Communication Barrier: Deaf

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 21, 2007 3:45 PM GMT

    I'm Deaf. I'm having a tough time with my dating life especially with the communication that I cannot talk at all. I sign with my hands (I'm sure many of you know what sign language is). It is just so hard to meet the halfway with someone. I've dated few hearing guys (hearing is a term for people who aren't deaf) and we struggled a bit, but eventually they picked signs up pretty quickly, but I am not sure if it is hard on them or something like that. I know I could have dated a deaf guy to make the communication much easier, but I feel so much comfortable by dating a hearing guy. I never knew about how they feel about dating a deaf guy, especially in public. I'm pretty sure it was awkward for them in public.

    So, does anyone have an advice on how to approach a guy that doesn’t know a sign at all in bars or something like that? And, would you feel comfortable to date someone that doesn’t speak same language as you do?
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    May 21, 2007 6:57 PM GMT
    a deaf friend of mine uses the text function on his cell phone to communicate - not the fastest, but it works for him. He just types a message in and shows his phone to the other person - I guess the modern version of carrying around a pen and note pad. :o)

    I don't think I'd have any problem dating a non-hearing guy. If I liked him and wanted to be with him, we'd work through it.

    But I've seen some gay guys be real jerks to deaf people - not cool. :o(
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    May 21, 2007 9:12 PM GMT
    I wouldn't have any problems dating a guy who was deaf. I think communication would be difficult to begin with, but not too big of a deal.

    When I was dating, I spent at least a month talking to guys through email first. This allowed us to get to know each other and get comfortable before meeting. Of course, we exchanged pictures at the start :) But emailing someone first would help a lot with this, I would think. That also leads me to believe that it would be much easier for you to meet people online, as opposed to in the bar scene.
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    May 21, 2007 9:14 PM GMT
    Just smile!
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    May 21, 2007 9:46 PM GMT
    I have dated a deaf guy.

    communication is just as much an issue one faces when dating someone who doesn't speak your language.

    He was able to feel my throat and figure out what I was speaking.

    I had learnt sign language which was fun, especially when we miscommunicated.

    Overall dating a deaf person, myself being not deaf, was a "non-issue" in terms of communication or using sign language.

    Hope this helps.
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    May 22, 2007 1:12 AM GMT
    Ive never dated a deaf person, though I have met a few in bars. the guys that i met though did speak and could read lips which was a big help. the hardest part was that I was used to speaking to the side of someones face (closer to their ear) because the music is so loud and with the deaf guys you had to not do that which is counter intuitive to hearing people. I don't know if I could date a def guy who couldn't read lips. always wanted to learn sign language but feel like that would be a very difficult way to start.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 22, 2007 1:16 AM GMT
    the text messaging thing is a great idea
    ..never thought of that one
    also you can use a friend to at least introduce you
    I think that would be very kool
    learning to sign and meeting someone new at the sametime...
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    May 22, 2007 2:09 AM GMT
    My half sister is deaf. She lived in Canada for many years, so meeting her and learning to talk to her was a very moving part of my teenage years. It was an infinitely rewarding experience (although I'm not very fluent, I'm afraid)... and we are very close as relatives go.

    Back in the day I once went out with a Japanese girl whose English was very hesitant at first (like my Japanese!) - and at the time I was pretty in to her. The fact that we had difficulty making ourselves understood made what we did say very special. When I met her parents, we ironically had to communicate in a kind of sign language 'coz they couldn't make head nor tail of what I was saying. At parties with other Japanese people, Yukari often had to translate for me. I never found it awkward, only ever enriching and wonderful. I don't think your situation is so dissimilar.

    Wish you all the best, bud...
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    May 22, 2007 3:31 AM GMT
    I will say a language barrier can be very dificult. I grew up in a bilingual family where my parents spoke Spanish as did most of my family and family friends and us kids didn't. It can be very annoying when you are out with a group of people and you don't know what anyone is saying.

    Now that I am older I know more spanish so I can get by without a problem but there an new comers to the family mainly inlaws who dont speak a lick of spanish and there are times when you can see they are very left out when people break into spanish, and it gets really confusing when my aunt comes from spain who doesn't speak any english. you sometimes will have at one table a group of bilingual people a group who speak no spanish and some who speak little to no English and it can just get very frustrating especially for those who have to translate because you can't really have full conversations.

    I have also felt this when in spain where I speak enough spanish to get by but my family also speaks a dialect so sometimes they will slip into a dialect especially the older people who just forget alot of the time and then I am left without understanding very much
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    May 22, 2007 4:06 AM GMT
    I'm taking a sign language class right now, so i guess it wouldn't be dificult. To all of you who think learning ASL would be hard, think again, in my opinion it's even easier than spanish or french. it just takes time and practice.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    May 22, 2007 4:19 AM GMT
    Chung-how did your input help, exept to tell us about you??
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    May 23, 2007 6:04 AM GMT
    How did yours Mike?


    Anyways, my ex was incredibly attracted to deaf guys...I don't really know why, lol.

    The guy speaks like, 11 languages though, and ASL is one of them.

    Honestly, lol, as odd as it's a very effective way to weed out the shitheads you DON'T want to get involved with. I mean, what better way to find out if someone cares about you then watching them take the time to understand you.

    So, immediately...yeah, the only real thing you can do is have friends introduce your or do the whole text message/pda thing (probably easier to get a digital notepad) but ultimately...the ones worth speaking to are the ones who learn what YOU are saying to them.
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    Jun 18, 2007 11:40 PM GMT
    My ex was almost completely deaf (he'd lost like 80% of his hearing) AND Spanish.

    I think some guys love experiencing new things. I really enjoyed picking up Spanish, at least enough to talk to his (completely non English speaking) family. It can be a very bonding experience.
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    Jun 19, 2007 12:32 AM GMT
    my boyfriend is 100% deaf. i am not.

    i am not ever embarressed by my boyfriend in public, and why would i be? hes deaf, its not his or anyones fault. yea some people have givin us some wierd looks, but who really gives a shit...that and if they start fuckin with us i will sure as shit fuck them up...

    anyway in all honesty i dont think meetin at a bar is a great idea for the following reason. i knew when i was meetin him he was deaf, i accepted it and was ready for it. he doesnt speak well and i speak very fast and mumble alot so he couldnt read my lips, thank god he had a sidekick. we just used his kick to talk back and forth, it wasnt weird or anything. we met for dinner and "talked" for about 2 hours before we headed back to his place to smoke a joint. thats where it got weird. now i know booze is different that pot, but once i was a lil high it got weird. and hard to concentrate on having to write everything down. and it was just awkward.....

    basically what i am trying to say is that meetin someone for the first time who can hear should be done sober, it will be easier to make a connection. thank god we didnt smoke up before we ate or else i dont know how it would of turned out.. all the best