Being single and hard of hearing is not funny, unless you happen to be a sitcom writer. If you happen to find yourself alone and you’re over 50, it can feel like that particular ship has sailed.
There is often a feeling of somehow being too old to be dating, with all that it entails. It can seem too hard and too much hassle. It doesn’t take much of an effort to cast your mind back to how dating was in your 20’s and 30’s, maybe even 40’s.
Going back down that particular road at the age later in life – forget it. It can feel like standing at base camp at the foot of an impossible to climb mountain. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Yes, you can of course jump in with both feet and join an online dating site. But life doesn’t have to be lived at super speed – not to begin with, anyway. Chances are, you’re a little bit out of practice.
Above all else the one thing that most people of a certain age are really interested in is companionship. You just need to be a little more thoughtful when it comes to social situations and new places.
“You just need to be a little more thoughtful when it comes to social situations and new places.”
The other person may not even be aware of your hearing loss. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise when you consider how small hearing aid technology is now. When you choose to mention your hearing loss is up to you. In the meantime, here are some tips:
Before a date, make sure that you have good batteries in your aid/aids. And take spares with you.
If possible, check the venue out ahead of time to make sure there there is not loud noise, music, or other distractions.
If eating out, try to pick somewhere that has old fashioned tablecloths rather than the new trendy polished wooden tables. This way you avoid the racket tableware makes when clattering on surfaces, while tablecloths absorb much of the sound. Some restaurants even have cloth covered sound baffles. You’ll notice these as cloth covered pieces of wood suspended from the ceiling.
Sit strategically; try to get seats away from kitchen areas and the bar.
Forget subdued lighting. Instead, look for a place with nice even lighting, because this will enable you to see your date’s face and lips clearly. Even if you haven’t learned to lip read, you will likely pick up on lip shapes.
Of course there are so many different ways that you can interact with others and get to know new people outside of “official dating.” Depending on your tastes. there are many clubs and hobbies guaranteed to bring you into direct contact with strangers, any of whom could be the one. The single most important thing to remember is that pre or post-hearing loss you are still the same person.
With hearing loss and age, you may have a few challenges. But beneath the surface where it counts, there is no difference.