The Challenges of Dating With Eczema
Last updated: July 2023
The dating world is already a mess, but what do we do when our skin is weeping, cracked, and depressing our self-confidence? Well, I've got just the answer.
Find yourself a little tribe.
How did I join a dating support group?
So, while on my eczema Instagram, I saw a friend (who also has sensitive skin) toss out a question on her story.
"Who wants to start a skin dating support group?"
It took me less than five seconds to find the hand raise emoji, popping it into her box. Within thirty minutes, I hear a ping on my phone.
She'd created a What'sApp group, and I was the first member! "You get to name it," she wrote. Felt like such a funny honor. And as I sat there trying to think of what to write, I grew so excited about this idea. How come we had never thought of this before? Dating can feel tough, both physically and mentally while dealing with our skin, yet most of us go it alone. But this! To possibly have other woman as support was brilliant.
"Flakey n Flirty," I texted back. She laughed. And we were off!
What has the sensitive skin support group been like?
It only took us one week to realize that this was exactly what we needed.
My friend, who had received multiple replies back, made the intelligent move to keep the group at 10 people. That way, it felt more intimate, we would miss less texts and conversations, and we could really be there for one another.
Much like the dating pool, this group is made up of diverse women, but with one thing in common - sensitive skin. From screenshots of Hinge profiles, to dissecting text messages, this group has been on point! And when any of us starts to doubt ourselves, be it who we are or what we look like, these rockstar woman come to the rescue. They have words of wisdom. They have shared experience. It's been a blessing to witness, let alone be invited to be in.
What questions did I ask the group?
After about a week of being in the group, it dawned on me how valuable this experience can be for others. I knew my motives for wanting to join the group as soon as I fired off that emoji, but I wasn't sure why others sought this type of connection. So, I asked!
Within our secret, inner circle, I asked these women for their help. They absolutely delivered, as well as allowed me to share their thoughts.
How has getting back into the dating scene been difficult?
Rockstar #1: "Meeting someone new is scary, especially the potential to become intimate, because I am currently flaring on my face." I know that this was my biggest fear - or that even kissing someone would send my skin spiraling.
Rockstar #2: "I think with social media having such a big influence on having such 'perfect' skin that I get anxious trying to find an open minded and nonjudgmental person." I live near Miami, and this plagues my mind. I know men who are younger than me and get Botox! How do we compete?
Some of the other women talked about the same over arching ideas - they don't feel attractive, they're scared they'll be ghosted. All my same fears. This question alone solidified that we are all in this together. But how do we combat this? Well, that's where our second question comes in.
Why you feel it's beneficial to have a group like this?
Rockstar #1: "1000% can we not only make fun of ourselves, but we can discuss normal dating stuff. I've never realized, until my recent years, that women supporting women is so, so crucial. This is a safe space for me." That is all we've ever wanted! A place to go where people understand our deepest fears.
Rockstar #2: "I think this group is really nice and helps me to see that I am not alone with my thoughts and perceptions. And it empowers me somehow to go for what I want, and to be true to myself. And the good humor lifts my mood, so as not to take stuff too seriously!"
Again, same thoughts all-around. Empowerment. Silliness. A way to test out thoughts and feelings before responding to other strange men over the internet.
What can you do?
The moral of the story is: Find yourself a group! If you're feeling scared about entering the dating scene, do yourself a favor and reach out to others around you. I guarantee they would love to form a little tribe that feeds you love, kind words, and the best laughs ever!
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