I have spent enough time on dating and have met men from all backgrounds. I remember the good and the awkward moments. I cringe at the thought of some. Some of my dates have gone into the abyss of my memories, some were horrifying!
I have many single deaf friends who would love to find someone special but some of them have been overlooked because they are deaf. It made me think if the non-disabled have ideas of all the myths that prevents them from dating us, hence the blog on busting the myths!
I’ll promise I’ll be gentle with you! (Apologies for the rude content a bit further down…)
My date will be awkward if I don’t understand what he/she is saying or I’ll say something really stupid or offensive
I have sat through many of my dates and can count on one hand when it has been awkward. Of course, there has been few moments where we’ve had misunderstandings but there was no awkwardness or embarrassment. This is due to several reasons, excessive background noise and unfamiliarity with my voice.
I’m imagining some of you shouting out “How?”
“How does she work her magic?”
Sorry guys, I’m not Hermione with a magic wand, but on the other hand I’ve been to a “Harry Potter” school. Since I discovered boys, I learnt through trial and error on putting them at ease. I prepare guys before the date so they know what they are expecting.
(Taps nose) That’s my secret!
Please don’t view deaf people very different from you. One in 6 people have hearing loss in the United Kingdom (approximately 11 million people with hearing loss at current date but is expected to rise to 14 million in 2031). Some of us rely on lipreading, use speech or rely on British Sign Language (BSL). Our disability is an invisible disability until our issues becomes visible during communication (not always the case for everyone). Being deaf is like dealing with a curve ball that life throws our way. We deal with it on a daily basis. Bear the facts in mind, you will realise how “normal” we are living with deafness and your dates are just like the others. The trick to this, is to relax and not to be embarrassed to ask us to repeat or write it down. You will get used to how we communicate once you familiarise yourself with us.
It will be a chore to date someone who is deaf because they are “damaged” people. You’ll have to communicate for them.
Many deaf people don’t see themselves as disabled or let their deafness get in their way. They don’t want to focus on their deafness. This bit rings very true for me, I’ve done lots of things in my life for instance, taking part in an orchestra, going to concerts, cinema, theatre, drive, taken part in Top Gear filming (I was in the audience).
Actually we all lead exciting, extraordinary, full but satisfying lives. Most of us have careers, a circle of friends and supportive families. I work as a biomedical scientist, have friends all over the country and abroad and have the most fantastic mother. We are all very well equipped at being independent. When we need communication support, we hire either an interpreter, lipspeaker or speech to text reporter. We have the capacity to think “outside the box”. We adapt.
My family and friends won’t accept us.
I have been very fortunate with my previous relationships and have got on very well with other half parents and friends. For you, family and friends may pose the biggest obstacle but they may have not been exposed to anyone who is deaf before. This doesn’t mean that they would not be open to accepting your boyfriend/girlfriend who makes you very happy.
All you need is a little explanation and along with myth busting on your part. It is not the end of the world. Your family and friends may take a leaf from your book.
It could have been worse if I took a cult worshipper, tattooed laden and beefed up in loin cloth boyfriend to my mother….
If you date someone who‘s deaf, you won’t have a fulfilling sex life, if you have sex together.
Well, well, we need to have that “TALK”
This is the most common myth, and I can assure you we do fornicate like you do!
We have our own brains and bodies but the only thing that doesn’t work is our ears. If you’re into whispering sweet nothings or trashy talk that makes your grandmother blush – what’s stopping you?! You’d have to say it to our faces or leave messages around the house (Please make sure that your parents aren’t in!) or via text.
Sadly you’ve been fed with images of rampant sex scenes, please forget that – it wrecks the image for everyone, disabled or not.
Here’s my recipe to sex
Brain :- Creative thinking, imagination (lots of it please!)
Mouth :- Communication – absolutely vital in relationships/sex. Without it, the magic wouldn’t happen.
Hands :- We are sensitive to touch and are used in sign language.
Eyes :- Window to our souls.
I don’t think we will be able to live a normal life and do fun things together
All of us do extraordinary or mundane things, deaf or hearing. I’ve done lots of things as I mentioned earlier in Myth 2. Please don’t make assumptions that deaf people don’t do things. We all like and enjoy different things. Some people love sports, some love travelling but the important thing to remember the fact that we all are unique.
I can assure you that as a “romantic” partner would be fun but could also offer you the best experiences of your life, with ongoing discovery and adventure that is waiting for you.
All you need are :-
- Communication (Adaptability)
So anything could happen and both parties can achieve/experience the world at its fullest together.
I know and accept that dating is very tough for anyone. If we exclude a certain group from our dating pool, we are limiting ourselves and reducing our chances of finding our “soulmate” or “special half”. Once you’ve understood fully the 5 myths, I can guarantee that your mind will be broadened to new types of dating experiences. You’ll never know who will be your true love and it would be lamentable to let deafness get in the way even though it isn’t an issue for the deaf person.