By Leah Fox
A lonely singleton claims he can’t get a date because he’s BLIND – despite his visual impairment making him a better boyfriend.
Unlucky in love Daniel Williams, 28, has never been able to get past the chatting stage on apps and admits he gets more matches when his profile doesn’t include a picture of him and his guide dog Zodiac.
But the entrepreneur, originally from Bath but now living in Cardiff, claims he has been ghosted over 50 times due to his condition – even though it makes him a better listener than the average man.
Daniel, who has only ever had one serious girlfriend, was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which causes gradual sight loss, aged eight and uses special magnification software to look for love on dating sites such as Match.com.
He said: “I really struggle with dating and I find it’s all about looks these days.
“With social media and swiping people for their appearance, people don’t see the bigger picture.
“I realised that when I use a picture of me and my guide dog Zodiac on my dating profile, I get less matches than when I don’t use one.
“But when you’re blind, you’re more in tune with the conversation and vibe, and you can judge character more – I’m a great listener so I’d like to think that means I’m a great boyfriend!
“I guess it might be a good thing if I missed out on those types of people, but I’m getting frustrated now and I’d like to find Mrs Right.”
Daniel was in a serious relationship for three years from 2012 to 2015, but the couple split due to incompatibility.
After he recovered from the heartbreak, Daniel began to use dating sites to fit in with his extremely busy lifestyle.
Initially he said he was shocked when he realised he had been rejected due to his condition, but now believes it could be because some people are scared of the unknown and lack awareness of visual impairments.
Daniel added: “If you’re going to accept an invitation for a date from someone who has appalling sight like me, don’t be fooled – it’s no good thinking you may as well turn up wearing your old gardening clobber and save yourself a bit of time.
“A lot of sighted people concentrate only on visual appearance when deciding if they are attracted to someone but miss what really counts.
“Conversational skills get forgotten – the sound of a voice, the volume, tone and emphasis on words as well as choice of words, even the way someone breathes or eats are significant.
“There’s no need to tip-toe about on eggshells until they crunch because you’re scared you’ll say something stupid like, “let’s go and see a good film or play” or “the menu here looks good, see anything you fancy?”
“Blind people can see, they just see in different ways.
“They also are great at laughing at themselves – I’m an ace at this because if I didn’t laugh at myself, I’d spend half my day worrying about how foolish I might look!”
At the age of five, Daniel had his first pre-school check up and was advised by the health practitioner to go to the opticians – before this he was quite clumsy and wouldn’t even notice he had stains on his clothes.
He started to understand that he was going blind at the age of eight, when his glasses prescriptions weren’t helping his sight and school became difficult.
The businessman was then referred to a specialist optician at Bristol Eye Hospital and was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa.
He got his guide dog Zodiac, a black Labrador retriever cross, in October 2016 and said he has an incredible bond with him.
Daniel set up his own company, Visualise Training and Consultancy, in 2014 to help businesses and organisations increase awareness of accessibility challenges disabled employees or customers may face.
He added: “In the future I’d definitely like to meet someone and fall in love, definitely.
“When accepting a date from a blind person, keep your eyes wide open. We’re a great bunch… and we look good!”