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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Blind girlfriend and glasses…

I have been dating an absolute wonderful blind lady. We have a great relationship and these past few months have taught me a great deal about what the visually impaired go thru in every day life.
I have just one question and please, please do not think me rude or insensitive... I am still learning.
Our conversations can last for very long periods but sometimes I have a difficult time focusing on her face because of the distraction with her constantly moving eyes. Is it ok to ask her to where dark glasses, she does not where any now. Actually, my friends also find this distracting and they all think the world of her.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Re:Blind girlfriend and glasses…

LOL I don't think it's a good idea. If she was uncomfortable or cared how people felt about her eyes moving around she'd already have them. I wear mine anytime I go out and not cause my eyes are sensitive to light its because I don't want other people to have to deal with seeing my eyes.
BUT in her case you she be glad she has the confidence not to hide who she is and YES those moving eyes are apart of her.

Eyes are windows into ones soul, blinds can keep you from seeing in or allow you to gaze deep into the beauty she wants you to see her for her.

Re:Blind girlfriend and glasses…

Maybe you could explain to your girlfriend that many blind people wear sunglasses because many sighted people feel uncomfortable when they don't make eye contact. Eye contact is very important, when a baby is born the first thing he does (after crying) is suckle at his mother's breast and stare into his mother's eyes ... that's only as far as he can see, and he spends the whole time gazing into her eyes until he falls asleep. When we get older, we don't maintain such prolonged eye contact with another person until we find someone we fall deeply in love with.

Eye contact is very important in conversations, too, we're never taught the unwritten rules but learn them instinctively: the listener maintains eye contact with the speaker, but the speaker may glance away; the one with lower social standing maintains more eye contact than the other (think about when you visit your boss in his office, he may take his eyes off you to check his e-mail, but you durst not check your Blackberry in front of him!)

When your girlfriend's eyes dart all over the place, your uncomfortableness is not your "problem," just a natural part of being human. If she's never seen, she doesn't understand why this would be so. Don't tell her "all my friends agree with me" but just ask her to do that for you so that you feel more comfortable. If she loves you, she'll want you to be comfortable around her.

We all do things in everyday life for the sole purpose of making others comfortable around us ... that's why we wash our hair every day, even though it's not dirty; or eat a breath mint after having eaten garlic pizza; or wear deodorant; or refrain from flossing our teeth or picking our nose in public. Nobody is harmed if we fail to conform to these social norms, and one could say "if they feel uncomfortable when I do this, that's their problem, not mine," but to me, if people do things that they know make other people uncomfortable, then they have issues of their own.

It's not like a person in a wheelchair, you can't do anything about that, but this is something very minor that she could do that would make a lot of people feel more comfortable around her. Not only blind people wear sunglasses! Many people wear sunglasses because they make them look more glamorous, especially when paired with a snazzy hat. Also, many sighted people wear glasses because they look better in glasses than without.

Re:Blind girlfriend and glasses…

No I don't think you should ask her to wear glasses to make you and your friends feel comfortable. I have nystagmus and that is the condition where the eyes move from side to side uncontrollably. If a man that I was dating brought that to my attention I would say no way.
I would tell him to accept me and my eyes and that's that. If my eye movement is a problem then perhaps we are not a match. I would want my man to look beyond the eye thing and accept me for all my other "Wonderful" qualities he sees in me.
Look at something else instead of the eyes all the time. I know sighted people get hung up on staring into the "eyes" It's not always about the eyes.
If you like her and you think like will blossome to love, than accept her eye movements and let it go. If you can't do that and you feel influentced by your friends, then do her a large favor and let her go.
Sorry to be so blunt, however, I feel very strongly about not wearing dark glasses to make someone else comfortable. I've had people not want to get to know me, because of my visual impairment, and my attitude is "Whatever" It's their loss.
We visually impaired people have to please ourselves, not others.
Take care


Re:Blind girlfriend and glasses…

Have you shared this message with her? Have you shared with her that you know "all your friends" agree with you? Have you perhaps spoken with your friends so that you can work out among yourselves the difficulty you are having. It is, of course, your discomfort you are asking her to cure by wearing glasses. Can you perhaps concentrate on some other part of her physique you find more pleasing while she speaks to you? Perhaps her smile? You are going to need courage and kindness in any interaction you have with her or with your other friends, sighted or blind. Perhaps this is a opportunity for you and your sighted friends to all grow together in understanding and love for one another.

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