Dating is a concept which is not understood or often misunderstood. But thanks to popular media, it is a concept that excites people. Before we get talking about your Bollywood or Hollywood date- which is not necessarily the only type of date- let us first step back and deal with two major issues.
I have often heard friends and others complain, we just aren’t confident enough to ask someone out for a date, and if we have the courage, we don’t have anyone to date!
It was rightly said in one of the soft skills seminars that I attended, that confidence or the lack thereof is closely related to knowledge. Often when people say that they are not confident to speak, it’s rooted in the fear of things that people don’t know. So if you want to engage someone in a conversation, you need to have a common ground that you could Cruise. This means that you need to know at least a few things outside of your regular orbit. Striking a conversation is the best way to break the ice, which is a must before you can jump down the gun and ask the other person out.
When you meet with a person, there are a few must remember things. One of which is the concept of space. Hasn’t it happened with many of you that you are in a crowded place, and another visually impaired person has moved into your personal space only to catch your words? It’s alright if you are friends but otherwise it may not be taken kindly. One can always lean in to listen to the conversation and then pull back, instead of physically moving closer.
I remember this funny incident where a visually impaired man wanted to meet me. He started walking towards me, while I was sitting on a chair, and didn’t stop even when he treaded on my toes. Both his hands were extended for a hand shake. Seriously, both hands? So for all of you, and particularly men, do not thrust your hand forward over enthusiastically because it might just go hit the woman’s belly or face or right in between which will be an even bigger disaster. Accidents are okay, but there is no excuse for clumsiness.
Now there is the other bunch of people who are terribly uncomfortable with sitting next to the opposite sex or the sex that they are interested in. When you deliberately try to stash the purse or your bag between you and the person next to you, the body language will communicate to the other person that you are definitely not interested and that you want to keep them away. If that is what you want to communicate, then by all means please go ahead. Basically, the point to make is that body language is extremely important irrespective of the fact whether your prospective date is disabled or not.
This brings us to the challenge of decoding nonverbal communication. At such a moment, let your intuition speak to you. You will know what and how to respond. The only problem is what I call the “paranoid intuition”. I was witness to one such classic example. Two friends- a man and a woman- were sitting and chatting and the man was ready to leave. While getting up, he accidently brushed his hand on the woman’s arm and she had the “paranoid intuition” that he was trying to hug her.
The reactions of a paranoid intuition is what most people fear. A visually impaired male friend of mine told me that he is very apprehensive of asking someone out, because he got slapped in school once when he had attempted to ask a girl out for coffee. That is a common narrative even in the life of a nondisabled man. Well, each of us has to taste the dose of a bitter medicine once in a while, whether we like it or not. That shouldn’t crush your adventurous spirit, should it?
Even if I told you all this, there are no sure steps of asking someone out. All you need to remember is by not asking a person out, you kill even the slimmest chance or possibility of being with them.
And what is the answer on who to ask? How to prepare for a date? Well, keep following the blog and you will have your answers soon!
Still have more questions? Nidhi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter: @saysnidhigoyal