Dating is a nerve wracking process at the best of times – and especially the initial process of meeting people, chatting to them, getting to know them and then letting them know how you feel. This all is incredibly nerve wracking and can be quite stressful and embarrassing if it goes wrong – if you choke and don’t know what to say and don’t manage to make any conversation, or if you just find you have nothing in common or don’t connect.
However this is all much more scary for someone who has to deal with a stutter or a stammer – which means that even when everything is going well and you do connect, you might still struggle to get the words out. This makes it very difficult to look confident and at ease, and creates a barrier between you and the person you are trying to get to know. Depending on how the other party reacts this can be quite an awkward occasion and unfortunately that very fact, along with the relatively high steaks, mean that if you do stutter you are very likely to at this point.
This means that the first date can be even more terrifying if you have a stutter, but the problem also goes deeper than that. For instance if makes meeting people very difficult to begin with – it’s noisy enough in a nightclub anyway so getting your point across and wowing a would-be partner is going to be very tricky if you can’t get the words out clearly.
Then problems arise further into the dating process. For instance meeting the family – this is something that would be very scary to begin with again, and which is even more nerve wracking if you’re worried about a speech impediment. Meeting friends can be scary too, and then there’s the prospect of wedding vows (though again everyone is terrified of those… ).
The Silver Lining
There is something of a silver lining to this situation however. The very first of these is that a stutter can act as a great buffer and a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff. The thing is that if someone would be put off of dating you by a stammer then it means that they probably weren’t interested enough in the first place, that they weren’t really such a great catch, or that things just wouldn’t have worked out. You need to find the right kind of person who will be sensitive to your plight and recognize it as character building (meaning you’re probably a sensitive person yourself) and as a unique quirk that makes you who you are. In other words it can save you a lot of time with time wasters and can actually make the process smoother.
At the same time once you find this person then a lot of other problems will be less of an issue – their friends and family are more likely to be like minded for instance, they are more likely to introduce you in a kind and supportive way, and you won’t care about anyone who does find it to be a problem.
Meeting People When You Have a Stutter
As with anything then, and as is the case for anyone, finding the right person is really what is key here and from there everything will fall into place. The question is though – how do you achieve this when you have a stutter and when you can’t make yourself heard in the regular places people go to find partners?
The answer is plenty of ways – and again meeting people in clubs is something that is rather doomed to failure anyway. The noise means that no one can get to know anyone properly anyway, and the whole cattle-market like process is geared to resulting in one night stands and brief flings between people who have nothing in common.
The following methods avoid these problems and make dating with a stutter much easier:
Online dating is the perfect solution for anyone with a stutter, first and foremost because you can get plenty of time to chat and to get to know each other before you need to meet in person. This way being eloquent is not a requirement, and you can choose to tell the prospective partner about your impediment when the time is comfortable for you. It’s a good idea to make sure you do let them know however as this will prevent any awkward moment where they are surprised. People will build a mental image of you in their mind when you talk online and this will include what you sound like, so if you don’t fit this image then it should be expected that they will be momentarily stunned at least.
Dating Other Stutterers
These are people who are guaranteed to be sympathetic to your impediment – and who will come ready with a whole selection of friends and relatives who are also sympathetic and more importantly used to it. It gives you something immediately in common too. Of course it does mean that you can sometimes bounce off of each other – and that you take twice as long to have conversations as you would if just one of you had the stutter. That said however the fact that you both feel more relaxed can negate this issue.
Of course people with other impediments can also make good partners who will be sympathetic and there are many facilities in place to meet these people from support groups to clubs to websites. Don’t feel limited in any way to only date those with similar conditions, but it certainly is an option.
Dating Through Friends
Dating through friends is a great idea whoever you are, but it also gives you a lot of benefits in particular if you are a stutterer. This way you are meeting someone who has been vetoed by a mutual friend which means they are more than averagely likely to be the kind of person you get on with. This then also means you have fewer people to meet as some of them you will already know. Lastly, by dating through friends your blind date will be aware of your stutter before you meet and this can help prevent any shock or awkwardness.
Tips for Dating With a Stutter
All these things can help you to meet people and to get to know people while dealing with a stutter and should demonstrate that there are many avenues available. However there are also some invaluable tips that can make a big difference to how you deal with your stutter once you begin the dating process.
Talk a Lot Through Other Mediums
If you do meet someone in a club or bar, then there’s little reason that this can’t be very similar to dating online. You’ve made the initial impression – now while waiting to meet up again, talk online and text a lot or even just send Facebook messages. This will allow you to do some ground work and will help them to get to know you before you meet up thereby taking a lot of pressure off. Again this is good advice for those without stutters too.
Go to Quiet Venues
Try to plan in advance when you organize dates and pick venues where you can talk and don’t have to shout over music in the background etc. Quiet dates such as walks in the park will give you a better chance of being heard, and furthermore it will be something a bit different for the person you are dating – a chance to really get to know you and a break from the hectic pace of life.
Train to Improve Your Stutter
There are many courses and specialists out there who can help with speech impediments and there are many examples of people making incredible improvements. Keep looking around and trying different techniques and you may find one that works for you – and this will make various aspects of your life including dating a lot easier.
Try to Be Relaxed
When on dates you might feel awkward if you stutter while you’re trying to make conversation. However if you feel awkward then you will immediately make the other person feel awkward – regardless as to whether they find your speech patterns distracting. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt and let them see you for who you are. If you need to wait to get something out then wait, and if you need to stop altogether then do so. This will make you seem relaxed and confident rather than trying desperately to struggle through and it will help to create more of a relaxed atmosphere in the meeting.