ATTRACTION OR JUST BEING NICE? How do you treat or approach a disabled person on a night out?
Attraction or just being nice? This issue has probably been another difficult one for me, especially growing up and going out with my friends. We would end up most weekends going out on the town just like everyone else, socializing is an important part of life. As I am the only one out of my circle of friends who has cerebral palsy, mixing with girls on nights out brought on mixed reactions. I once had a drunken girl making gestures behind me to make herself look 'cool' towards the other girls that she was out with, which I kind of get, we all sometimes take the mick out of each other, I can give out as good as I get, and in amongst my friends, our banter is great!
I must admit though over the years, especially after a few drinks I have sometimes found it challenging to work out if a girl is genuinely attracted to me, or is just being nice, or even just showing me pity, so I would often quietly walk off the dance floor in a strop, go to the bar for another drink and find somewhere to sit down on my own, because I get that condescending feeling drain right through me. My advice to people wanting to interact with disabled people on nights out is to treat them the same as everyone else, but please make your intentions clear, because we tend to overthink or misjudge those signs, our expectations of trying to nail down a relationship are very, very high. If you just want to dance the night away and have a chat, make those attentions clear, or if you think there is genuine attraction present, make your feelings known. Be open, and you will certainly get off to a good start.
The positive thing though that these days I have learned not to expect too much, and if something escalates into more than just being friends then great, if not, there is still a little of the old party animal in me yet, and I will still enjoy myself no matter what happens!
Hope this helps,