I’m noticing there are more hearing people dating deaf people largely because they are learning ASL and think we’re cool people. Here’s the list below.
1. You need to know ASL (duh) and be darned good at it or have a passion for it. It takes a long time to develop “deaf eyes”. How do you know if you have them? You don’t find yourself saying “what’s that sign or what did s/he just say?” anymore and able to talk with our Deaf friends at ease without looking at us for help.
2. If you don’t know what’s that sign or what we’re talking about, ask. Please don’t pretend.
3. Don’t over-patronize. If we want to order food on our own, let us.
4. Don’t ever feel bad for our inability to hear. It’s irrelevant like we don’t feel bad that you can hear.
5. You are not an interpreter but there will be times you will need to interpret. If it becomes annoying, you should have second thoughts about dating one.
6. If you happen to know or meet a hearing friend who knows ASL, talk in ASL. Save your voice for your non-signing friends.
7. Respect each other’s culture. We don’t mind hanging out with your speaking-only friends but not all the time and you don’t have to hang out with us all the time. Balance is nice. Example: if you want to go to a movie theater with your friends and it doesn’t have subtitles or captions, don’t feel bad. Remember #4.
8. If you really want to date a deaf person, watch “Children of Lesser God” first to get some idea.
9. It’s impolite not to tell us who you got off the phone with.
10. We like loud music. Deal with it.
Hope these help. Happy dating!