Alopecia: Dating & Relationships, How to Navigate and What to Do
Alopecia creates insecurities much more I believe than other autoimmune diseases because with the majority of them, there are no visible or apparent symptoms that are as drastic as hair loss. Everyone is 'normal' looking for the most part and does not go through the balding patches, or total hair loss or loss of eyebrows one day and lashes the next. Alopecia is, I believe and feel, in its own category. Yes a lot is going on - on the inside, emotionally, physically, mentally, and you cannot help how your body reacts, the somewhat slow process of healing, and how fast hair grows back. (you can only support it) You might feel misunderstood- because you are- no one gets you! Not your family, friends and even the person you are currently crushing on. No one can really help, and the only support they can offer is a hug, encouraging words and thats about it! I've been there! I totally understand... there were times where my family was looking at me like I was an alien, or when my boyfriend now husband was quiet, just listening patiently. No one gets the frustration or anxiety building up inside you. But I do. I get you. I've been there. So instead of trying to insist that people understand you, it's better to educate and impart knowledge of your new healthy lifestyle, diet and way of life and attribute it to your healing process with alopecia. They can learn, and support you by doing the same or at the least, encouraging you to keep on track.
You can support your body and help it heal and you can get on the right path towards healing. But what do you do in the meantime?
Dating is a dance between two people which in its own right is exciting, new, fresh and full of potential. Breaking the news about a health condition and other important topics should come up sooner rather than later, when you feel it is right, or when things are getting serious and things are going to the next level. Dating is a word that has many meanings and definitions. For me personally, dating equals getting to know someone, an acquaintance ~ in which you frequent for coffee or lunch. Not necessarily giving all access to without certain milestones and rights of passage. Depending on who you feel warrants your precious time, attention, and resources, you should consider this person and be honest with them- educate them as much as possible and bring them up to date on how alopecia fits into your current life and what that means for each of you.
Alopecia isn't a death sentence. So education is key and getting someone on board with a healthier lifestyle is also key to staying on course and having a nurturing environment around you.
These conversations will be crucial in helping your partner/current crush understand you better, support you better and even test the relationship a bit. If they are willing and able to stand by you regardless of where your hair is, then you have a true human that is compassionate and cares. All in all, you want someone who faces adversity head on, not one who shy's away from it, or runs in the opposite direction out of ignorance, insecurities or other superficialness.