Dating with a disability

  • shawn06

    Posts: 337

    May 27, 2011 8:11 AM GMT
    So recently this guy I been dating has gone so far as to reach date number 4. This is without sex and usually that's the sign for me that I may actually like this guy and continue dating him and the same in return. He is really nice, masculine frat boy, shares a lot of common interests with myself, intelligent, and to top it off very attractive. The difference with him is he has a hearing aid which does not bother me at all but I can tell he is self-conscious about it. He has a slur in his speech that he tries hard to avoid and I noticed his agreement to all things I say even when not making a statement but asking a question icon_razz.gif.

    Basically I ask him today about his past relationships, he had some interesting things to share about how men have not been able to look past his disability. I mean he has had 1 relationship before but with someone he was not into. I'm just curious on what other peoples opinions are on the matter? Would you guys consider dating a man with a disability?

    Like I said he is an awesome guy and I enjoy everything about him. The only thing I wish is for him to not be so self-conscious about his hearing or get embarrassed when I knock out his hearing aid while making out icon_twisted.gif. I also feel bad for those who did not take the time to get to know this great guy, they really missed out.
  • BardBear

    Posts: 533

    May 27, 2011 9:55 AM GMT
    Without "outing" myself on a personal level--let's just say I work with the community you are discussing. There is always a level of apprehension between the hearing and the deaf and its not because of anything bad, its just that there are some cultural things to consider. Just be honest and up front and ask questions. Not because you are 'deciding' anything, but because you want to learn more about him. Hearing impairments are something an individual should be proud of, believe it or not, with a long list of achievers.

    And good for you on meeting someone! PM me if you want to talk some more, out of respect for your new boyfriend.

    Peace,
    Bardy
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    May 27, 2011 12:14 PM GMT
    It wouldn't bother me at all. I have a friend with hearing aids and another that is completely deaf in one ear. You get used to it all with a bit of time and learn where to stand etc. I don't really notice them anymore and of course the disability has no bearing whatsoever on the quality of the person!
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    May 27, 2011 12:16 PM GMT
    I know the OP wasn't exactly askin if we'd date someone with a disability, but I would totally date someone I liked if they had a disability, I think guys on wheelchairs are superhot and also deaf guys. I hope this doesn't come across as offensive but I totally would LOL
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    May 27, 2011 12:58 PM GMT
    Honestly.... that sounds pretty damn cute to me. I also think it would be cool to date someone in the deaf community. My best friend was studying to become an interpreter, so I already know some basic stuff icon_smile.gif
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1831

    May 27, 2011 1:02 PM GMT
    it shouldn't get in the way of dating him since you do indeed like him ;)
  • Drift

    Posts: 217

    May 27, 2011 1:11 PM GMT
    I suppose as always it would depend on the guy. Everyone has their own issues, be them physical, emotional, etc. If you like him, you like him, and that's that. I fell for a guy once who won gold at the Paralympics, as a swimmer. He had a bone disease that meant he was very short, and when I was seeing him he had just had hip replacements, and was in a wheelchair, at 19. To me he was absolutely wonderful. icon_smile.gif
  • Jwusn

    Posts: 35

    May 27, 2011 1:11 PM GMT
    I have deaf family and they are some of my favorite relatives icon_biggrin.gif I have no problems with it.
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    May 27, 2011 1:24 PM GMT
    Related, but not answering your question at all:

    Are there more gays among the deaf / hearing impaired? Or is it just that sign language and cocklears stand out so much in a loud club?

    Anyway, with regard to your question. I don't know how to make your new beau not feel self-concious about his hearing / hearing aid (maybe you should shut up more? j/k) but I hope it doesn't negatively affect your relationship. Good luck!
  • bobod

    Posts: 16

    May 27, 2011 1:29 PM GMT
    I have hearing aids in both ears. But am not self-conscious about it. It really does depend on the person. The few men I have dated found it interesting and wanted to know more about them and why I have them etc....But i am always willing to talk about them if people ask. It's just part of who you are, and like anything else you either to terms with it or you don't
    It's a tough call.
    About the making out thing..he just has to take them out before anything starts.icon_biggrin.gif It takes some getting used to, but it's all part of the routine.

    It also limits places where I can go. (Bars, clubs, etc...) loud places are not hearing-aid compatible
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 27, 2011 1:38 PM GMT
    I'd have no issues with dating someone hearing impaired. In fact, I have an acquaintance who is and I think he's just adorable.
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    May 27, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    I wear 2 hearing aids, though my hearing loss is not profound, just enough for me to have speech recognition problems. I mishear things as my brain tries to substitute the gaps in the words I can't hear fully, especially the consonants. Wouldn't yah know it, most of the time my brain's solution is something pornographic! LOL!! icon_redface.gif

    Date the guy, and make him feel special. Because he is, to you. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Cuchullain

    Posts: 64

    May 27, 2011 1:56 PM GMT
    Friends need flaws.

    I'm curious to know what qualities in a hearing person would make them a good match for a deaf guy? So if you're hearing-impaired, is there anything special you look for in a hearing mate?
  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    May 27, 2011 1:57 PM GMT
    No issue with it at all. One of my best friends has hearing aids in both ears and he's had to deal with several guys not wanting to date him because of them. I keep reminding him it's their insecurities showing through and has nothing to do with him.
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    May 27, 2011 2:12 PM GMT
    I would definitely date a guy with a disabilty. It sounds like he is a great guy and you really like him. I think he may become less self-conscious about his slurred speach as the two of you get closer as friends and lovers.icon_lol.gif
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    May 27, 2011 2:13 PM GMT
    I think we're all self conscientious about different things that we perceive to be barriers that keep us from pursuing others. My current bf has a very noticeable scar from a childhood surgery and so the topic has been discussed many times. He's much more at ease now that he knows it doesn't bother me but still will not take his shirt off in public. So swimming, sitting in a hot tub or anything like that is not likely to happen. Although he did take his shirt off at the pool on vacation WITH some of his friends there. A big deal!

    It's tough, I understand that and I think just making the other person feel comfortable around you with whatever makes them uneasy can only lead to them recognizing that, very often, it's a perceived barrier only.
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    May 27, 2011 2:27 PM GMT
    BTW, there are tips through agencies for the hard of hearing about how to work with a person with reduced hearing ability. Plus I did a little work with hearing impaired people as part of my Speech degree.

    One of the most basic is to always speak directly to us, never away. People speak away from their listener more than they realize. I liken it to when I was a radio DJ, and I knew to speak directly to the microphone at all times, or my volume would fall way off. It's basically the same thing, and no more difficult to learn.

    A really loud, noisy environment can actually bother a hearing-impaired person more than someone with full hearing. Don't take him to such places (although one trick is for me to turn off my hearing aids, which then become ear plugs, although then I can't make out much of anything)

    Be aware that room acoustics affect hearing. He may have been hearing fine, but then you walked into a heavily carpeted room with drapes, and now he's having problems. Or you moved into a hall or dining room with noisy conversations all around you, and to him it's just a confusing wall of sound. (That happens to me a lot)

    Take him to a quieter place if you want a real conversation, don't try to fight it, or else limit yourself to simple words & gestures. "Do you want a drink?" "How's your food?" NOT: "Let's have a in-depth discussion of the movie we just saw." Know there are places where he simply cannot hear you well enough to feel confident & comfortable, so don't embarrass him.

    Does he use sign? We had a friend with a BF who had a profound hearing loss, barely able to hear at all, wore 2 big behind-the-ear aids, his voice slurred by lack of audible feedback. Our friend learned sign for him, became quite good at it. We all went out fairly often together, until that nearly deaf BF moved away for work.

    Be sensitive to and compensate for his "worse" vs. "better" ear, if he has a difference. My worst ear is the right, and when driving a car, with my partner as a passenger to my right, and all the road noise, I often can't hear him at all. I do better as the passenger and him driving, since then my better left ear is facing him, and conversations can be fairly normal.

    Funny story: when I was teaching HS Seniors, one day a student said: "Mr. Xxxx, could you please stop jingling your keys and change in your pocket, it's very distracting." I was embarrassed but puzzled, since I heard nothing myself, and apparently wasn't doing it consciously.

    So I did an experiment after class. I jingled the keys in my right pocket, but heard nothing. Then I switched them to my left pocket to jingle. I could hear them! I couldn't believe how differentiated my hearing was in that frequency, in just the short distance between my 2 pants pockets. I repeated it several times to convince myself. BTW, my solution was to simply empty my pockets totally, like I once did for presentations in the Army, and put everything in a secure drawer in my classroom, so I wouldn't be tempted to jingle in either pocket.
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    May 27, 2011 2:30 PM GMT
    "Like I said he is an awesome guy and I enjoy everything about him. The only thing I wish is for him to not be so self-conscious about his hearing or get embarrassed when I knock out his hearing aid while making out . I also feel bad for those who did not take the time to get to know this great guy, they really missed out. "


    There in lies the answer to your own question icon_biggrin.gif


    I would as well, there are some remarkable people out there despite their disabilities, just have to take the time to know them better.
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    May 27, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    I would totally date someone with a disability. Relationships are how you get along with a person, so as long as they can bring something to the table to keep me interested then they're good in my book. But like the OP I would just want to help them be less self-conscious about it and don't let it define who they are.
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    May 27, 2011 4:44 PM GMT
    Im going to get reamed for saying this, but it depends.

    I think its because I really like tall guys, so I would find it hard to initially become attracted to someone in a wheel chair.

    A hearing aid? I wouldnt say thats a disability. Thats like saying Im disabled because I need glasses.
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    May 27, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    A lid for every pot.
    ...................Mrs__Potts_by_Alexiel50.jpg
  • shawn06

    Posts: 337

    May 27, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    Chainers saidIm going to get reamed for saying this, but it depends.

    I think its because I really like tall guys, so I would find it hard to initially become attracted to someone in a wheel chair.

    A hearing aid? I wouldnt say thats a disability. Thats like saying Im disabled because I need glasses.


    Well it kind of is in the sense that he can't hear at all without them. With the lack of hearing comes his slurred speech which can sometimes make it difficult for people to understand him. Even with them in I have always had to repeat every sentence at least once.

    Thx for all the replies guys my question is general disability if that would stop you? It could be deaf, blind, wheelchair whatever. I think honestly it takes time to determine if you're interested in a person beyond physical appearance and them having a disability makes it even more difficult for some to get past that barrier. His ex for example was never comfortable showing him to friends due to his speech.

    Personally as I stated before, this does not bother me and I'm not asking whether I should or should not date him as I have already made up my mind, I am going to pursue him.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2011 7:35 PM GMT
    shawn06 said
    Chainers saidIm going to get reamed for saying this, but it depends.

    I think its because I really like tall guys, so I would find it hard to initially become attracted to someone in a wheel chair.

    A hearing aid? I wouldnt say thats a disability. Thats like saying Im disabled because I need glasses.


    Well it kind of is in the sense that he can't hear at all without them. With the lack of hearing comes his slurred speech which can sometimes make it difficult for people to understand him. Even with them in I have always had to repeat every sentence at least once.

    Thx for all the replies guys my question is general disability if that would stop you? It could be deaf, blind, wheelchair whatever. I think honestly it takes time to determine weather you are interested in a person beyond physical appearance and them having a disability makes it even more difficult for some to get past that barrier. His ex for example was never comfortable showing him to friends due to his speech.


    See, that shows more about his ex than it does about him. I mean, come on you want to date a person but dont want anyone to know? Can a human being get much lower than that?

    Simply put, if I wasnt comfortable with someone meeting someone I am dating, then I wouldnt date them period.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2011 7:48 PM GMT
    Pffft. I was deaf for years. Nothing wrong with it. You just learn to read lips more, and see body language if you never learned ASL.

    Don't sweat it, if you like them, you like them for who they are... even the annoying or less endearing qualities. icon_smile.gif


    Roll with it.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11837

    May 27, 2011 7:49 PM GMT
    I would date a guy with a disability but I feel many in our community wouldn't....it's all about appearances...any variance and they bail...I try to look past outsides for they fade...What's on the inside?