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St. Louis Arc helps people with disabilities, through various supports, live their best lives and to be part of their community. Many of us consider a number of factors when determining what our best lives will look like. Jobs, friends, family, hobbies, significant others all contribute to what we consider meaningful and what we want to build for ourselves. With all the choices we make every day there is little scarier than navigating the dating scene.

Dating is an emotionally risky proposition for everyone. Theres the ask – which sometimes feels as though it takes more courage than one can muster. Then once the person says yes the actual date raises so many questions. Where will we go? What will I wear? Will they like me? What will we talk about? Will there be a second date? One of the biggest concerns is whether you click o feel that spark. Recently two Arc participants had a first date, asked these questions and began navigating the world of dating.

The First Date

Mary Beth and Keith met in one of the Arcs support groups. When Mary Beth wanted to ask Keith out, she worked with her staff for support in asking him out on a date. Keith not only said yes, but suggested they meet at his favorite restaurant, Mike Duffys in Kirkwood.

Arc staff were excited to support Keith and Mary Beth on their date. Realizing Keith didnt have transportation for his date, an Arc staff member volunteered to drive him to dinner. Mary Beth invited her support staff who assisted her in asking questions to learn more about Keith.

Their date started strong. Keith knew all of the staff at the restaurant and introduced them to Mary Beth. As they were shown to their table, Keith held out Mary Beths chair for her. The two enjoyed a nice evening, learning more about each other and laughing throughout the evening. At the end of their meal, Keith and Mary Beth learned that a couple at another table had taken care of their bill. They shared a backseat on their way home. Once home, Keith even invited Mary Beth to come inside to meet his cat.

Mary Beth and Keiths story is similar to many first date stories. They met through a common interest, went out to a favorite restaurant, and laughed over a meal. And for those of you who are wondering during that drive home Keith asked Mary Beth out for a second date. She said yes.

We cant wait to see how this story will play out.