lighter note. Yesterday I ran into Matt at a function. It was the first time we had seen each other since breaking up almost 2 years ago. It had to happen sooner or later considering that we work around the corner from each other but still finally seeing him after so long took me by surprise.

 

I thought to myself “I’m glad I chose this dress today, I look hot.” The problem was so did he…Damn it!

 

XOXO

 

 

New Relationships are like Discovery Centres

The start of a new relationship is so much fun. It’s a period of learning and exploration. A time when you find out the things you have in common, such as a mutual love for the movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?” And a mutual dislike of coffee (yes I have these in the correct order). It’s a time where you go to places you wouldn’t normally go, watch things that don’t particularly interest you and laugh at jokes that are not funny, all in the name of impressing your crush.

It’s also a time when you might learn something about yourself. For example when we went to the Perth Mint I stood on a scale that calculates what your weight is worth in gold.  According to the gold price that day my 48 kg was worth $2.9 million. I won’t lie, secretly I was disappointed with this number. I had hoped it would say priceless.

You may also learn that the things you remember fondly from your childhood may not be so wonderful when you’re all grown up.  I had been talking Scitech (a science discovery centre) up for weeks. I remembered riding on a magic carpet with my brother (I have actual video proof of this), the giant lung that actually breathed as you walked through it and the giant  tongue that taught you sweet and sour when you gave it something to eat. To me this place was awesome!

Of course this may have been because last time I went there I was 10 years old.  20 years later Scitech did not seem so cool. Aside from the fact that all my beloved exhibits were now gone, we seemed to be the only two people there over the age of 12. There was a 3-D printer printing a Tardis which was cool but sometimes happy memories should remain just that.

My new found maturity did not stifle my excitement at seeing Brum at the motor museum though, I was positively star struck!

Then there are the lessons in logic. The motor museum is filled with cars from every era since cars began being used in Western Australia, including the cars that needed to be cranked to start the engine.  I assumed like a music box you wound them until they could be wound no more, and then they drove until eventually they conked out and needed to be wound up again. Apparently this is not the case.

Mick and I have been dating for three months now. I have no idea why he likes me. He must just worship the ground I wobble on.

XOXO