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Other blind friends are published authors, admired public speakers, skilled carers, talented designers and exemplary instructors.They attain great things because they have the necessary passion, desire and talent, not because great things aren’t really as difficult as they seem.However well-reasoned your conclusions, someone is always going to chime in with a plea to stop all the negativity.Why begrudge someone the right to feel inspired and uplifted by you? My interpretation of this statement is that anything a blind person does must be relatively easy, because we are so much more limited and incapable by default.The logic of this idea states that sighted people should use us as a way to stem the tide of excuses they use to get out of everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking and working out.If a blind person gets up every morning and gets these done, that must mean sighted people have no excuse at all, despite any challenges they might be facing. Be patient, get to know the person bit by bit and let yourself sing Que Sera Sera.
I didn’t like those moments before a first date filled with nervous anticipation and the “what ifs” that worried my mind. What if in the light of day (after having exchanged numbers while drunk at a bar), he finds me unattractive? And somehow my friend Jessica convinced me to go on seven blind dates — that meant no photos, no background information and in some instances, not even a name! What started as a fun summer project with a friend — her finding potential dates and us blogging about these setups — became a serious eye-opener for me. Give a different guy a chance I had an idea of the type of guy I thought would make my best match and that was bad for two reasons. Let your mom/friend/aunt set you up Your aunt wants to set you up with her next door neighbour? Too often we dismiss potential dates because we don’t trust other people’s judgments about what’s right for us. Instead, trust that they have your best interest at heart, accept their help and give them — and him — a chance. Practice makes perfect Each date became easier and easier to go on. She has starred in a documentary, travelled Europe on her own and is currently teaching herself to sew.At 30, she has achieved more than most sighted seniors I know, and I don’t think anyone can honestly say that all of the skills she’s acquired are less impressive simply because she happens to be blind.Practice means becoming a better conversationalist. Get in and get out, unless of course you’re enjoying yourself. Don’t be a Debbie downer On the topic of bad dates, I learned there is one thing you should never do on a first date. Don’t complain about your ex, your bad day at work, your noisy neighbours, your living situation, your bad hair or the lack of drink options on the menu. No one wants to feel like a therapist, unless they are actually being paid to be one.
I’m reminded of some of my more brilliant blind friends – the ones who laughed at the words “can’t” and “never” and achieved things any sighted person would be immensely proud to contemplate.