Deaf Relationships and Dating

[Image Description: Cheerful young couple hugging and showing heart sign with hands.]

There are a lot of interracial dating of various ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and languages. This concept is very similar to dating within the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities. Many people may wonder how that works. Well, if a Deaf person dates a Deaf person, there is no problem with dealing with cultural differences or language barriers. There is a high percent chance that a Deaf person will give birth to a baby that is Deaf, which is the reason why many Deaf people come from a generationally Deaf family. On the other hand, Deaf people can have hearing kids known as CODA. Read more about CODAs here. For couples where one person is Deaf and the other is hard of hearing, even though both people have hearing loss, it does not mean that their experiences growing up is the same – read more about D/deaf community here. What they have in common is hearing loss, in which they can both relate. The differences is that Deaf people do not speak or hear at all and usually are very immersed in the Deaf community and have Deaf friends, so there may already be a cultural/background difference. In terms of language, the HOH person may or may not know ASL, so that can cause a communication barrier. In addition, it depends on how the Deaf person is educated, the ASL syntax, grammar, and sentence structure – read more about ASL syntax here – is very different from spoken language; therefore the Deaf person will write how he or she signs. When a Deaf person dates a hearing person, there are a lot of differences such as cultural differences and communication barriers; however the hearing person can pick up sign language so he or she can better communicate with the Deaf person. When this occurs, it is most likely a CODA or an ASL interpreter who is very knowledgable about the Deaf community and Deaf culture and will date someone who is Deaf. There are occasions when a hearing person knows nothing about ASL, Deaf culture, and the Deaf community, and will eventually pick up ASL and immerse himself or herself into the community because his or her partner is Deaf. A HOH and hearing person may have more in common with each other than between a Deaf and hearing person. In most cases, the HOH person grew up speaking and talking, therefore can communicate orally with the hearing person. However, a hearing person may not necessarily understand the experiences of a deaf person such as needing specific accommodations, repetition, etc. The HOH person may or may not know sign, but if he or she does then the hearing person can learn American Sign Language in order to make the communication easier. The Deaf community is becoming more diverse and includes Deaf/Non-Deaf and ASL/Non-ASL signers. Check out 6 Top Deaf Dating Sites and stay tuned for Social ASL coming soon – Born out of our love for bridging the gap between the Deaf and hearing communities, we at Start ASL have created Social ASL, a unique site to help signers meet and make a lasting connection. Whether you are Deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, use a hearing aid or cochlear implant, are a professional ASL interpreter, working in Deaf education, or even a hearing person still learning ASL – all ASL users are welcome at Social ASL to to find and make new connections for love or friendship.

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