My Boyfriend Is Deaf, But He's Still A Great Listener

My Boyfriend Is Deaf, But He's Still A Great Listener

This is what dating my deaf boyfriend has taught me.

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I have heard countless complaints over the years resembling the statement, "My boyfriend is a terrible listener."

Women say this simply to describe how irritating it is when their boyfriends zone out as they are talking about their day or when they simply stare off into space as they try and ask whether they wanna order pizza or Chinese. They may use phrases such as "selective hearing" or compare the likeness of talking to their boyfriend to "talking to a wall."

I must say that I can relate to these women but in a much different way.

My boyfriend is deaf.

I have to say that my boyfriend's deafness has never once been a roadblock for me. If anything, it made me more interested in him. I had zero experience when it came to his deafness. I had many misconceptions of his hearing ability in the beginning. But, overall, it was something that just increased my interest in this kind-hearted, goofy guy. As I started to date this person that sometimes can't help but not listen to me, I realized that his deafness had zero effect on how much I cared for him and how well we worked together.

Unlike some other members of the deaf community, my boyfriend has two cochlear implants. Fun fact: cochlear implants are actually frowned upon throughout the deaf community a lot of times. They are said to remove the individuality that comes with the deaf community and its members. However, and I will admit I am biased, I do not agree and neither does my boyfriend. Cochlear implants assist him in living his life, but that does not mean that every deaf person needs or wants them to live theirs—which is OK. They benefit this person that is very important to me, and that is all that matters in my mind.

While all cases of deafness and implant-users are unique to the individual, my boyfriend had his first implant surgery when he was just 2-years-old. Then, his second when he was 10. I knew cochlear implants existed before I met him, but I had no idea how they worked, which was soon very apparent to myself and him.

Gabby Sheets

So, basically in the simplest terms possible, there are two magnetic receivers implanted in his skull. Then, there is the outer part that holds a circular magnet, a transmitter, and a microphone that magnetizes through his skull and to his actual implant. This, somehow, gives him the ability to hear, and to be fully honest I do not understand how they work. I probably never will. All I know is that he can hear me, which I did not know would necessarily be the case when we first met...

Gabby Sheets

When we first started going out with each other, I definitely had many misconceptions about my boyfriend's hearing, misconceptions that he will tease me about to this day. For example, I thought that I had to look directly at him whenever I spoke. My mistaken logic was that he would have to read my lips in order to understand me. False. Wrong. His implants allow him to hear exactly what I am saying the majority of the time, depending on if he actually is paying attention and how loud I am talking. He can, however, read lips though, which he has to do any time he is not wearing his implants, or like when I knock them out of his head on accident... Woops.

I also, at first, had this hilarious belief that he wouldn't be able to talk to me on the phone. I thought this even after I knew he could hear me in person with practically zero difficulties. It wasn't until he was over at my place visiting me, and I came out of my room to see that he was talking to his mom. On the phone. Because he can, perfectly well. To this day, I cannot explain why I thought he wouldn't be able to speak on the phone. It was my stupid, stupid mistake, and my boyfriend still finds my naivete when it came to his hearing oh so amusing.

All of this comes to show that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I have confessed to my boyfriend that I was self-conscious at times, simply because I didn't understand. I was terrified to ask the wrong questions and upset him, but then I came to find out that he makes deaf jokes that make me cringe, not him. I was afraid of yanking one of his implants out of his head on accident. I have multiple times now, and it has never once been a big deal. I was self-conscious about hitting a nerve, about something that not only impairs his hearing but his life as a whole.

There was one night, at the beginning of our relationship, where we just sat asking each other questions as new couples commonly do. The question was, "What is your biggest insecurity?"

His answer was his hearing. My answer was my body.

I discovered that there are always times where he will feel insecure because he isn't able to hear like everyone else. However, I love the fact that he isn't like everyone else. I sincerely hope that he realizes that.

But no, I will never be able to truly understand what it is like to be deaf, to have this life-changing impairment, and that's OK.

What I do know is that by dating my boyfriend I have learned this—everybody is insecure about something. Some are insecure about something as superficial as their looks like I am. Then some are insecure about something that affects their entire life, such as my boyfriend with his hearing. It has occurred to me that if my boyfriend can overcome something as life-altering as his deafness then I can overcome body insecurity and many other obstacles in my life now, thanks to him.

I have never met a guy as willing to listen to me and my minuscule problems as my boyfriend. I have never experienced problems in my life as severe as his deafness, but he always makes my problems, thoughts, insecurities, etc. feel validated. He is understanding and considerate. He is reassuring and has a heart of gold, and I continue to be amazed by him each day that we spend together.

So, yes, my boyfriend is deaf, but he most definitely is not a terrible listener. Not at all.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

PSA: Don't Text And Date, Do It Like Our Grandparents

Waiting for a text from a boy is like waiting for water to boil. Sometimes I think if I take a lap around my kitchen then the text will magically light up my phone.

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Texting in our relationships has become so prevalent that it has snuck its way into TV. shows and movies, as well as songs. This makes sense because it is such a large part of our lives. Texting boys can be great in some cases, especially in long distance relationships.

And don't get me wrong, it certainly can be exciting!

But I've realized is that it has the potential to be incredibly inefficient and waste a whole lot of everyone's time. The time that is wasted is a combination of the time spent texting in a conversation that leads absolutely nowhere, along with the time you spend thinking about when that next text is going to roll in. Not to mention all the time you spend screenshotting these texts and sending them to your friends and asking advice on how to craft a perfect reply and agonizing over the right wording, re-typing over and over again, having everyone from your best friend to your Mom weigh in on the perfect syntax.

For a generation that is obsessed with getting everything as fast as possible, why are we contacting each other so inefficiently? We think we will just send a quick text, but more often than not, it turns into a whole production.

Snapchat can be even worse. Taking time out of your day to take a well-lit selfie and send it to a boy just so he can send you a snap of his actual chin is just ridiculous.

We are talking to people constantly about absolutely nothing. And quite frankly, we all deserve more. Technology is great, but just because it is advanced doesn't mean it's advancing our communication skills. Boys, I think it might be time to pick up the phone again. Imagine if instead of spending countless hours in a Snapchat conversation grasping at straws to make a plan with the girl you like, you actually just picked up the phone. The call would take maybe two minutes to set up a plan instead of whittling away a whole day. It seems like just because we have the option to text or message someone, we forget that we have the alternative of a trusty phone call.

If our grandparents had dated the way that we did, would they have ever worked out? Would our parents ever have been born? Would we even exist?

As I am re-watching "Sex and The City," "Gilmore Girls" and "Friends" yet again, I am overcome with nostalgia about what dating was like during these times. I'd love to come home to a message on my machine.

Maybe you're reading this and you think I'm lame and old fashioned and you're absolutely right, but I think I have a point. In order to have better success in our romantic relationships, we need to work on actually saying something. Why are we claiming we are "talking" to someone when we have never talked to them in person? How did we end up in this reality of sulking when we have been left on read, or obsessively checking to see if someone has viewed our Snapchat story?

We've been given all these ways of pseudo-communicating and endless time to do it and absolutely no rule book of what is acceptable. When you really think about it, it's a recipe for disaster that could be destroying our relationships before they even start. We need an Emily Post of technology to teach us how to behave. We need to stop abusing the convenience of technology and start challenging ourselves to communicate better.

I challenge you if you're a single lady that the next time a boy asks for your Snapchat, tell them you'd prefer it if they called you to make plans.

Guys, just call a girl! It might really impress her! Everyone who tries this has full permission to call me and yell at me if the person who calls you/you call says you're a huge freak. But do me a favor and start leaving your ringer on when you're not in class. Let's talk.

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13 Reasons To Date An Aries Girl ASAP

Once she's in, she is in with her entire heart.

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It's my absolute favorite season: Aries season! As an Aries, I tend to flourish as my best self once Aries season rolls around. I'm here to lead the way into the new astrological year, and as a single Aries, I'm here to convince single guys why they should date an Aries girl like me ASAP.

1. She's adventurous

She's not content with humdrum dates, she needs action or she'll leave you out of boredom. She'll be down for something to get her adrenaline pumping and will keep you on your toes.

2. She's driven

She's a girl with goals. She's independent and doesn't need anyone holding her back from what she wants. Support her or get out of her way.

3. She's all in whole-heartedly

When she falls, she falls all at once with her entire being. This is a girl who is willing to put her heart on the line for love once she knows it's real. You'll never have to worry about her heart being anywhere else but with you.

4. She's very direct with her likes and dislikes

She isn't a sugar coater since she hates liars, so she'll be honest about everything. Whether you like it or not, you'll always get the truth from an Aries girl.

5. She's super passionate

Whatever it may be, an Aries will be passionate for what she loves. I am passionate about writing, and I never let anything get in the way of it. In a relationship, an Aries girl will bring the heat that comes with her passion for you.

6. She's not a clinger

She hates clingers SO MUCH. Over the top PDA or romantic things generally make an Aries cringe (maybe not all of us, but I know that's how it is for me). She loves getting attention, but being clingy is a major turnoff, and she isn't one herself. She's not going to beg to see you 24/7, she likes to lead her own life.

7. She's a great listener

She loves to talk, but something she's just as great at is listening. She'll ask you so many questions to get to know you and really listen to what you have to say when you answer them.

8. She's big on friends and family, they come first

She's a big proponent of valuing her friends and family above all else. She will likely go to them for advice about everything. Meeting them is more important to an Aries than many people realize. If you're big on family, she's the girl for you.

9. She's open to anything in the bedroom

Got a fantasy? She's game to indulge. She's adventurous and that extends to bedroom activities as well. The same old routine bores her, so don't be afraid to experiment and try new things.

10. She only uses the past as a means to learn

She's probably got a rough past she doesn't necessarily want to talk about. The past is the past and she tries to use this as a lesson. It takes a lot for her to open up about it. She tries to be optimistic and keep herself in the present, and this optimism may rub off on you eventually.

11. Her cuddle game is epic

You'll never want to leave bed once your Aries girl gets her hands on you. You'll be too comfortable to leave.

12. She loves fashion and wears trends well

She loves wearing what's in fashion and looking her very best. Her outfits may put yours to shame. She's the kind of woman you want on your arm while you're out on the town.

13. She'll be the woman you'll never forget

You may break up or drift apart, but she's the girl that will leave a permanent mark on your heart. She's unforgettable.

Get your Aries while you can, because if you don't scoop her up, someone else will.

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