When you imagine hearing aids, intimacy probably isn’t the first thing you think about. We get it. These tiny devices are usually advertised in rather concrete terms. Love, on the other hand, is something better suited for poetry, music, and art.
And yet, the two are inextricably linked to the point where you may want to start thinking of your hearing aid as an intimacy device. After all, when doctors, researchers, and hearing specialists talk about “social isolation due to hearing loss,” they’re also referencing isolation from your partner. This means it’s not just chatting with the cashier at the grocery store that gets more challenging–it’s also maintaining your most important and intimate relationships.
That’s not to say someone with hearing loss isn’t capable of forming deep bonds or experiencing wonderful, enduring relationships. It’s just that doing so takes special care and well-practiced adaptations. If you’ve been losing your hearing slowly and over time, you likely haven’t developed those extra skills–as a result, your relationships could suffer.
By the same token, something as simple as a hearing aid can quickly and easily improve these important relationships–and make true intimacy more possible. Here are just a few ways that hearing aids could have a positive impact on your love life.
It’s no secret that healthy relationships require good communication (though, it is sometimes harder to practice than it is to preach). Taking the time to communicate can help avoid arguments, improve emotional connections, and make everyone feel more valued and appreciated.
But hearing loss can compound normal communication roadblocks in the process making a challenging task much more difficult.
A hearing aid will help most quickly in the following ways:
- You’ll have more energy for communication. When you have hearing loss, speaking and listening can take a lot of energy, leaving you feeling drained. With a hearing aid, chatting can be fun and energizing again.
- You’ll catch more of those quieter, whispered moments. Let’s be honest, it’s not pillow talk if you have to shout. A hearing aid will let you enjoy more of those quiet, hushed moments between you and your partner.
Your Partner Won’t Have to be Your Translator
Most relationships work best when they are between equals. And, yes, loving couples are usually only too happy to take care of each other during times of illness or disease. But there’s no doubt you can lose some intimacy when your partner assumes a caretaker role-or, in the case of hearing loss, a translator role.
Going out with a group of friends won’t be all that much fun when your partner spends most of their time repeating everyone for your benefit. (Likewise, you won’t have much fun if you can’t hear anything that’s going on all night.) It’s easy to see how this arrangement could breed resentment.
A hearing aid can help preserve your independence. You won’t rely on your partner to order for you at a restaurant or translate what everyone is saying at a dinner party. Additionally, it will be easier to continue going out and socializing on your own! This means you’ll have stories and adventures that you can bring back to your partner–enriching your relationship in the process.
You’ll be More Receptive to Your Partner’s Needs
There are a thousand ways that hearing more might help make your partner’s life a little easier. Maybe, thanks to your hearing aids, you notice the timer go off and jump in to help with dinner. Or perhaps you hear your partner scuffle on the floor and ask if they’re okay. When you hear your partner grumbling under their breath, you have an opportunity to ask what’s bothering them.
These may sound small and maybe even insignificant. But added together, these little gestures demonstrate your commitment and compassion. They show you care. And that’s what partners are supposed to do! A hearing aid makes that much easier to accomplish because you’ll pick up on those sometimes subtle audio cues.
You Won’t Miss the Power of a Whisper
When you have hearing loss–especially when you haven’t noticed your symptoms–it may be hard to notice that you’ve stopped hearing those breathy whispers shared during intimate moments. And let’s be honest, those quiet sounds are part of the fun of intimacy. A hearing aid will allow you to experience the power of a whisper again. This means you’ll be able to enjoy the intimacy of your partnership in a more profound way.
Helping Your Relationship
To be sure, a hearing aid isn’t going to fix every problem in your relationship. Nor is it impossible to experience intimacy with hearing loss. The point here is that a hearing aid will make certain aspects of your love life more enjoyable and more enriching.
So if your relationship is a little… dicey… and you’re struggling to find a cause, it might be that your hearing loss is getting in the way of your connections. If that’s the case, a hearing aid could return welcome intimacy to your love life. And you’ll live happily ever after (…within reason, of course).