During my Christian walk, I learnt that everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139) and that we are made from God’s image (Genesis 2). We should also embrace our weakness which shows and glorifies God’s power (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). So if this is the case then why do should there be any issues with dating and having relationships?
Before coming at Christian at the age of 25 I definitely had a different way of thinking along with having eczema. I think the negative thinking about my appearance goes back to my school days as faced a lot of rejection and felt far from being accepted. I was bullied by boys and was told that I was not attractive, no one would like me go out with me and that I would never be in a relationship or get married. Back then eczema wasn’t so much of a big deal. I used to think if I was called unattractive back then before eczema then what do guys think of me now with eczema?
My family and friends always tell me that I have the potential to date and be in a relationship as beauty comes from within. I’ve also seen examples of many couples who have many different types of health conditions. Now being in my 30’s the thought of being in a relationship, settling down, marriage and children is definitely on my mind. Witnessing people in my life such as siblings, cousins, church members, colleagues and people from school and university (as well as social media) does make me feel low at times. However, this is not to a point where I’m severely depressed.
I think back to my flare up and bad times and think, if I was in a relationship, I would constantly be worrying about what the man would think of me. What if he cannot cope with flare ups? What if I start flaking everywhere and he doesn’t like it? What about when it comes to intimate moments? What if he finds me unattractive during a flare up?
I also had more questions while dating. For example, would it be appropriate to mention eczema on a first date? Do I cover up and hide my flaws so that he doesn’t notice anything? Also what to say if he does make a comment or asks questions?
There are so many thoughts about this. Following all of these questions my thoughts and answers are below:
Be honest if they ask any questions. Hiding, denying it or getting defensive would give out wrong impressions and would make the date uncomfortable. Instead, just be open about it if relevant during a conversation. This shows that you are able to control your own emotions and feelings over having eczema or any health condition for that matter without feeling ashamed.
Hopefully, the date should be able to see beyond any health condition and get to know you personally. If things go well after a few dates and it does turn into a relationship, this must mean that it says a lot about their personality because they see beyond the condition and have accepted you for who you are.
Accepting yourself and not fearing rejection important. If we fear rejection this may affect us when we date it tends to show in our body language and words which would give the date a negative impression of you and may not want to continue further. If already in a relationship it may show signs of insecurity which will put the relationship under strain.
Find ways of building confidence to attract someone is also important. This includes acknowledging that you have eczema and not to feel ashamed. Another suggestion would be to speak over yourself and remind yourself daily on all positive things about yourself. This could be anything from ‘I am blessed’ to ‘I may have a little eczema here and there but this will not let it stop me from going out tonight’. In order to remind yourself of the positive things about you could include putting notes and reminders around your house with positive quotes and words reminding yourself of your worth. Another option is having positive quotes on your phone. Thirdly, we can become more confident by overcoming past hurt and rejection by pressing forward and remaining strong. Dwelling in the past and not moving forward will keep us in the same place, we will not grow personally and also likely to miss out on good opportunities in life.
Finally, remember that having eczema does not define who you are. Our identity is not in eczema or in any health conditions or flaws that we have.