Telling my date that I stammer

Maddie Beestin, the author, smiling and raising a glass

Maddie Beestin talks about the times she has told her date about her stammer and the times she hasn't, and gives advice for anyone worried about dating.

I think my stammer has held me back a little in meeting people. I've been approached by guys at a bar before and have been so stressed about stammering I've just walked off.

Most of the people I've dated I've been friends with first, which meant they knew I stammered before we started dating. I did date one person though who I'd met online. I was feeling very anxious leading up to the date, so I told him about it a few days before when we were messaging. And I was glad I did. I stammered so badly on that first date the only thing stopping me crying in embarrassment was how calm and unfazed he was. We dated for about six months. It didn't work out in the end, but I was never worried it had anything to do with my stammer. 

Telling the person that you stammer near the beginning can be a good idea to alleviate pressure.

I met my current boyfriend through work. We had chatted a bit but my stammer was going through a good phase at the time so the subject never came up. On our first date, however, I stammered quite badly near the beginning, partially due to how nervous I was and partially due to the fact I'd drunk quite a bit. He started laughing and I calmly explained to him what a stammer was. He looked very embarrassed and apologised. It has never been an issue since and we are still together a year later. 

My main advice for anyone with a stammer who's dating is: don't be embarrassed about it. Telling the person near the beginning can be a good idea to alleviate pressure, as they won't be wondering whether or not to acknowledge it. And if someone does react badly, just explain to them what stammering is. And then if they continue to react badly, just get out of there — they're not someone you want to spend your time on! 

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