Being someone with dyspraxia in a relationship or being in a relationship with someone who is dyspraxic could be challenging for both individuals. Find out more about how dyspraxia affects relationships.
Relationships and dating can add excitement and meaning to our lives, and we should all have the opportunity to date if it’s something we want to do. However, dating when you have dyspraxia can be more difficult, as there are many unspoken rules in relationships. In this blog, we will discuss navigating dyspraxia in adult relationships.
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Like any other relationship, dating with a learning difference can have its ups and downs. It’s important that both people in the relationship work to understand and appreciate one another for who they are, including their dyspraxia. This may mean that the neuro-typical person takes some time to learn about dyspraxia and what things their partner may find difficult, but are typically considered to be ‘romantic’ or expected in the first few months of dating. For example, planning days out, ready maps and directions, or cooking a meal. It is important for the person with dyspraxia to be open about the way their dyspraxia affects them personally, and it is equally important for their partner to listen without judgement.
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Dyspraxia is a neurological condition that can affect movement, memory and speech. Living in a neuro-typical world, where people with dyspraxia may have been mistakenly labelled as ‘clumsy’, ‘unintelligent’, or ‘forgetful’, can have a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing of people with dyspraxia. Being misunderstood, or not being given the time and space to compose thoughts and finish tasks can lead to low mood, and in some cases depression and anxiety. Living with the fear that you could ‘screw up’ at any moment can play havoc with your mind, and can lead some people with dyspraxia to withdraw from social situations, such as dating.
People with dyspraxia can have difficulty with movement and memory, such as fine and gross motor skills needed for driving and following directions, cooking, and speaking, so patience is the number one trait their partners need to have. Tripping up in public, spilling sauce on themselves at the dinner table in a fancy restaurant, or missing the train is not them doing it on purpose. Their partners can support them by being understanding, non-judgemental, and patient. Do not belittle your partner or treat them like a child, this could be considered emotional abuse. You are adults and equals.
Find out more about dyspraxic people’s unique strengths.
If you yourself think you may have dyspraxia, you can take our free dyspraxia quiz to see which traits you have.