Tag Archives: Dating

Write me your picture, don’t send me your photo

“He isn’t good enough for you.” That has sometimes been friend’s verdicts when I have excitedly told them about my latest potential love interest. “How do you know he isn’t good enough? Have you met him? In which case, tell me everything you know.” I reply in my head. Because, in most cases, they don’t know him. They have seen his photo and they make judgments based on one split second in his life time. He, whoever he may be, is not good enough for me because he doesn’t look good enough.

There is a similar problem with dating sites. If people don’t like your picture, they won’t respond to your messages, or click on your profile. What’s that all about? Seriously?

I personally get discouraged when friends say that somebody isn’t good enough for me based on the photo. The photo doesn’t convey manners, a nice voice, good writing skills and a sense of humour. Besides, not everyone is photogenic.

I wish people could just meet each other before they reserved any judgment on whether somebody is good for somebody else. Let them judge on personality rather than a photo.

This is why I wish there was a dating site out there which could have a tag line such as Write me your picture, don’t send me your photo.

The idea is that the site would be free from all pictures and you could only click on profiles you liked the writing of. Then, when you started talking, it would be text and voice chat options. And when you had been chatting for say six weeks and still got on famously, there would be the possibility of seeing the picture and even meet up.

The concept isn’t entirely my idea. In the Ghanaian movie Perfect Picture, which I’m more than a little obsessed about, there is a concept like that, where they chat for six weeks before meeting. Exchanging of phone numbers and emails are discouraged before meeting up.

I don’t know how popular such a dating site would be. But I know both blind and sighted people who wouldn’t mind not disclosing their pictures too early in getting to know somebody.

I’ve been putting it out there now. And I can only hope my idea won’t be stolen. If you do, please credit me and expect me to become your competitor one sweet day when I launch it!

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My problem with internet dating?

No, it’s not the stigma connected. But I have been hiding behind that excuse for a long time.

It’s not the array of weirdoes either. They are there, but I know from friends’ experiences that the internet dating world is also inhabited by normal, handsome and perfectly respectable men.

I have two essential problems when it comes to internet dating and they are both linked to blindness.

The first problem is probably all in my head. The revelation. Let’s say I’ve somehow managed to find a likeable man in the ocean of less likeable men. We’re talking, the conversation is going great and we’re about to meet. And that’s when I have to tell him. “I’m visually impaired. Actually I’m blind.” He needs to know this, because he is the one who needs to find me in the public place we’ll be meeting. But revealing such a fact to me, feels equal to committing social suicide, or at least romantic suicide.

Because in truth, most people wouldn’t know anything about blindness and blind people unless they have experienced it. And not everybody have positive experiences with blindness. So when I reveal my lack of sight, the man in question will perhaps imagine a helpless, badly dressed woman who needs help with everything from cutting her food to wiping her backside. And he might get cold feet and cancel the date.

Yes. You’re telling me that I’m not losing out and that a man like this isn’t worth it. And I’d hope a man I took a liking to would be a bit more open minded and ask questions he may have. But like everyone else in this world, I’m a little scared of being judged on something I haven’t chosen to be before I’ve been able to show them the full deal.

So what do I do? Do I say “I’m blind, which means you’ll have to find me in the café, bar, or whatever. But just in case you’re wondering, I take great care of my appearance, have a profession and I can cook and get around quite independently.”

This could also push him away, because by saying something like that, I’m showing low self-esteem. And men love women who are confident in who they are. Something I am face to face.

A more basic and pressing problem with internet dating, is accessing the dating sites. These sites are full of pictures, adverts and graphics and thus very hard to navigate with a screen reader. The easiest dating sites to use are those catering to the disabled and I’d refuse to sign up to one of them.

So there you have it. I need to identify a website I can use, and I need to stop thinking that people would turn me down because I’m blind. That’s why I prefer meeting men face to face. There’s no moment of revelation and they immediately see that although I can’t see, I’m just a regular woman.

My own Romance Story

A year and a few months ago, I wrote what has proven to be my most popular post.
Blindness, dating, Romance and how to attract blind people

My reason for writing it, was because upon googling the subjects and finding only guess whats, I thought something proper needed to be written about the subject of blind people and dating. And I am still receiving comments on that post from readers who share their own stories and ask for advice. I think I can safely say that my dating post is responsible for my blog receiving as many hits as it does.
It was the most recent comment on said post, a very nice story from a sighted reader who found love with a blind man that’s inspiring me to write this post. Because I also have a nice story to tell. It’s not remarkable in so many ways, but it does perhaps challenge some thoughts about how blind people fall in love. This experience is very remarkable to me of course, because it’s all about me and I’m learning new things too. I am dedicating this story especially to the blind people who struggle, or have struggled with some of the issues I am describing. I hope it will be encouraging.

I recently left the singles club! I can’t quite believe it myself, because I was waving that singles flag quite proudly. I didn’t really want a man. I had a master to finish after all and no time for relationships. But there were some other underlying issues. My relationship history hasn’t been all that inspiring for me to want to rush into something new. You could almost divide all my previous relationships into three categories.
1. The blind man who lives far away. I have NEVER been a big fan of online dating, but these are men I have met in person and kept in touch with online because we don’t live in the same place. A relationship of sorts developed, but died rather quickly after a few meetings.
2. 2. The blind man who live close by. I believe two blind people can live happily ever after, but after having dated blind men who live far away and blind men who live nearby, I have to say that for me, that seems like a mere impossibility. The problem lies with me and with me entirely. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but I think the best way I can put it, is that being with a blind man, no matter how independent he is, gives me a feeling of segregation from mainstream society. This comes out as frustration and irritation and making me not a nice person to be around. Besides, my family has always been vocal about the fact that I “can do better” than ending up with a blind man. And much as I know it’s a horrible thing to say, that way of thinking has rubbed off on me to.
3. 3. The sighted, overprotective man. This man is sighted, but embarrassed about dating me a blind woman. He doesn’t tell his friends about me and ends things before they can really develop. He is also terrified about me cooking, or doing anything around the house. I can’t see for goodness sake, so I might poison him!

My dream has always been to meet a nice sighted man who takes me for who I am, and through just being who he is, makes me feel good about myself. He should also live nearby. Besides, I was envious of the blind women who had managed to get sighted men. I had pretty much given up hope of meeting him. After all, my attitudes were/are perhaps not the best? With those attitudes, I didn’t deserve the kind of man I wanted. And as I mentioned, I wasn’t really looking for anything either. But one day, he came, literally dancing into my life.

It was at a party, it was nearly 2 AM I think. I had lost track of time. I found myself on the dance floor in the arms of a beautiful black man. I had never met him before, so I didn’t know anything about him. But my physical attraction to him was very strong and I could sense it was mutual from the way he handled me… It was the first time I fell for someone without even having heard his voice first. The music was so loud that his “Do you want to dance?” didn’t really give away much of what he sounded like. I could tell he was black from his skin texture and to a certain extent how he moved. I was very taken with his body shape and how he smelled and I just wanted to get to know him based on all that. I just assumed he knew I was blind, that he might have seen me around earlier holding someone else’s arm or something, but I later found out that it had taken him a while to realize. In fact, all that time we danced, he didn’t know. When he did realize it though, he did not mention it, because, as he said later, it wasn’t important.

After finding out that I liked how he looked, I also found out, that I liked the rest. The voice, personality, sense of humour and most importantly, his good attitude.

I am not going to say that I couldn’t have somehow learned to live happily with a blind man. Nor that the fact that my partner can see makes him so attractive to me. But I like to think that God, fate, whatever you believe in, sometimes provides for your needs and though this perhaps is going to sound very sentimental, my newly acquired partner, is the kind of man I need. I feel good and relaxed around him and I forget that one is sighted and one is blind. We do things for each other like any couple and I never get the feeling that I am a burden to him like I have with past sighted men. We are compatible, equally highly educated and want similar things in life and communicate very well with each other, which is the key to every good relationship.

The good things happen when you least expect it, and this is certainly true of how I met my man. For the first time ever in a relationship, I feel great about who I am, have no insecurities or that I constantly have to prove myself. Good start. Don’t you think?

10 reasons why we love geeky guys and think you should too

Disclaimer: If you have no sense of humour, go read something else. 

«How do you draw so many geeks?” My friend Elisabeth and I were sifting through my Facebook photos to delete the very ugliest ones of yours truly and peaking a little at different people on my profile while we were at it. “I don’t know,” I replied. I thought quietly for a little while before adding. “Perhaps because geeks are interesting and I prefer them to mainstream people.” She laughed and I continued, also laughing, “The geeky men are perfect to date.”

I know geek is a word that has negative connotations. But first of all, geek is a compliment coming from me, or rather us. I don’t refer to the overweight guys who drink coke, never wash and spend their time hacking. No. Geeks are people who are not afraid of being different, doing their own thing. Not always follow the crowd. And because these people tend to be original, which technically is a better word for them, they have nerdy tendencies whether it is an extreme obsession with comic books, ancient history or classical music.

We put together a list of why geeky guys are great to date and we had so much fun putting it together that I thought it needed to be shared. Needless to say, we are a little, if not a lot, geeky ourselves.

1. They ask intelligent questions.
2. They don’t run when you ask intelligent questions.
3. Their comments and reflections show that they’re intelligent people who THINK!
4. They don’t run when you intelligently reply to something they said.
5. You don’t have to explain your hobbies. They are likely to have hobbies that are even stranger than yours.
6. They don’t try to change you. They are, individual and original and appreciate the same thing in you. That’s probably why they approached you in the first place.
7. They assume that you’re intelligent too, meaning you don’t have to prove it.
8. Their sense of humor might be as weird as yours.
9. Their world picture might have some resemblance to yours. There is so much more to the world than the latest in…… EVERYTHING!
10. No competition: Only you know how fantastic they are and the mainstream girls don’t know what they are missing, because they only go for mainstream guys.

So, no to bog standard mainstream fellas, and a big YES!! To the geeky fellas. We love you! Mwaaahh!!

Blindness, dating, romance and how to attract blind people.

Through the years, I’ve had my fair share of questions about blind people in relation to dating and romance and so I’m going to write a post addressing some of the most common questions both me and a lot of my fellow blindies have received. I hope it solves a few mysteries for you sighted people out there.

A very common phrase people like to use if they don’t know me very well and we’re talking about who’s good looking and who isn’t is “I guess you’ll just have to go by personality.” Yes and no. Obviously when you’re blind, you’re gonna have to have a certain knowledge about people without seeing them, but you don’t necessarily get those from interacting so much with them. Hearing someone’s voice, observing what they are talking about or perhaps get an idea of their physique by holding an arm or shaking hands as well as their voice can be enough to know that you fancy them. Smell is also important.” I’m sorry Mr Fit body Soft voice, but you aint showered in ages, or you don’t use any interesting aftershave or cream to make you smell interesting.” So going away from personality, which obviously is important whether sighted or blind, physique, good smell and nice voice are things a blind person will go on to determine whether they like you or not.

I’ve also had sighted men ask how they can attract a blind woman. Blind women are the same as any women out there, so there’s no one answer to that question. But like sighted women, blind women appreciate a man making an effort with their looks. She may not be able to see your ketchup spotted t-shirt, mismatched trainers or that pen mark on your right thigh, but if she somehow gets to hear about it from a friend who happened to see you on a date, she won’t likely be impressed with you. So making the same effort as you would with a sighted woman is essential. Smell nice too. No need to use the entire bottle of Hugo Boss, but enough that she may want to come closer to smell you a little more?

As for women attracting blind men, the same rule goes with the looks. Ladies, if you’d use make-up dating a sighted person, do it for the blind man too. My experience with blind men is also that they like it when you wear something which shows off your shape a little. I may be generalizing, but seeing as we’ve had to rely on feel to get a good impression of things, feeling up places which perhaps should be avoided on the first few dates isn’t necessary to feel the shape of someone’s body and determine whether you’ll like it or not. A hug or holding an arm reveals more than you may think. We pay more attention, without actually paying attention to the fact that we pay attention.

Another experience I have with blind men, is that if he is a normal functioning and independent man with good social circle and job, do not mother him to any larger extent than you would mother a sighted man  We women tend to mother men a little too much sometimes, and I know my blind male friends claim sighted women can be a little to over the top.

I have also heard, and I can very well believe this, if a blind man’s sighted friends say that his girlfriend is ugly the blindy well may break up with you. I don’t know if the same goes for women, but I have never broken up with anyone because of the way they look and neither have I believed, have my blind girlfriends.

So in short, if you are trying to attract a blind person, or just want to know the answers to those questions, the answer is, do exactly what you would do if the object of your fancy could see. Not just in terms of behaviour, but also in taking care of your look. It’s got to do with respect more than anything.

Finally, if a person is blind, what’s better. Blind or sighted partner?

Being with someone sighted is a hell of a lot more practical than being with someone who is blind or even at times partially sighted. However, aside from the practicality of sight, being with a sight impaired person has some advantages too. Flirting with a blind man for me at least, is a whole different thing to flirting with someone sighted. A blind/partially sighted man knows what it means to be visually impaired and understand me on my terms in ways the majority of sighted people wouldn’t do unless they knew lots of VI people or have it naturally within them to understand those things, but the latter is rare. I for example, don’t automatically understand what being deaf must be like, because I don’t know a lot of deaf people, so I find myself asking similar questions to what a sighted person would ask me and in flirting situations, that can be a bit of a turn off at times.

I find it hard to be with sighted men because I personally haven’t met a sighted man who would allow me to go about my daily life and business in the way my blind boyfriends or exes have done. They never feel funny about me preparing their dinner for example, whilst the sighted dates I’ve had made sure I never lifted a finger when they were around.

There is a reason a lot of VI people end up together and I believe that a big part of that reason has to do with common ground, understanding and acceptance. Having said that, couples in which one is sighted and one blind or partially sighted do exist, though unfortunately they tend to be in the minority and it tends to be sighted women with blind or partially sighted men.

But really, there is no better or worse. If you find the person who loves you and is ready to take you on your terms and let you be who you are, visual acuity doesn’t matter at all.

Blind, partial or sighted, your comments would be appreciated on this.

Update: Since I wrote this post, I have been very fortunate to find love myself. I have shared
My own romance story
here.