Dear Anna: I have 80% hearing loss in both ears. I speak and wear hearing aids. I am fluent in ASL. (American sign language). I have been engaged to a man for the past 4 years. I recently told him about my progressive hearing loss, along with a letter from my audiologist describing the severity of it. He is refusing to learn sign language or try to communicate with me effectively so I can understand him without my hearing aids. Any advice? – Lonely in Utah
Dating with hearing loss can be challenging, for both the person with hearing loss and the partner. It is good that you’ve been open about your needs from your relationship, and your preferred communication techniques.
I can’t really comment on why your partner might be reluctant to learn more about sign language or communication skills, but I would encourage you to continue to have conversations with him. Just remember that your needs are valid and people who really care about you should put in effort to communicate with you.
Hearing Like Me blogger Ellie recently wrote a blog post about dating with hearing loss, in which she offers dating advice from her personal experiences.
As a person with hearing loss, there are two sides to dating… being with a normal hearing person or with a deaf partner. Personally, I’ve been in a deaf-hearing relationship before, and it didn’t work out. I wouldn’t say it was my deafness that ended it, as I am very capable in life with communicating, but I’d just like to point out that he could have been more understanding with my needs. (Like he didn’t get my attention when talking to me, or couldn’t be bothered to repeat what he said… so the whole thing didn’t work anyway.)
You might also want to reach out on the Hearing Like Me forum to get more advice from the community.
Best of luck!
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