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What I Want My Boyfriend to Know About Dating Someone With Hearing Loss

Dear Boyfriend,

There are some things I want to tell you about myself. I struggle with hearing loss and central auditory processing disorder. It means that sometimes I have a hard time hearing and sometimes I have a hard time understanding what you are saying. That could be a lot to swallow, but it doesn’t have to be. With these simple tips, we can continue to love each other with no barriers. Please…

Face me when you speak. I want to hear each and every word because I love you. I want to understand your emotions through your eyebrows and puffed out cheeks. Like anyone, I’d like to see your face rather than your back. Even if you are talking to me from across the house, please face me if you can. I cannot hear you and I so desperately want to.

Keep your mouth clear of any barriers when you speak. I love your precious lips for more than just kissing. I utilize your mouth movements for reading what you are saying when there is background noise. I want to go out to eat with you, go to concerts, go to movies, but I need your help. Keep the napkin down, hand away, and menu out of your face. I don’t even mind seeing your chewed food!

Enunciate. Louder is never better, but clearly pronounce your words. You won’t ever have to look like a silly goose by moving your lips any extra. Stick with normal movements, just a tad slower, and I’ll do my best to catch every word.

Say my name before you begin talking, I want your full attention. Please make sure I can hear you. I love the sound of your voice and together we can grow closer.

Be patient. I’m sorry if I ask you to repeat yourself. Especially when I ask three-plus times if we are in a loud restaurant. I only want to understand — it’s never you, it’s me. Thanks in advance for being patient when I’m just waking up, coming out of the shower, or when I change my hearing aid batteries and go deaf for a second. I only need one second to pop in my bright blue hearing aids and we are back online. Also, be patient when I cannot answer the phone because the setting is too loud for my hearing aids. Thanks in advance for calmly hanging up and texting me with a smile.

Hearing loss and Central auditory processing disorder can be hard, but I know we are stronger together than alone. I know together we can be invincible, even if I am wearing bright blue devices that stick out and shine out of my ears. Maybe you can wear some bright blue shoes so we can match!

Getty image by Jacob Lund.

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