Dating A Deaf Person

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Hey everyone! Welcome back to the ASL Dyad.. we’re gonna be making a video about five tips for deaf and hearing relationships . I had many deaf people tell me that I should marry a deaf person. and that it wouldn’t work if I married a hearing person  . and I disagree, and I wanted to share some tips on how you can make that relationship work . And people have asked him like why he married a deaf girl. and like how that works, so we just wanted to share our experience. and we’re not perfect. we still argue, we still have disagreements. and our relationship isn’t perfect but the things that we’ve done have helped. J: better E: yeah help our relationship. um so yeah we’re gonna go ahead and share those tips with you. So the reality for us is that it was kind of  a little bit easier because we had a bridge.

I didn’t know anything about ASL, about the deaf community before I met her and if she was just fully in that and didn’t have her cochlear implant there probably would have been no real way for us to communicate in the first place and get to know each other and so the reality is that her cochlear implant was a really good bridge for us and it helped us kind of start that so that she could teach me the basics So that I wasn’t just I was very involved in the hearing world too It wasn’t just like I was completely deaf, so there is that it is different I think if someone is completely deaf and someone who is completely hearing it could still work obviously, but like For us, he would have had to already known ASL or

J: I would have had to at least know something. but I literally knew absolutely nothing. The first tip. that we kind of wanted to share was that we had to be able to develop a couple identity  . and so because I was hearing and she was in the deaf world. and she was able to kind of. be in the hearing world as well due to her cochlear implant  . we could kind of develop this identity by working with each other. because she was able to easily teach me about the deaf world. I was able to learn it because we could communicate. and everything and so our couple identity is  kind of grown into this hearing and deaf couple  . That’s what we like to identify as. like, yes I am deaf and he’s hearing and. we make it work and that’s why we made the ASL Dyad. is to show that it can work. another thing that’s important in helping us like develop our identity.

Is learning about each other’s worlds. really it was mostly him learning about the deaf world. He immersed himself, he listened to what I taught him. you met deaf people and he was interested. J: I tried learning ASL slowly. E: yeah school’s been hard but he’s still good. and, but he. he wanted to be a part of that world. like that was a desire, it wasn’t just like oh it comes with it. like oh this just because she’s deaf, like this is just gonna happen. like I have to. I think he wanted to right?. J: yeah and I think also another big part. was that she already knew that she for sure. needed someone that could speak ASL. it wasn’t just oh she didn’t want to marry a deaf person. it was she still needed someone for sure that could learn ASL or knew ASL. when you first start learning about the culture and everything.

That you didn’t really know about before it could be super interesting and everything but the most important thing is that if it’s going to be something this important like one of our foundations is that I’m totally willing to keep learning about it it doesn’t just become, oh like that’s a little bit cool but I don’t really care about it anymore after a year I need to it’s going to be a lifelong thing for me and my personality fit well with that because I like learning about that stuff it’s what I’m studying that ability for me and my personality to be able to commit to that was something that was like, "yes I can commit to that." I’m not just gonna turn around in six months and be like, "oh I don’t really want to be a part of the deaf community" like I was like yeah put me a part of it. Totally awesome.

Yeah when we were dating I could tell. um just by his personality like you said. So that’s the first tip, make sure that you have a couple identity. something that you can hold on to and also have fun with. J: yeah and commit to. E: yeah, commit!. okay the second tip is you have to have effective communication. if there’s a communication barrier then there’s gonna be problems. there’s still problems with us um. but because I have my implant like you said. it’s a little bit easier for me and him to communicate. because I can speak and I can hear. sometimes, most of the time. I do take it off and he knows a little bit of sign. I can lip read really well, um so it works for us. but I do understand a deaf person’s perspective telling me. you have to marry deaf or it’s not gonna work. because from their eyes. if like you marry a hearing person who doesn’t know sign obviously it’s not gonna work.

Like the communication is gonna just be so difficult and um. It can go either way the couple communicates in sign language or  they can communicate in signing and speaking   like we do, I can speak, I can hear but I would say that if I was completely deaf I would definitely want to marry someone who was already fluent or at least knew like was able to have a good conversation maybe not like knew everything or completely fluent but enough to have a deep conversation, not superficial but a really deep conversation in ASL and who understood my signing, my skill level I think that’s really important so in a deaf and hearing relationship I think

Deaf Dating Site

I think the most important thing is being  able to communicate and understand each other. not perfectly but yeah there has to be enough. and it’s not the responsibility of the deaf person to try to do all the work. J: yeah and at the beginning  that’s what we kind of realized, she knew that. and she did want someone that knew ASL  or would show commitment to learning it. and so I was willing to start taking  classes. we go to the deaf ward for church. and I obviously am not fluent yet or anything. because I would be signing like she is right now. but like I’ll be taking my fourth ASL class later in the summer  . and we can totally sign and everything. from where I was where I didn’t even know. I knew literally nothing not even the alphabet. to being able to talk with some of her deaf friends without any help.

Is obviously been something that I needed to do. because I can’t just stop at that. kind of superficial level of communication. because right now our lives are decently simple. we go to school and we go to work. but in the future when we have kids and all of these other billion different things. if I can’t get to the level of communication that we can talk about  . everything basically in ASL, then I’ve failed. and I need to be able to get to that level. that’s my side but she needs to be able to  realize, it is a whole new language. and so I need to show commitment. but I can’t just learn it in six months while I’m also working and in school. and it’ll be a couple of years and everything through a lot of practice. but I need to show that I’m actually practicing it. and not just kind of pushing it away for a whole year.

And then maybe learning a little bit more, pushing it away I need to be able to show okay yes like I am definitely practicing and getting better, she sees improvement and this applies to any relationship like there should be able to have communication like for example if someone knew Spanish and they met someone who knew English like I’ve seen it happen where they get married but I’ve seen it happen where there’s a communication breakdown and it just doesn’t work because they don’t understand each other and I’ve seen it where they’ve learned each other’s languages and they can communicate and it works So I believe it works, but

It’s the same thing for deaf and hearing people. you have to be able to communicate effectively. so the third tip is respecting each other’s differences. um obviously I’m deaf, he’s hearing and that’s different. and for me it was important that he respected that I was deaf. and this was a part of me and that  he didn’t look down on me on that. and we’re different in many other ways  too. I’m more stressed and he’s more chill. and just understanding that helps our relationship work better. because he realizes okay she gets stressed in this situation. I need to be able to help her and not like oh don’t worry about it like it’s fine. because that’s his personality to be like whatever like just go with the flow. but when he goes okay like this is hard for her  either because she’s deaf or whatever . For example, I hate calling the doctor or anyone that I don’t know.

It just stresses me out because I’m like what if I can’t hear them or what if it’s important and I’m just not able to understand so instead of him saying like, "oh it’s fine, like just do it like just try it" J: just call him like what’s the worst that could happen E: Right. He offers to call them for me so he’ll call the doctor or anyone or anything that I need help with he’ll   offer that because he knows that it will help me and it’s not a oh I’m looking down on you like I’ll just do it for you it’s like I understand, I respect you that this is hard and I will help you yeah and just so it’s not just always me  helping her because of my chill personality there’s some things where I probably shouldn’t be as relaxed as I am for example if I’m about to..

Like last semester I was about to go in and take like an organic chemistry test. and I was just like whatever happens happens type personality. she would be able to help me and be like "um no, grades matter". you need to be a little stressed so that you’ll study and do well. and you should be a little worried about it it  should not just be whatever happens happens and so  . I think we’ve been able to balance each other out a little bit with that. I think we’ve kind of met in the middle  of chill and super stressed to be able to  . better communicate and do all these things that we need to do. but yeah I think the the biggest thing is he respects me as a deaf person. and I respect him as a hearing person. I don’t think like "oh you’re superior". or I don’t think "oh you’re less" like I’m deaf and you’re hearing like that’s lower.

Dating Someone Who Is Deaf

I view us as equal. It doesn’t matter that I’m deaf and he’s hearing. we’re both just human and we just respect  our differences I think that’s important. all right so the fourth tip for making a deaf  and hearing couple work. would be that the family of origin for each of us would kind of have to also be a part of this relationship  . because like I said earlier, I knew nothing  about the deaf community or deaf culture  . neither did my family, we’ve never really had  experiences with any deaf people. and so bringing her was going to be a new experience for them. and for her, there was certain things that she wanted. yeah so I wanted to make sure that I felt, again, respected. and not belittled or I just wanted to feel accepted. so I met his family and it was great! I felt welcomed, I felt loved. um we had a lot of good discussions about what it was like being deaf and the things that I needed.

It was a learning process for them and I could  tell that they were a little bit nervous. like Jonathan’s dating a deaf girl, like what is that about  . they knew nothing and it was cool to just talk  with them and help them understand who I was  . and like explain deaf culture. And they  were so openminded and willing to learn  . they’re learning ASL even if it’s just a little bit. J: a little bit!. E: but still!. that made me feel good and it was like okay. I could marry into this family and they would accept me for who I am . I didn’t feel like I needed to change or anything. and because when you marry someone it’s not just between us. it wasn’t like oh we’re good, like great. You marry the family. and if the family doesn’t respect you or doesn’t  like include you then that’s a problem and so  . it’s important to get to know each other’s family  and make sure it works.

J: I think that my parents ability to be open helped a lot. because they were totally willing to ask questions. and if maybe one was like a little bit offensive  she was able to see okay they’re just learning  . they want to learn, they’re not trying to be  offensive or anything and she educates them  . and they’re like oh okay like we’re sorry. one example of something that they needed to learn. was if we’re driving in a car and my parents  are driving because we’re going to the beach or  . something and she’s in the back seat with us. that my parents kind of talking like they would with me. where they’re driving and they’re facing forward  and they’re just talking and I can sit in the  . back and hear them. That’s super difficult for her  because there’s cars around we’re on the freeway  . it’s super loud and everything and so my dad  realized okay he’s in the passenger seat.

Obviously the driver can’t turn around but the  passenger, my dad, would turn around and talk with her. so that she could see his lips and everything. and if he forgot my mom was able to be like you need to turn around to talk with her. and they were both open with that and if they weren’t then. yeah she wouldn’t feel comfortable going  there yeah and it would be difficult for us  . in the future to bring our kids there because she  wouldn’t feel comfortable. yeah so I am grateful for his family and just everything that they’ve  done to help me. another thing was I remember they had some concerns and they were just curious like what like what’s gonna happen with this and  . I was able to explain like oh you don’t need to worry about that. and just helped um clarify like misunderstandings or things like that.

Verified model

So that’s important too, having heartfelt deep discussions with each other’s families too. so the fifth tip for making a hearing and deaf couple work is to. be able to build an equal partnership. and so for me at least things that I had heard about before I knew anything about deaf people or deaf culture. a lot of people label it as a disability and there’s a lot of negative connotations that go with that. and I think just learning from their point of view. is super important because they’re the ones who are deaf. the hearing people don’t know anything about them really. the deaf people should be able to explain themselves and so. me being able to listen to her instead of  other people who are like oh you’re marrying  . a girl with a disability type thing. being able to listen to her and hear her point of view of.

What her life is like as a deaf person. was something that I needed to do to make sure that she’s on the same level as me. I need to not look down on her because she’s deaf. I need to not look down on her when she might need assistance like if I need to call the doctor for her. I can’t look down on her because she needs that help. I need to be able to just be like "I need help with some things and she’s able to help me with that". it’s just who we are we need help with  different things, none of us are perfect  . yeah and there’s one thing that I’m still  working on is not viewing myself as any less um. like sometimes I’ll think like oh this would have been easier for him if he married a hearing girl.  . like he wouldn’t have all these  problems, you wouldn’t have to help me with all these things. like it would have just been  easier for you just to marry a hearing person.

And I’ve thought that before, like I’ve told him like it’ll just be easier. and so that I think. making sure that you view each other as equal but  also like understanding that like oh I am equal to him. I’m not any less. I view him as equal and I view myself as equal too. and like I said I’m still working on it. sometimes I’m like ah it would just be easier. J: but yeah and there’s like the simple things like. random example like she’s studying for the GRE. I know more math than her. I’m better at math so she’ll ask me for help with that. and that’s not looking down on yourself as less and me thinking oh I’m smarter because I’m helping her with something. it’s just she’s better at other things and so she’s able to help me and her not seeing herself as less because she feels like I help her more . is something that we’ve had to discuss like she said.

And it is super important because I don’t look down on her less. and if she’s always thinking that, that’s going to cause problems because. she might think that that’s what I’m thinking,  but it’s not what I’m thinking. and so she’ll feel bad and I won’t know why she’s feeling bad. E: yeah it all goes back to the communication again. and I think that’s really important is just  talking about the things that I need help with. things that you need help with. talking about what thoughts that I’m having or feeling and yeah. so making sure that we are equal and  communicating together as equals. taking into all of the different opinions. taking all those into account and trying to figure out the best  . solution for us that’s what’s really important. so these are the five tips that we came up with that. have helped us in our relationship and they can  apply to any relationship because everyone’s.

Different everyone is going to have strengths  and weaknesses and they can help each other  . it’s important to view each other as  equal and to communicate effectively  . but we just wanted to share our  experience and the things that  . have helped us so we hope you enjoyed these  tips, remember that we’re not perfect and um. J: part of the reason we make these  whole videos is kind of a checkup on ourselves  . because we’re trying to help educate people but  we’re also making sure that we need to apply them  . in our own lives. It’s kind of a reality check  and the videos are helpful for us because we see  . people comment on the videos and they’re like oh  these help so much but they also help us so much  . because we get to sit down together we get to talk  about the stuff that we’re going to talk about in.

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