Be my Valentine: 4 Tips for an extra special day with your blind partner

 

Friendship, love, and romance are in the air with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.

Whether you’re on your first date, or it’s your tenth with your true love, planning the right date night, getting the right flowers, a gift, dinner reservations, etc can be a bit stressful. 

And you may imagine that going on a first date with someone who is blind or visually impaired can even be more awkward. 

But in reality, going on a date with someone who is blind or low vision is no different than dating any other person. 

Here are a few tips for sighted companions or partners to help make your date memorable.

#1 Sighted Guide 

Consent is key! Once you’ve selected a place, made a reservation or planned an activity, don’t forget to brush up on your sighted guide technique. 

There is an etiquette to offering sighted guide assistance to a blind person. Always ask first, don’t grab or push. 

I use the Sunu Band to navigate indoor spaces like restaurants and cafes. It also helps me with the line like at theaters, so I know when it’s my turn to move up in the queue. 

The Sunu Band is also great for when you are doing a sighted guide as the blind or low vision person being guided retains awareness and more control.

#2 Be descriptive

But not overly so – allow your partner the chance to soak in the ambiance. 

Now that you’ve arrived at that fancy, romantic restaurant or place, offer a lite description of where you are to your partner. 

Allow your blind partner the chance to ask about his/or her surroundings. 

#3 Don’t just read the menu

make it conversation instead of reading a list. 

Like the restaurant, if they offer braille, or large print menus, and check with your partner if that is their preference. 

If those aren’t available, you can start by asking what are they’re in the mood for drink and food? If it’s a place you know well, make a recommendation or mention the specialty of the house. 

But whatever you do, don’t order or speak for your blind or low vision partner. Especially, don’t allow waiters or staff to ask you to speak for your blind partner. 

In the event it happens, tell your waiter to direct the question or comment to your partner. 

#4 Table manners are still king

And throw away the messy stereotypes. Enjoying a meal with someone who is blind or low vision is just like eating or drinking with anyone else. Again being a little bit more descriptive is good.

When the meal arrives, you may offer a quick description of where things are on the table. For example, your wine glass is to your left or at your 9-O’clock. Sometimes using the clock reference is helpful. 

Remember, don’t overdo it and stress about the vision impairment. Just be yourself and enjoy each other’s company through great conversation, drinks, and food. At the end of the date, the most important thing is that you both have fun.

 

P.S. Are you still looking for gift ideas for the blind or low vision this Valentine’s? Use the promo code BLINDDATE at checkout and get $100 off Sunu Band here (expires on February 18th).