If you've arranged to meet another dating for disabled member in real life, here are some useful tips that will help you navigate your first date. Or more specifically, things you should under no circumstance do if you would like it to be successful:
1. Pick a really expensive restaurant. Whether or not you're on disability, most people don't have the budget to go on a lot of first dates, because it starts getting really expensive. Pick a coffee shop, and stick to a cup of coffee and maybe a bun. You don't really know how much your date can afford, so stick to simple and cheap.
2. Invite them over to your place. Never give anyone your address, arrange to meet in a public place. Read more on safety tips for online dating here: http://admind4d.blogspot.co.il/2014/04/how-to-stay-safe-when-using-online.html
You can also go to Dating for Disabled to read the safety rules: http://www.dating4disabled.com/pages/4
3. Pick a venue that isn't wheelchair accessible. Many of our members on dating for disabled are wheelchair users, or have a mobility challenge. If your date is a wheelchair user, make sure to phone ahead to make sure the venue is accessible.
4. Be really really nervous. Do something fun to unwind before the date: watch your favorite TV show, call your mum or eat half a pint of ice-cream in the tub; just do something you know calms you down. Most of us get a little nervous before a date, so it's important to find something you know will relax you.
5. Stand someone up or leave abruptly. Look, sometimes the person you got to know online isn't quite like the person that showed up at the restaurant. Sometimes, there just isn't any chemistry, and that's OK! Sitting and having a cup of coffee costs you an hour of your life, and four bucks. So don't scar someone by putting them off online-dating just because they aren't exactly what you were expecting. And who knows, you might even be pleasantly surprised.
6. Not offer to pay. You don't have to offer to pick up the tab if you don't want to, but you should at least offer to pay your half of it.
7. Come with expectation. Don't expect anything, don't expect the date to be amazing, don't expect a second date, don't expect them to invite you back to their place, don't expect to be kissed, don't expect that they are "the one." If you build up the date too much in your mind, you can end up being REALLY disappointed. Just show up looking forward to having a beverage with a new person you met online.
Don't get ahead of yourselves, just enjoy the moment.
8. Play with your phone or keep staring down at it. It's just disrespectful, you can afford to put it on silent for an hour, and devote your attention to the person sitting in front of you. Some of us just look at our phones out of habit-fight that habit!
9. Get drunk. It's OK to go out for a beer on a first date, just don't get drunk.
10. Be late. Being late is just a sign you don't respect someone else's time. Try and make it on time, and if you do end up running late, make sure to call and let them know (and don't forget to apologize).
11. Don't let the other person get a word in/only let them talk: a first date should be a conversation, take it in turn to speak and ask questions.
12. Talk about: politics, your ex or anything else controversial. The objective is to get to know your date, not get into an argument, or make them feel uncomfortable.
If they have a disability or medical condition, don't bring it up, let them talk about it when they feel comfortable doing so. Unless of course, you have the same disability, and have already talked about it online, in which case, go for it.
13. Bring along a chaperon. The only time it's acceptable to bring someone else along is if you've agreed upon a double-date ahead of time. If you have a caregiver, or driver, ask them nicely sit on the other side of the restaurant and read a book.
Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section, and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the site's contact sheet: http://www.dating4disabled.com/pages/5