Dating someone with hearing problems
The idea of riding my bike along traffic-heavy streets brought on panic attacks. Knights on white horses are only appealing to someone who can be saved. But how could I know that my body wouldn’t betray me again, that the other side wouldn’t abandon me one day without warning, like a callous one night stand, no note, no explanation. Tilting my head toward the person speaking, studying the movement of their lips, I’d do anything to avoid admitting my condition. After a sixth invitation from an old friend, I finally agreed to have a drink. It was shocking how he’d said it so casually, so matter-of-fact.
I stopped leaving home, choosing to order in for food and call out of work. It would be months before my body regained some balance. Eventually I had to return to work, and when I did, I kept my eyes down, quietly taking notes in meetings, hoping no one would speak to me. Though I’d only lost half of my hearing, I was losing all confidence. Wasn’t there a support group that met in a basement, offering up hope and stale cookies? I walked into the cafe, recognizing him and waving hello to the group that stood by. No one even seemed to care, but because I had cared so much, I’d been missing out. I often hated everyone who could listen to music with two ear buds.
A harsh ringing pierced my ears so suddenly that I flinched and contemplated diving under my desk.
A co-worker walked by slowly, assessing my hunched position.
His arms and legs were tangled in mine, our first night together. I felt free and bold and wildly unguarded, until his rough voice scratched against my ear. It wasn’t what he’d said that murdered my mood but that I couldn’t hear it. Standing at 5-foot-8, I appeared willowy and well dressed; he probably noticed my Irish eyes first and then studied their contrast to my bronze Colombian skin.
This man, with everyone else, assumed that I was a healthy young woman. There was no wheelchair, no trained animal by my side. But at 24, I had gone from a feisty, uninhibited, outspoken yogini to a statistic. I’d been sitting in my midtown office when it started, typing another day away in my job as an assistant (read: glorified coffee fetcher).
The weekends came and then went; my phone remained off. I thought I would melt into a puddle of shame, there and then in the middle of happy hour. I could say that from that night on I didn’t struggle ever again and things went back to normal, but that’d be a lie. I resented my body, no longer trusting that if I took care of it, it would take care of me.
Every day I was ashamed to say the words I’d inevitably have to say: Excuse me? And then finally, defeated, I’d mumble an apology, “Sorry, I’m deaf on this side.”The most common response was intrigue; rarely did I receive pity. Months passed and then years, my diagnosis became a small, often forgettable detail and not my whole story. I am now 28 and though not a day has passed that I’ve forgotten about my disability (a word I only recently began using), I’ve accepted that it happened, and that I will always be known as someone’s half-deaf friend Jess.
Bars or crowded restaurants still make conversations tricky; instead I opt for quiet cafes or hosting at home.
When the doctor came in that night, his smile was misleading.
“Well, it seems you didn’t suffer blunt trauma, there’s no trace of a virus or a budding tumor. “It sometimes helps with tinnitus, which is what we call that god-awful ringing you can’t get rid of,” he said.
It is time for Christians to start talking about dating. Establishing principles for Christian dating will set men and women on a course towards Christ-centered marriages. Here are 10 important principles for Christian dating. That would make God a gambler, and the Bible clearly says gambling is from the devil (only joking). Marriage isn’t as much about finding someone totally compatible as it is about committing to someone despites difficulties and differences. I fear this mentality in the dating culture is actually promoting divorce. Suddenly, when marriage begins, you are asked to flip a switch. It allows you to jump into marriage with a clear conscience.
The trajectory of lives and eternities are in the balance. Laying out guidelines for dating as followers of Jesus will alter lives by keeping people out of toxic and unhealthy relationships (and ultimately marriages). “The one” says you need to find the perfect person. The beauty of marriage is God sustains you despite your flaws. The shells of a shotgun are stuffed with tiny round balls. You are asked to go from a mentality that says “End a relationship as soon as difficulty arises,” to one that says, “Don’t end the relationship regardless of the difficulty that arises.” That’s a tough switch to flip.