How are you doing these days?
Dating is a fun activity for anyone.
One needs to ready to date, mature enough to know what one wants, an abundance of charm, sophistication and a dash of style is always a good combo. It also helps to have some money and nice clothes! Oh yes, witty jokes and savvy communication are pretty important too. And yes, this all adds up to good interpersonal skills.
Dating is also hazardous because there is a risk of going too far for the wrong reasons. Trust can be given to the wrong person, hearts can be broken, lessons need to be learned. Such lessons as: Don’t date girls with more tattoos than Dwayne Johnson, or don’t date guys who collect scars from bar fights.
So basically: Dating builds social skills and personality. It is a good thing.
Dating is a part of life, same as Taxes and the other D word. (No, not Dentures.)
As you can see, I mentioned at the top “Dating is a fun activity for anyone.” Can Deaf-Blind date? Oh you bet!
There are three different dating scenarios here, each has their own challenges and successes.
Deaf-Blind dating Deaf-Blind:
This usually works very well. At first it must be kept quiet because of the fact that Deaf-Blind community is very small. Everyone knows everyone. Until the bond is official, then it is usually hushed up. I do know about 5 or six Deaf-Blind Couples who have been in a relationship beyond dating. And, yes, mostly these couples will communicate ASL, and will be very comfortable with each other.
Deaf-Blind dating Deaf:
You would think that this is very common, but in fact it is not. Yes, it is true that many Deaf-Blind are married to Deaf, they actually started out both being Deaf. They started dating as Deaf, then along the way, one started to lose vision and become Deaf-Blind. Most of these couples will stay together.
Most, not all, Deaf singles will tend to not date Deaf-Blind, because Deaf feel they need to lower themselves to date Deaf-Blind. Deaf may feel they need to modify their ASL for Deaf-Blind. Plus, the community is small and everyone tends to know this Deaf person is dating that Deaf-Blind person. There are lots of lines being crossed. (This is just my observations, I am pretty sure that there are Deaf who are very willing to date Deaf-Blind).
Hearing/sighted dating Deaf-Blind:
This couple may or may not work. To make it easier, let us call the Hearing/sighted Larry and the Deaf-Blind Janet. Janet is ASL, close range, Larry probably met Janet in a pub and started chatting, by chatting I mean gesturing or chatting via iPad. When Larry found out Janet is Deaf, he might try to learn ASL, or continue to use technology. Maybe they exchange text numbers and start chatting that way. Will Larry start to learn ASL? Now, what if Larry is a sign language student? That opens doors, because he has the basics and Janet can teach him more. Or Larry could be highly skilled ASL user, and dated Janet because they get along very good. It works all ways!
The problem here is that maybe Larry loses interest with Janet because of either texting all the time, or learning ASL. There are many reasons for a breakup.
I started this article because a Deaf-Blind friend in Ontario has been dating for over a decade, most of the men she dates are hearing, with no or little signing. She has had her heart broken many times!
I am happy to be married 16 years this May to the most amazing woman I know. She puts up with my Deaf-Blind Ataxia crap everyday! Wink! And she is Hearing/sighted!
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