dating with speech disorders

Hi all,
I am a 27 year old male and, to date, have only had a few second dates and one long term girlfriend. I am a very easy going, laid back man and have a quick wit. Two things that, in general, should make me attractive to women. However, I also have a speech disorder. If you try to tell a spur-of-the-moment joke and they have to ask what two or three times the moment is usually gone by the time they understand you. I have been to numerous speech therapists and while they might be able to make my speech better at first, eventually my speech gets bad again.
I think if women could understand me I would have more success with my love life.
So I guess my question is, does anyone have ideas of how I can pick up a girl without my speech disorder getting in the way? (I’m looking into sign language, but other suggestions are welcome.)

I really don’t want this to sound snarky, but you’re using a computer to post here. I’m pretty sure there must be plenty of online places to “meet” that would not involve speaking at first.

Since this thread is looking for opinions and suggestions, I’ve moved it from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

I know a lot of 27 year old men WITHOUT a speech disorder than have trouble picking up woman. :slight_smile:

Take heart, and as another poster said, use the Internet.

If someone is going to not date you solely because you have disorder, then you probably don’t want to date them because you’ll have dodged a bullet. Nevertheless, just because she doesn’t want a second date doesn’t mean that she was turned off by your speech.

What specific disorder do you have, if you don’t mind me asking?

There is the specific problem that people who have speech difficulties are considered dumb. It is great to say that someone who is turned off by that is a bad person, and thus isn’t a fit for you, but you’ll find out quickly that nearly everyone thinks it’s okay to prejudge when it comes to dating. Heck, I can’t even avoid it, and, if you’ve seen any of my posts, you know I hate that type of prejudice with a passion.

I dated a guy for 2.5 years who had a pretty good stutter going. It was an obstacle. People did call him stupid and dumb. There was awkwardness in places like restaurants where I often wound up doing the ordering for both of us because he’d get nervous and hard to understand.

How did we meet? I used to go to Irish social dances on a regular basis. This guy was a fantastic dancer. It started with someone introducing us, asking him to teach me to do the dances. So we started as dance partners and went from there.

So… my suggestion would be to find activities where speech is not the foremost requirement (doesn’t have to be dancing, that’s just an example). Let her know you’re a fun guy to be around.

Have you dated any deaf girls?

Er, unless the OP knows sign language, this isn’t a terribly helpful idea.

Though I actually thought the OP might consider using sign language as a way to communicate, in appropriate circumstances. In all seriousness… take an ASL class somewhere. It’ll be a way to meet people, you can explain that you have a verbal speech impediment and are taking the class as a way to challenge your brain and hopefully have some fun, and you’d have people to practice with.

If you’re extra lucky, there’ll be a cute young lady taking the class as well :).

Note: depending on the nature of your speech impediment (e.g. aphasia or whatever vs. a simple stutter), sign language might also be affected.

Online chats etc. as others have suggested can be a good way to break the ice before your speech issues are an issue.

(whoops, just noticed, OP alread mentioned looking into sign language… so change the tone of the above from “consider it” to “go ahead and do it!” :)).

Wow, lots and ideas and opinions here, keep them coming. There are some people I’d like to respond to. First off, Old Guy. I know I’m using the computer right now. However, eventually we have to have a face to face meeting. While I won’t have to worry about being thought dumb if we met online first, I think it quite possible that a female might avoid me, because she is having such trouble understanding me. Plus I have tried online dating but A) no success yet and B) I foolishly enjoy talking to someone in person more than online.
Lurking Horror you asked what kind of speech disorder I have. My speech therapists of the past aren’t sure if I have cluttering (a sub-form of stuttering that has no link to nerves) or dysphasia (from what I can gather dysphasia has to do with the slurring of words [if anyone knows more feel free to elaborate or correct me]).
Fear Itself, I still consider myself to be quite a novice in the world of the deaf, so I do not even know any deaf girls. If I knew any it would be worth a try, but I don’t know if it would be very successful with me having to sign “What?” a lot. While that would be quite a switch I’m not sure if I’m fluent enough in sign language (But I’m working on it) to actually hold a conversation without losing at least half of what the other person says.
Big T thanks for pointing out the dumb factor, it’s possible that the reason they reject my advances is because they don’t want to date someone that they think is dumb. It’s not as big of a problem at college, but when I’m out and about they have no way to gauge my actual level of intelligence.
The rest of you had good ideas, but I don’t have anything to add to your posts. Again, thank you for your suggestions.

Step 1: Walk up to hot chick.

Step 2: Drop trousers and point at junk.

Step 3: With other hand do the thumbs-up/thumbs-down.

Step 4: If she gives you a thumbs-up you’re golden.

You can talk to her after the boinking.

Well, I knew someone who had the worst stutter imaginable. He got a PhD in math and got a teaching job at a medium sized liberal arts college. This was in the 60s when mathematicians were in short supply (we won’t see that again anytime soon). He somehow managed; maybe he wrote out and read his lectures. But he did get a girl and is still married to her at least 45 years later.

I think what I would do is try online chatting. If you are really turned on to someone and she to you (or at least seems to be), then explain your problem and see if she is still interested. If she is turned off, so be it, but your difficulty will come as no surprise; she will be expecting it at least. After that you’re on your own. Good luck.