Cupid's tips for a healthy hearing Valentine's Day
It’s that time of the year again: the time of the year when every grocery store and retail shop suddenly dons the same red-and-pink color scheme, plasters hearts across the windows and unloads a truck full of chocolates and red roses right next to the check-out line. Whether you shower your significant other with a lavish stash of Cupid's goodies, make sure to also focus on the day’s true meaning: reconnecting with your significant other. If you or your loved one have hearing loss, carving out time to strengthen your communication skills is especially crucial.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be romantic, but that's hard to remember if you’re struggling to hear one another. Keep hearing loss in mind when you’re making plans by being aware of the surrounding environment and potential hurdles that could put a damper on the day. Below are a few tips for making the most out of your special day this year.
1) Wear your hearing aid
This is perhaps an obvious tip, but you would be surprised at how many people who qualify for hearing aids insist they don’t need them in many situations. You may think hearing aids are unattractive, when the reality is often the opposite. More attractive to your significant other is the ability to talk with you freely, rather than struggle to carry on a conversation filled with a lot of "huhs?" and "whats?" Your date is interested in spending time with you, and most likely is not concerned with how a hearing aid looks in your ear. He or she already knows you wear them, so why make the night more difficult for the two of you?
2) Pick some place quiet
Large, busy restaurants with open-air kitchens create a lot of background noise that makes it difficult for the hard-of-hearing to focus. Instead of booking a reservation at that brand new restaurant that’s been impossible to get into since it opened, why don’t you go to that cute little cafe down the street? You know, the one you talk about every time you walk by, but have never made it inside? Here’s your chance.
If you’re not the going out type, there’s nothing wrong with staying in! There’s probably no better place to have an intimate conversation than your own living room or dining room. Create a romantic menu and enjoy cooking up a tasty meal for two together. An even easier idea? Order take out from your favorite dinner-on-the-go joint and pair it with a bottle of the wine or champagne you had at your wedding or first date; nothing says love like Chinese food and a deliciously expensive red wine!
3) Choose a hearing loss friendly activity
This tip is obvious, but sometimes you can forget to look at a situation from the point of view of someone with hearing loss. Ask your loved one what he or she wants to do instead of planning a surprise, or if you do surprise them, just be sure to evaluate the activity’s compatibility with hearing aids, assistive listening devices or just hearing loss before you book. It’s easy to get caught up in the showy romance of the holiday. If you are surprising your date, make sure to advise him or her to bring any assistive listening devices that will encourage hearing clarity. For example, if you're going to see the latest chick flick, make sure to have your date bring a neckloop. Better yet, pack it for them to keep the suspense of the surprise at play!
4) Get rid of everyone
The fewer people present, the less your background noise is. Valentine’s Day is about your one special person, not hundreds of other people. Consider keeping the day simple and private by cutting out the static that comes along with noisy public places. Since Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year, savor the sanctity of the weekend day with breakfast in bed, snuggling on the sofa or taking a walk in a quiet place (if the weather permits it!).
5) Appreciate the intimacy
Communication is essential in maintaining a healthy, happy relationship. Days like Valentine’s Day exist to help you remember how important it is to appreciate your significant other and work on keeping those lines of communication open. Make the most of your time with your loved one this year and be sure to re-establish how much you care for one another.
No matter what you do, as long as you take care to consider your loved one’s hearing loss when you plan out your Valentine’s Day activities, they’ll appreciate you for it. A little thought goes a long way.