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With a dating history that I could count on two hands, I most definitely wouldn’t call myself a serial dater.

When it comes to dating, sex and relationships, I’ve had amazing experiences, as well as some I’d much rather forget… but haven’t most of us? Those experiences have led to me gaining one thing, though: dating confidence. I’ve now got a partner who I hope to be with for a very long time, but if I was to go out on a date tomorrow, I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t be too petrified or anxious about it.

Whether you’re going out on a date tomorrow, next week or next month, here are some confidence tips that I hope will help you navigate the shiny (but often scary) world of dating.

Tip 1: Plan ahead.

It may sound obvious, but a first date is going to be much more stressful when it’s filled with uncertainty. Uncertainty about how you’ll get there, when you’ll arrive and what you’ll say. Of course you don’t want to seem inflexible or scripted, but it’s not a bad idea to have a think about
these things before date day.

I’m a wheelchair user, so the venue and location of the date is really
important to me (the evening isn’t going to get off to the best of starts if I arrive at a restaurant with 5 steps up to it!) And I always have a couple of ready-made answers memorised in case I get asked about my disability. Which leads nicely on to tip number 2.

Tip 2: Disclosure.

For those of us who are disabled, this is more often than not a BIG deal. It’s totally up to us whether we choose to disclose our impairment to our potential lover before the first date or a couple of months into the relationship. But you can bet it’s on our minds on the regular.

Disclosing the fact that I’m a wheelchair user (and really owning that, regardless of what the reaction is) has undoubtedly made me a more confident dater. Yes, I’m in a strangely fortunate position that my
very visible aid with four wheels really takes that debate of when to disclose my situation right out of my hands, but knowing that I’m comfortable with how that conversation might go down has really
made all the difference.

Tip 3: Have fun!

Smile, wear a bold lippy, be daring with a colourful outfit just to see what the reaction is. Dating is supposed to be enjoyable, and even though it can be stressful at times, that stress shouldn’t take all the fun away for you. I can 100% guarantee that no-one has a clean sheet of all-amazing dates; we
all have a few bad ones, whether we are disabled or not. But, you

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