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Dating is hard enough, without adding to it traits or conditions that are traditionally perceived as disadvantages in the dating scene. If you think you are at a disadvantage because you are different from other people in some way or the other, don’t let it stand in the way of dating. Instead, turn your disadvantage into an advantage, and get an edge over others in the dating scene.

1. If your disadvantage is a disability: DO THIS!

Dating for persons-with-disabilities can be hard. People tend to judge you based just on what they see, before they even speak to you. If you happen to have an impairment, or a disability, try and be casual about it. The bigger a deal you make out of it, the bigger a deal it will be to your date. Laugh it off, and use it as a focal point for humor, to make the best of it.

2. If your disadvantage is that you’re not a looker: DO THIS!

Make up for it in personality! Looks aren’t everything, and people often fall for someone interesting and funny, with a great personality, rather than extremely attractive people. Looks are subjective, and sometimes extremely good looking people can be intimidating and a turn off. Use that to your advantage.

3. If your disadvantage is that you have a kid, or are pregnant: DO THIS!

Many people shy away from dating single mothers or fathers. But you can turn that around. Don’t keep your kid a secret, but also assure your date that there is no pressure to meet your kid or be involved in their life, if they don’t want to.

4. If your disadvantage is that you’re poor: DO THIS!

Use it as an excuse to show off your creativity with innovative, low cost dates like a picnic, a home-cooked meal, or a hiking trip. If you cannot afford to keep blowing up money on dates and coffee, make it abundantly clear from the outset, and come with interesting alternatives to traditional, expensive dates like dinner, or a movie. Never make your date split the bill, unless they insist.

5. If your disadvantage is that you are shy: DO THIS!

Shyness can be an appealing quantity sometimes. Just make sure your shyness doesn’t make you freeze up and prevent you from talking to the other sex. If your shyness doesn’t get in the way of making conversation, it can even be construed as a cute and charming trait. Just because you’re shy, doesn’t mean you can’t date successfully.

Everyone should have a shot at love and dating, and differences shouldn’t hold you back; they are what make you unique. Never be ashamed of your uniqueness, use it to gain an edge over others in the dating arena.