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10 Tips for dating with psoriasis
Dating can be a very nerve wracking experience at the best of times....add psoriasis to that and it can be even more daunting. I personally have found that the main challenge is not the psoriasis itself, but finding the best time to open up and talk to my date about my condition. Here are my top 10 tips on how to overcome the main obstacles of dating with psoriasis.
1. Accept that you are in control of your happinessBefore I started dating, I knew there was one thing I needed to work on, myself. No one else but yourself holds the key to your happiness. If you are simply looking for a relationship to make you feel better about yourself and your psoriasis, or divert yourself from the pain you may have, then you shouldn’t be looking at all. In my opinion, you should be having a relationship to support your great life, and not a way to cover up your pain. Be happy with yourself before making someone else happy.
2. Explore what you want most in a relationshipTake time out to think and understand what you look for and want in a relationship. For me, I sat down and took a few minutes to note down (in my head), what are the core values I want my date to possess – funny? Honest? Family-orientated? It may sound selfish, but I would rather decide now than have any regrets.
3. Do not let psoriasis define you
Living with psoriasis might have changed you, but there should be more to yourself than just the condition – don’t let psoriasis define you as a person. It shouldn’t get you down or make you feel any less of a person. You are who you are. In fact, without mentioning your psoriasis, explain briefly who you are. For example, “Hello, my name is Rishi. I love the Blues, giving back to the community and aspire to become a director of an NHS Trust, making a positive difference in other people’s lives”. Just because you are on a date, that does not mean you have to go into every single detail of your life, let’s start by keeping it short and sweet!
4. Be comfortable with your psoriasisI remember when I had psoriasis on my arms, I was both scared and ashamed. I constantly thought to myself “How am I going to cope with this condition in the long term? What are people going to think of me?” But one day I had a realisation and it felt like a weight had been lifted. Psoriasis is just a very small part of who I am and it really is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. It is the people who form judgements based on superficial factors that should actually be ashamed. Thinking this way will make you feel a lot better when dating with psoriasis.
5. Relax by taking deep breaths
Stress-related psoriasis is one of the many psoriasis triggers, so don’t let it ruin a good time. Before going into a date I usually take 30 seconds to 1 minute to take a few deep breaths - the more relaxed you feel, the more comfortable you will be and the more likely you are to be yourself. Try it right now and feel the difference!
6. Focus on your health
Focusing on yourself also means focusing on your health. Ensure you have a healthy diet together with plenty of sleep and water and avoid alcohol and smoking. Living a healthy lifestyle will not only make you feel better physically, but mentally too! You will feel more confident and as a consequence less stressed when dating with psoriasis.
7. Prepare to spread knowledge about your psoriasis
There are two ways of talking about the condition to your date. One route could be just being upfront and discussing the condition right from the beginning. The other could be just waiting and see how it goes before committing to it.
The one thing you shouldn’t do, is be shy about your psoriasis – it is after all part of you. If you catch your date looking at your patches then be open and explain the condition, if they’re worth getting to know they won’t be bothered and if they are then it’s better you find out early!
8. Breaking the ice with laughter
They say laughter is the best medicine, and it truly is. Everyone loves to laugh, and using humour within conversations can help diffuse any difficult situation you may come across. Even if the person you're dating feels nervous, awkward or uncomfortable, laughing can help. Remember first dates are a daunting experience for everyone, psoriasis or not!
9. Taking the next stepSex is a natural part of adult life and dating. It will come about sooner or later and my advice to you is to ensure that you are fully comfortable with your psoriasis and with your partner before even thinking about taking this next step.
10. Don’t settle for lessYou should look to find the one who makes you comfortable with your skin condition, supporting you along the psoriasis journey. Do not settle for anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. A partner in the right relationship is supposed to build you up with positivity not knock you down. You will come across all sorts of people on the dating scene but it will make you more mentally resilient in the long run. Every bad date is a date closer to finding ‘the one.’ At the end of the day, the right person will give you nothing but love, respect, empathy and support. Do not settle for anything less than you deserve.
Online dating with psoriasis: Psoriasis Singles
Worldwide, there are 125 million people who live with psoriasis, so dating with psoriasis should be easy, right? Well if you are finding it difficult, there are dating sites specifically for singles living with psoriasis, ranging from the ages of 18 to 79. Online dating is now the norm in modern western society, why not give it a go?
Why not make it your New Year’s resolution to get out there and try something new, you might be surprised who you might meet.
UK/IE MAT-13946 Date of Preparation: December 2017
Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.