Skip to main content

Emily Yates

“I’m 15 and the only wheelchair user in a mainstream school…”

By Emily Yates, Lifestyle, The Love Lounge No Comments

“I’m 15 and the only wheelchair user in a mainstream school. I have a lot of friends but really like one guy in our group as more than that. He’s nice to me but I don’t think he looks at me in that way. How can I get him to notice me and not the wheelchair?”

Rachel – Crawley

Hi Rachel, it’s a great question, and a situation that many of us have been through.  I think the one and only answer I can really give is be yourself and let yourself shine.  Most people are the best versions of themselves when they are relaxed and comfortable, so firstly work out what situations make you the most comfortable! It might be within a large group of friends, at a certain restaurant, or in the park opposite your house with a picnic and a book.  Whichever situation it might be, pluck up the courage to invite him along to things outside of school, this way you’ll get to know each other on a more personal level.  When you feel the time is right, arrange to do something with him that only involves you two: going for a coffee, to the cinema, taking him to one of your favourite places that is totally new to him etc.  The more than you feel in control of the situation, the more confident you are likely to be.  Hopefully you’ll have loads of fun, and if he’s still not making moves, maybe you could?  At least you’ll probably feel like you know him well enough to have ‘the conversation’ without it being awkward.  Good luck! 🙂

Emily x

Learning Disabilities and the Capacity to Consent

By Emily Yates, Lifestyle, The Love Lounge No Comments


“I’m interested to know what you think about the court’s decision that a young woman with learning disabilities and a history of abusive relationships does have mental capacity to consent to sex: I personally find it tricky because while, on the one hand it’s important people with learning disabilities are treated with respect and have equal rights to the rest of us, on the other hand don’t we as a society have a duty to protect vulnerable people from abuse?”


Hi Ella. Wow, great question. I personally find this just as tricky as you do, and agree with everything you say. The issue that I have with this situation is that, before the alleged sexual relationships and financial deals started at this woman’s expense, she was in a vulnerable position, and had made friendships and relationships with those who did not have her best interests at heart. It upsets me that this has somehow been allowed to happen, which has led to her being taken advantage of, whether she was deemed capable of consenting or not.

Regardless of a certain difficulty or disability, I hope this case has been dealt with the severity it deserves; any financial dealings around sex, and domestic abuse, are illegal (this seems to be a ‘glossed over’ part in the article), and I do personally believe that this lady’s condition leads to a much more sensitive case with lots of factors to think about.

As to whether or not I think the verdict was correct, it’s hard to say as I do not know the lady and, as with many things, all cases are different based on the individual and their needs. Her age is a really pivotal part of the case as if she’d been only a few years younger and legally a child, her disability would have only strengthened the horror of the case. With the age she is, however, the court has a real dilemma of treating her just like any other adult, or basing their decision on a child’s case, and effectively demeaning her by doing so. The problem, it seems, is that there are no guidlines for anything inbetween, which this situation obviously is!

I do think that this case and your eagerness to talk about it has made clear that situations like this need to be looked at closely and reviewed with sensitivity. In my opinion, this article highlights the very sad truth that, with correct preventative measures and support for the lady, these awful events would possibly never have happened; this should never have been a case for the court to decide. Apologies for not being able to give you a ‘black and white’ answer, but more than happy to keep chatting things through if you wish to do so.

I am 31, single, with Cerebral Palsy…

By Emily Yates, Lifestyle, The Love Lounge No Comments


“Hi, I am 31, single with CP. I have had only one boyfriend and am feeling alone as all my peers are marrying and having children. I don’t know what to do?”


Hi Fiona. Thanks so much for getting in touch. I’ve also got CP and know the feeling of ‘will I ever find someone that’s for me?’ very well indeed.

I think that the two main and most important answers that I can give to your question of what to do now in terms of finding a relationship is, firstly, stop comparing yourself to your friends and, secondly, focus on you and only you.

This may seem like a really tough thing to do, and it is! However, I can assure you that it can also really change your outlook on yourself and your life.  You and your friends are in different stages of your lives and having different experiences.  That is FINE! Enjoy the gossip you get when your friends talk about their marriages and babies, but please don’t let that make you feel like you’re not having as much fun as them or that you’re not worthy of the same happiness.  I can assure you that you are and that romance will happen for you, but the more that you search for it, get down about it and worry about when it will find its way to you, the harder it will be to find.  In fact, most of the time the best things happen when we aren’t looking for them 🙂

I also mention the importance of focusing on yourself because this will help you to become more aware of who you are and what you are looking for in someone else. Have fun being single, and get yourself out there doing things that YOU enjoy.  Now is the time that you don’t need to compromise or worry about what anyone else may think.  You can do everything that you want, how great is that?! An added bonus is that, by going to events that interest you or taking up a hobby that’s always tickled your fancy, you have a very good chance indeed of meeting somebody with common interests, so if romance does blossom, you’ll have loads to chat and giggle about!

When I was 19, I made the decision to go and study in Australia for a year.  I left my friends, family, and my long term boyfriend behind.  Our relationship ended because of the distance but, do you know what?! It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  I went out most nights with my girl-friends, enjoyed living and studying in a new country and said ‘YES’ to every opportunity that was offered to me.  I didn’t even kiss a guy for the whole year, because I was only interested in having the best experience possible, and I didn’t want anyone to become the centre of that experience and distract me.  I can honestly say it was the best year of my life, but only because I used the fact I was single in a positive way; I could’ve easily been really miserable too!

So, my ultimate advice is to have as much fun as you can, and I guarantee that when they see you laughing and smiling, the boys will be chasing you! 😉

All the best,
Em x


I’ve just started seeing this amazing girl

By Emily Yates, Lifestyle No Comments

“I’ve just started seeing an amazing girl in the year above from school. She knows I’m partially blind and it’s never been a big deal. But one of the only places we can hang out is at the cinema which doesn’t have many accessible movies with audio description. I don’t want her to get bored with me! What other fun cheap dates could I take her on?”

Anonymous, London

Brittany’s advice…

Take her to the lakes or the beach, shopping, for a picnic or take out for ice cream.