Saturday, 13 February 2016

Deaf dating tips!

As Valentines is approaching, I will be writing some Valentine themed posts to raise deaf awareness. 

This blog is helpful for both a deaf individual and a hearing individual. 
There are few hearing individuals who date deaf individuals, this could be due to lack of confidence in terms of communication, communication barriers and many more reasons ranging from bizarre to understandable. 

The aim of this blog post is to deliver tips on how to boost one's confidence, whether they are deaf and unfamiliar to the dating scene, or hearing, and perhaps may want to approach a deaf individual, whether it is friendship or more... 

1. HONESTY is key. It is important to be upfront on the first date. If you have met the guy or girl and somehow your hair covers your ears and they are unaware of your hearing loss/aids/implant, it is ideal to tell them up front straight away. If you are concerned about rejection, it is their loss. Please note: You do not have a problem, instead THEY DO. You're brilliant!

2. APPROACH. If you are slightly nervous about how your date might react, whether this is the first time you're 'coming out' with your deafness or whether you're simply scared of rejection. Put on a brave face. Be positive. Perhaps make a joke out of it. You may find that your date may relax a bit more! If you are tense and nervous, it will create an awkward situation. Of course the date may feel awkward in general. But you could break the ice by cracking a joke. 'Hey, I'm deaf but who cares eh?!" Or "I've got the hearing of a pensioner, but fear not, I have other qualities and strengths apart from hearing.... give me time to get back to you..!"
Any kind of joke like that! It will show how laid back you are and it will make your date relaxed.
My joke was "I'm not staring at your lips lovingly, just lipreading, so get over yourself!" Turns out we share the same sense of humour! 

3. LOCATION. If this is the first date. It would be recommended to choose a location where there is as little background noise as possible. First date nerves are normal. But for a deaf individual this can be daunting as they are not only worrying about their appearance, whether the date is successful, awkward silences and whatnot. 

The conversation is part of the deal breaker and if they are unable to communicate effectively, this can be quite nerve wracking! Perhaps over time (if the dates are successful) the deaf individual may begin to familiarise themselves with their partners lips (and NO, I'm not talking about that! Well I'm sure you'll have a kiss or two! But instead, lipreading! Hahaha!)

4. LIPREADING. It is important to make sure that one is always in view of the lip reader. Always consider whether the lighting is adequate to enable effective lipreading. Please please PLEASE try to break the habit of covering your mouth or placing anything in front of your mouth when talking (cup, cutlery, etc.) 

A tip for hearing people. It is normal to feel nervous when interacting with a deaf individual for many reasons. You may think: 
How deaf is he/she?
Do I need to shout?
I don't want to upset him/her.
How do I ask about his/her hearing loss?
Am I aloud to look at his/her hearing aids, or am I staring too much? 
What do I do if he/she doesn't hear me?!
How else do I communicate if it is too noisy?!
What if my hearing friends don't accept him/her?
How can I include him/her in my friendship circle?

There are many different thoughts that one may come across.
If you're worried that he/she may be sensitive about the subject regarding his/her deafness think about how you are phrasing the question:
E.g. "Would you mind if I asked you a question about you're deafness? I'm really interested and would love to learn more! 

My boyfriend simply asked me "how deaf are you?" I laughed and said "pretty deaf but not deaf deaf!" After that, he felt comfortable asking me more questions ! 

If you are curious about their hearing aids or implant, show interest and ask if you can have a look! "Do you wear hearing aids or an implant? Could I have a look? I'm interested to see how they work!" 

With regards to communicating when it's noisy. There are many ways around it. Other than the old fashioned note pad and pen, we are in a modern technological era where we can type messages on our phones. Trust me, it helps! 

If you're interested in other ways to communicate. Perhaps try finger spelling together and then learn simple sign phrases. Try not to get visually frustrated otherwise that can make you look unreasonable sometimes. We cannot help it! PATIENCE. Is key! Nothing is impossible the word possible is in the word itself! You will find your own ways round things! 

If you're ready to introduce your date to your friends or family. Inform them in advance and perhaps offer them advice and tips so they are prepared for the approach and there is no awkwardness. If your friends or family react badly or do not seem to accept your deaf date, don't give up! Give them time to learn about it and feel comfortable. Perhaps encourage them to ask questions and take an interest! 

There is someone out there for everyone! Wouldn't it be great if everyone could be open minded! Obviously my advice will never change everyone's attitudes towards deafness. But hopefully you'll all be a little more open minded! 

Any questions feel free to send me a message or a comment. 
For those who don't know. I'm severe-profoundly deaf and have a hearing boyfriend whom I have been together with for almost a year. These are my personal experiences and opinions.


  1. This is the best blog post I've ever read, it's really resonated with me. I wear hearings aids & I've approached the online dating world with caution as I never know what to say about my deafness. This post has made it clear for me to be more open about it, it's nothing to be ashamed of!thanks so much Sophie ( xxx