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

11 Things The Man You Love Should Do For You, No Questions Asked

Sometimes it's just the simple things in life that mean a lot.

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Every girl feels special when the guy she's dating does simple things for her that not everyone thinks about. Here's a list of 10 things that every girl genuinely appreciates.

1. Open/Hold the door

I feel like this one is really simple because everyone has to walk through doors. Chivalry isn't dead, let him open the door for you. He's not trying to prove that you can't do it for yourself, but he's trying to be polite and show you that he cares for you.

2. Give you really big hugs

Everyone has bad days, and sometimes you just need a really big hug. Whether it be a bear hug or the hug where he picks you up and spins you around, it will make you feel better in the long run.

3. Buy you really small gifts

One of the best things my boyfriend has ever done for me is simply bringing me a Dr. Pepper when he knows I'm tired from a long hard day full of exams or work. Sonic slushes will also make my day in a heartbeat.

4. Text/Call you just to tell you he loves you

This is pretty simple. It takes less than 10 seconds to text, and only a few minutes to call. Sometimes you get these texts right at the perfect moment, and it makes you feel so much better.

5. Come see you when you're sick

Everyone hates being sick. But seeing your friends and family while you're sick can make you feel so much better. Having your boyfriend come to see you and possibly even take care of you just makes being sick that much easier.

6. Respect your decisions

You're not married yet, so your decisions are up to you! He should respect the decisions you make and support you, even if it's not what he thinks is the best decision. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else!

7. Give you a shoulder to cry on

We all have bad days, and sometimes you just can't stop the tears from coming. Even if he's not good with crying, he should give you hugs and love to help you get through it.

8. Compliment you

Even if you look horrible and know so, hopefully, he'll still tell you that you look good. Even if the clothes you're wearing aren't his style, he should still tell you that they look good on you and that you are beautiful each and every day.

9. Call you when you're away or he's away

If you're like me, I miss my boyfriend after being away for about three hours, so when we're apart for more than a couple days, I love getting random calls from him when he knows I'm not busy. It's definitely better than a text.

10. Deal with all your annoying quirks

So if you're anything like me, you enjoy screaming music as loudly and horribly as you can in the car and making a complete fool of yourself, but he should love you for that anyway. I also love to take really stupid pictures, and he should put up with that too. He shouldn't be annoyed by your quirks, he should love them and laugh along with you.

11. Love you no matter what

I honestly feel like this goes without saying, but I put it on here so that the girls who don't feel like they're being loved no matter what can realize. He should want to work out problems with you instead of calling it quits and holding a grudge. He should want you to be happy and support you in every decision you make in life. When he loves you unconditionally, he will do all of the above things and more.

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If You View Being In A Relationship As 'Losing Your Freedom,' You’re In The Wrong Relationship

Someone had to say it.

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Relationships are about being the best possible version of yourself separate and together. They're about growing with and doing life alongside your partner. They're fun, loving, and granted, they can sometimes be challenging.

Some challenges that frequently come up in relationships are disagreements (which are for sure gonna happen, because you're two individual people!), dealing with stress, and depending on where you're at in life, it could also be financial struggles. Of course, all relationships are going to have problems and everything won't always be “rainbows and butterflies" as Maroon 5 like to put it.

That being said though, one challenge that shouldn't ever be an issue in a relationship is the loss of freedom. Where did this idea come from?

I see it all the time, people talking about not wanting to get into a relationship because they don't want to "lose their freedom".

If you are in a relationship which causes you to lose your freedom, you are 100% in the wrong relationship.

Being in a relationship is not synonymous with not being able to be yourself or be able to do what you want. In a good relationship, you will be able to still have your alone time, be your own person, hang out with your friends, the list goes on and on. All of these things are so important. Relationships should never consume your life, they should complement it.

Why is this even a conversation we need to be having? Seriously.

Now obviously if you're referring to losing the option of getting with other people or dating around, then yes, you're right, you absolutely shouldn't get into a relationship... but that doesn't mean relationships mean losing your freedom.

If you are in a relationship with someone you love and respect, getting with other people isn't even going to be on your radar. It truly is that simple.

The trend of hating on relationships, for this reason, has gotten so out of hand in recent years, especially on social media. It's so frustrating, though, because it could not be any more inaccurate.

You should absolutely still have freedom in relationships. You can have it. I for one absolutely have it and do not view my relationship as the loss of freedom, at all. If you don't, maybe evaluate that relationship and realize it's not the best one to be in.

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