To Date or Not to Date … a Blind Person

Would you date a blind individual?

For some people it’s an immediate “No way! I could never handle that.”

For others it’s a “Sure why not? They’re hot/cool/what difference does it make?”

For most, it’s “… … … …Um?”

I had a lot of fun interviewing people for this post. The long silences, the awkward shifting about, the endless questions, the one “Hell yeah! … If it’s you 😉 ”

My conclusion? People just don’t know. It’s the unknowns, the what ifs, the what would I do’s that freak them out. But take a deep breath, pour some hot chocolate, and settle down. I am here to calm your collective nerves. Dating a blind individual, or anyone with a disability, is really not as scary as it might seem.

The cornerstone to the widespread trepidation of dating a blindy seems to be the assumption that it would be a lot of responsibility. Let me just debunk this right here and now with one quick reminder. We have survived our entire lives without dating you. We function fine before, during, and after dating you. We’re not going to suddenly depend on you if you date us. Sure, there are nice things you can do, like reading stuff or working through accessibility issues, but only if you feel like it. We have ways around these problems that don’t have to involve you. And, yes, sighted guide is a thing if we’re in an unfamiliar place, and describing movies in a theater is pretty common courtesy if there is no description soundtrack, but honestly, that’s it. It’s not up to you to “take care” of us, or keep us safe, or weight on us hand and foot. We don’t need you to and none of us expect you too.

At this point, many sighties brandish the driving card. “I don’t want to be responsible for taking my partner everywhere.” Again, how do you think we got everywhere before? There are a million transportation options open to us other than your car. Depending on where you live, there are buses, sky trains, taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, other friend’s or family member’s cars, and para transit. We have no shortage of ways of getting around. If you want to help, that’s great. If not, no worries. The dynamic is obviously a bit different for married couples or super committed partners, but don’t stress about those bridges until it’s time to cross them.

Next, people voiced concerns about intimacy.

  • How will I kiss them?
  • How will they know if they’re attracted to me?
  • How, the hell, will they manage in bed?

Let’s take these questions one at a time.

First, how will I kiss them?

Think back to your very first kiss. Remember the awkward tingles, the when will it happens, the paralyzing fear that you would somehow miss the other person’s lips? Okay, maybe the last one was just me. The point is, kissing a blind person, just like your first kiss in general, is something new, but it gets easier with time and practice. 😉 The second time trying anything is always easier than the first.

If you’re still nervous, here are a few techniques that might make kissing easier.

Blindies, you can place your hand on the other person’s shoulder, then gently trace it up to lightly cup their cheek or chin. That way, you know exactly where their lips are. Caution: I would advise against reaching straight for their face because accidentally poking someone in the eye is just not romantic.

Sighties, there are a few things you can try.

  • Verbally murmur, all sexy like, that you “are going to kiss them now.” Or, that you “want to kiss them.”
  • Put a hand on their shoulder, because physical touch is the best way to get our attention, and slowly lean in for a kiss. We will probably get the idea.
  • Put an arm around them and kiss their forehead/cheek in preparation for the lips.

I’m sure there are many other techniques that couples out there have perfected, these are just a few from my own experience.

How will they know if they’re attracted to me?

Blind people are attracted to voices in exactly the same way sighted people are attracted to looks. If you want to know whether we’re attracted to you, talk to us. This is probably one reason why blindies are often attracted to outgoing individuals. The more you talk, the more attention we pay to you, and the easier it is to figure out if we’re into you or not. Shy people, if you are interested in a blind person, strike up a conversation with them. Otherwise, I’m sorry, but if you never talk, we will literally never know you exist. 😛

How, the hell, will they manage in bed?

Let me just point out two things.

  1. In bed, the lights are off. Blindy advantage.
  2. Touch is suddenly very important and something blindies are notoriously good at.

This is not meant to encourage some weird people’s fetishizing, not sure that’s a word but I’m going to role with it, of blindness and sex. I doubt we’re abnormally amazing, but we do alright.

 

In today’s post, we covered responsibility, intimacy, and driving when dating a blindy. If you have additional questions or comments about this topic, please feel free to drop a line in the comments or contact me directly. There will always be things you wonder about or worry about when you are new to interacting with someone with a disability, but try not to stress. Your anxieties are often easily solved or not worth worrying about at all.

Be kind, and be aware.

Have questions? Got a topic in mind you’d like me to write about? Don’t hesitate to reach out through the sites contact form

If you ever listen to mood music, you have to listen to this song. It’s hilarious and written by an insanely talented friend of mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akqXQmnqHxY

8 thoughts on “To Date or Not to Date … a Blind Person

  1. Another great informative post. Just wondering if walking with person and guide dog do you let the dog guide or do we guide? Would that not confuse the dog? Do we link arms or not?

  2. Great questions! I’m so glad you asked.
    So if the blind person is in a familiar place, their dog will take charge of guiding. It should be fine to link arms or hold hands as long as the dog doesn’t seem bothered or stressed by having the extra person attached.
    If the blind person is in an unfamiliar or crowded place, you will be the one who is primarily guiding. If not linking arms, it is often helpful to give verbal directions, such as we’re about to take a right, or we’ll be crossing straight ahead, five or so seconds in advance so the handler can convey this information to their dog. If you are physically sighted guiding in an unfamiliar or crowded place, the guide dog handler may find it easier to drop the harness and heel their guide dog at their side. This is done by grasping the dog’s leash just a few inches above where it connects to the collar. Susie likes this position because she knows she’s not officially working and can relax a bit. She still always lets me know if there’s stairs or large obstacles in our path though.
    I find it very companionable and comfortable to link arms with people I know when we’re walking places, but not all blind people feel this way. Some place a lot of emphasis on independence and may prefer verbal directions. Sometimes it’s easiest to ask for their personal preference.
    Hope this helps! My Mom always said you were awesome at this kind of stuff. 🙂

  3. Great post! I read this when you first posted but read it again and was curious on your thoughts about the blind dating blind.
    I have ushers syndrome, so I am severely hearing impaired, night blind, and have lost and I still am losing peripheral. So I can still see relatively fine centrally. I’ve met a few blind girls and I liked them but I’m a bit hesitant on dating someone blind because if I go blind, it would be (for lack of a better words) an interesting adjustment. What are your thoughts of a blind person dating another blind person?

    1. The Life as Ry this is a fantastic question! I am so glad you brought it up!
      First, there is nothing wrong with being a bit hesitant about dating another blind person. It’s just a fact that things would be a bit more difficult and considering these difficulties is only natural. Going on dates in unfamiliar places, for instance, would be tricky.
      I think it boils down to how you feel about the other person. If you have a real connection with someone, it shouldn’t matter how tricky something may be. You’ll make it work if it’s important to both of you. A blind couple could double date with sighted friends, for example.
      I myself have only dated sighted guys, but this is mainly by fluke. I had a crush on a super cool blind guy a few years back and I am positive we could have made it work if it was meant to happen.
      I know a *lot of blind people who are opposed to dating other people with disabilities simply because of the double complication factor, but I definitely do not share this view. I think if you’re right for someone, you’re right for them and you’ll figure the rest out as you go.
      Thanks for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it! 🙂

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