Dating itself can be daunting but for deaf people it may feel ten times more challenging. Or for a hearing person meeting a deaf person, if they not experienced deafness before.
Whether you’re looking for a hearing or a deaf partner, we’ve come prepared with these tips to help make your dating life a bit easier, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
1. Be open-minded
Relationships often happen when you least expect it. You might have it set out to meet a deaf or hearing partner, but you could meet the opposite. That’s why it’s good to keep an open mind of who your potential partner could be. If you set your expectations too specific, it might be harder to find that person.
Remember, everyone is different. Some people are more accepting and understanding than others. Even if there are communication barriers, there is usually a way around things. If you like someone, you’ll find a way to make it work.
2. Be patient!
If it takes longer for a deaf person to understand, please don’t give up. Be patient! You’ll get there eventually. Perhaps they might need it repeated, explained in a different way or even written/typed down. Communication is a two-way process, they’ll be willing to make it work if you are.
If they communicate with sign language, why not learn a few… it’ll certainly make them feel at ease and pleased that you’re taking an interest in their language. Plus, it can be a humorous ice-breaker if you have a go at signing!
Here are a few signs you can learn!
Nice to meet you
3. Ensure dates are accessible
There’s no point in going on a date which they can’t access. For deaf people; a movie date without subtitles, a moonlit walk in the dark not being able to see… or for hearing people; taking them to a sign language event.
Ask them what they’d like to do, or if there’s any way of making date ideas accessible.
- Perhaps a dinner date; choose a restaurant with good lighting and minimal background noise.
- Go for a daylight walk; a perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and to get to know each other a bit more.
- Visit a Zoo or Aquarium; animals provide great conversation starters, its all very visual and there’s plenty to see!
4. Smile, have fun and be yourself!
Don’t change who you are for someone. They will accept you as who you are, and if they don’t; perhaps they’re not the right one for you. The time will come, often when you least expect it.
Have a great Valentine’s Day! If you’ve got some tips, please comment on further below, we’d love to hear them.