In honour of Valentine’s Day last year, I created the above infographic comic on romance and stuttering. It complemented an episode of my podcast entitled, Don’t worry about never dating or getting married. I interviewed 8 married couples where one of the significant others stutters and the other does not. I asked them if stuttering had ever been an issue – you may be surprised by their responses.
“Do you mention stuttering in your online dating profile?” This question is often asked in stuttering forums all over the Internet. Some who stutter say they do mention it while others prefer not to. I know it can be a daunting choice to make. We want to present the best of ourselves in our online dating profiles regardless of speech fluency. It’s easy to worry about our profiles being passed over if we mention that we aren’t perfect.
The other day, a fellow stuttering friend asked me this question as she pondered giving online dating a try. So I connected her with another stuttering friend of mine who had success with online dating.
With permission, I cut and pasted their Facebook conversation as I really liked the advice that was given. Corrections were made to typos, grammar, and chatspeak for clarity.
She: How do you bring stuttering up in your online profile? Or do you? What’s the best way to tell someone online you have a speech impairment without pushing them away or turning them off?
He: I’m a straight forward guy, today there are social masks and b***s***. I’m none of that. Here’s some truth I have found myself that worked against odds that got me a girlfriend over online dating.
The moral is you are you, that man is whoever he is. If he is not willing to accept you, he is not worth your respect or time but most importantly your stutter.
I haven’t mentioned stuttering in my online profile. And you’re not going to be the first! Telling people you stutter over online dating saves the “oh I never knew you stuttered, should have put it on the bio” part but on the other side if you meet the ONE – everybody in life has to accept flaws right – so that ONE should love you for it. I see no need to put it on your profile.
She: Do you think it’s easier for a man who stutters to find someone who will accept him? Do you know any women who found love online who stutter?
He: Man or woman, vulnerability breeds confidence, its equal for each to find lovers.
Save yourself the trouble and don’t put it on you to be excluding the stutter from yourself as a negative. If that jerk says no it’s no. If it’s yes, well, stutter like crazy and be happy. However, it’s your choice, your life, your man. Include it or not will lead you down different paths. Be true to yourself, society nowadays isn’t.
She: Yea. I know. I just don’t want mislead anybody. By not stating that I stutter. I feel like I’m not fully honest with them.
He: Okay by not stating you stutter you’re concerned that men will think, “gee maybe she would have added it in her profile?
She: I don’t want to waste time and meet them and find out they’re not ok with my stuttering! But I guess I could do a test and not put it on my profile but tell them once we exchange phone numbers or something.
He: You could do trial and error sure, but look again, are you being true to yourself as “if he likes me”, “he likes ME+stutter”, or “just ME and he finds out you stutter guess what he never was the one”? If you feel comfortable, do it as you exchange numbers.
She: I just feel like stuttering is a big part of me. It’s not my whole life but I feel like, if it’s online dating, I should point out the obvious. If I meet someone on the street, I don’t need to say “hey I stutter”. They will notice it and they can stay or walk away. But it’s different when its online.
He: Who knows which one is right. Each could lead different roads, better or for worse, if you mention stuttering or not. It worked for me. I chose the “if she accepts, she’s worth my respect” path. Don’t worry too much, love comes for love sooner or later.
She: Did you guys talk on the phone before meeting? Did she have any idea that you stutter before you met?
He: She did as I called her to set up a date. My stutter is moderate. She asked and I told her, we moved on.
I think my friend has the right approach:
- Do what you’re comfortable doing and understand that whatever choice you make will lead you down a different path
- Vulnerability breeds confidence
- if she/he accepts, she/he is worth my respect