5 Tips for Non-Hearing-Impaired People Dating Deaf People

If you have normal hearing, but your considering dating someone that’s either deaf or hearing-impaired it’s probably a good idea to know how to communicate with them and understand the challenges they face in everyday life. Being deaf is not a disease and it is not something that is contagious – it’s just something that people are generally born with that they have to learn to live with. Communication between a non-hearing-impaired person and a deaf or hearing-impaired person doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re prepared. Below are five tips that will help you to ensure your date with a deaf or hearing-impaired person goes smoothly.

#1. Ensure the Place You Choose Has Good Lighting
Many deaf or hearing-impaired people are quite good at reading lips, but in order for them to be able to do this they need to be able to see your lips move. Consequently, if you choose a lovely romantic restaurant that happens to have the dimmest lighting around your date probably isn’t going to go that well. Instead, choose a place that’s well-lit and features a friendly warm environment. Remember, just because an atmosphere may seem romantic for those that have normal hearing, for a deaf or hearing-impaired person such an environment may simply just be frustrating.

#2. Try to Find a Place with Minimal Background Noise
You may be wondering why background noise is an issue for deaf people – well, it’s not really, but there are many people you may consider dating that aren’t completely deaf just hard of hearing. For people that are hard of hearing they will still rely on their hearing to some extent, but as their hearing levels are very minimal the more background noise that there is the worse it becomes for them. If you can find a place with a nice quiet environment, that’s well lit, there’s a much better chance that your date will be a success.

#3. Avoid the Urge to Yell or Over Pronunciate
If you’ve ever seen a well-meaning non-hearing-impaired person attempting to talk to a deaf or hearing-impaired person for the first time you’ll notice they often start yelling or use over pronunciation – what on earth is that all about? If someone’s deaf all the yelling in the world isn’t going to make them here you any better and even if they can hear a little bit, chances are that they are still relying on their own lip reading abilities to some extent. If you start yelling or using over pronunciation you’ll become very difficult to understand for somebody that’s relying on reading your lips for communication. It’s always best to just speak normally with a hearing-impaired person.

#4. Learn Some Sign Language
Chances are at some point in your life you’ve seen somebody using sign language and probably wondered what the heck they were saying. If you’re going to try dating a deaf or hearing-impaired person it would be a really good idea to learn a little bit of sign language. This doesn’t mean you have to become fluent overnight, but if you can learn simple words such as yes, no, hello, goodbye, and thank you, chances are the person you’re involved in a relationship with will really appreciate it and your communication will go a lot better.

#5. Do Not Bring up Their Deafness Unless They Do
Deaf people more than anything want to be treated normally just like anybody else. If you meet someone that’s deaf or hearing-impaired that you really like and want to become involved in a successful relationship with the best thing you can do is to treat them normally. Treating them with kid gloves or constantly bringing up questions about their deafness that they may not be comfortable with is not going to endear you to them. If they bring up their deafness by all means ask questions because they’re probably open to discussing it, but don’t bring it up yourself.

In conclusion it’s probably clear to you now that the best thing you can do when dating a deaf person is to treat them like you would anybody else. Other than the fact that they’re hearing-impaired these are healthy intelligent individuals just like anybody else you would go on a date with, and just like anybody else if you treat them differently they probably won’t take it kindly.