Dating is tough. Whether you have psoriasis or not.
When you have psoriasis…it definitely can be harder. Here are some of the anxieties I have had before (and during) a date- can you relate?
- are there flakes on the back of my jacket?
- I can’t go to the toilet
becausethere a snowdrift on my seat (damn these fashionable bars with black chairs)
- Yikes! I think he just saw me pick that huge fake off from behind my ear (sometimes it’s just too tempting)
- Do I tell him that I don’t really love pizza because I’m gluten intolerant and tomatoes make me itch and burn within 20 minutes (or maybe I can hide it?)
- oh no- what did he just ask me? I was trying to come up with a strategy for hiding the plaques I just noticed on my elbow…
- Does he think I dress like his mum? he’s definitely looking suspiciously at my polo neck… oh no… what will
isay if he asks me! I could tell him I have eskimoheritage..?
To help make things less stressful I have come up with strategies that will help you prepare for your next date which will help reduce your anxiety, and remind you why your psoriasis should be the last thing on their mind when they are sat with you in a bar.
One: Relax and know why you are awesome
I have been on dates where the other person has been so nervous they have stumbled over words and made terrible jokes that came across as mildly offensive so I can tell you that working on your pre-date anxiety can make a huge difference.
Try deep breathing: admittedly this sounds a little woo but if you listen to the
A bonus of this is that refreshing the stale air that sits right at the bottom of your lungs can lead to more oxygen in your blood, which can help make you feel more alert, and more able to remember those funny stories and those quick-witted quips which your date will love you for.
Use up your nervous energy: At a public speaking workshop I attended recently I learnt the power of using up nervous energy before the big event- which in your case is a date. Shaking your arms and legs in a toilet cubicle will get rid of some of the excess energy you are building up in anticipation of your date.
I recently had an interview on BBC Radio Sheffield and as I was waiting to go in, moving was not helping enough, so
Think of conversation starters: a lot of the time our nerves come from thinking of all the things that can go wrong. Worrying about not having anything to say, or coming across as boring is a normal concern. The best way to prep for this is to think of some funny stories that have happened recently or to think of stories that introduce your hobbies and interests.
TWO: Practice telling people you have psoriasis
I have been asked on a few dates about my psoriasis. My regular strategy was this:
“I have psoriasis,
This usually leads to either- more questions about psoriasis which I probably
This is why I love Judes strategy. She deflects immediately after telling someone she has psoriasis, which goes something like this:
” I have psoriasis, can you pass the water please?”
I have now modified my approach- i still like to highlight that the condition is not infectious as I think it helps to put peoples potential concerns to rest as
‘” I have psoriasis, its where my immune system attacks my skin, you can’t catch it.
I recommend being as brief as you can, while still getting the message
If someone is interested, they can google it and come back and ask you questions. Be open to questions and answer them honestly. But be succinct. If you hear yourself saying the following things you need to reign it back in:
- I went onto a forum and this person called Thyroid24849 said that I should get another doctor…
- My test results last week were 1.2 but then the week before they were 1.4 and my doctor says …
- The medical system in this country is failing me because I need
Three: Practice reading people
Looking back my initial dating strategy worked a little like boy bingo. A mental list of all of the boys in my year at school that had their names eradicated from my list as
Things that I learnt were good indicators for removal:
- objectified women/ boastfully shallow: I appreciate boys at 15 will be boys, but if I overheard anyone talking in detail about how attractive someone was based only on their physical attributes, then that was a definite no.
- I overheard strategies they shared to be less aroused (i mentioned were talking about early teen boys))- and those strategies included imagining a woman covered in scales. Almost as common as thinking of your nan. With my dress sense sometimes, that not a hard crossover for me.
- A gossipy approach to conversation. If a person talked a lot about other people in a non-constructive way, then they were also a definite no. If I flaked on their T-shirt at the cinema- there was no way I would want everyone to know about it.
- Does your date talk positively about their work colleagues, friends and family? If they have a lot of negative chat, then it could indicate that they will not have the
burturingand understanding disposition that will support you to thrive living with psoriaiss.
- Does your date obsess over physical attributes- talking about how great a celebrity
is,when you know that their personality is sub-par. Itsok to be infatuated with someonesfictitious attractiveness- my 16 year oldself remembers marrying Christian Slater repeatedly even though I had never seen him in an intervuewor in real life. You wllneed to trust your gut- is it telling you to be careful? (side note here- sometimes your gut tells you to be careful becasueyou are afraid to be hurt. This is a different feeling, you need to thank it for the reminferand refocus its excelled skills set back on the task in hand).
- Does your date talk sympathetically about someone they know who has experienced a challenge in their
lives.It doesntneed to be health, it could be or personal loss. This can give you a good indicator as to whether the person can empathise with the challenges another person is facing. Definitely a desirable trait for us too! divorse
FOUR: Practice being comfortable in your own skin
This section is focussing on being naked- but that not because I am expecting you to get naked on your next date. It is because we are more attractive when we have
I mentioned earlier I recently visited a naked spa. I was not excited as a person with psoriasis to walk around naked. I needed to prepare, and for
Step one: Get changed in the communal area- making obscure constructions out of towels for privacy is acceptable- but draws unwanted attention
Step two: Expose upper half while dressing.
Step three: Expose part of lower half briefly, and definitely not while bending over to pick up knickers!
Step four: drying from the shower, placing the towel on the bench and then getting dressed.
No one said anything to me, at all *shock/horror* People keep telling me that I obsess over my skin, and they rarely notice. I tend to think they’re blind, or have had some brain injury overnight but it seems they may be right. It’s very liberating to stand naked, covered in spots, look around and find out that really no one gives a hoot.
Five: Exercise to feel good
We often talk about exercise for weight loss and muscle tone. These are great reasons to exercise but
The hell yes you: The only time I am incredibly kind to myself is when
- You can do it Gem
- You have got this, your nearly there
- Your killing it, keep going, just 30 seconds more and you hit your goal
- I can do this
HELLO positivity! and also where are you in the morning?
If you are great at positive affirmations then great, if you’re like me and positive affirmations is a work in progress then putting yourself into a situation where you can force that positivity then do it.
Linking positive affirmations to the success of your goal is also a great neural pathway to cement.
Body confidence: I ran first 5k since I struggled with depression. I didn’t think I could do it, in my previous three runs I had given up with feelings of hopelessness before I hit the 1k marker. I ( yes me- and probably you) ran 5k. My body did that. I didn’t think it could, and then it did.
I feel more beautiful and successful and interesting and all of the things I want to feel when I give my body the chance to remind me that while not perfect, it is an incredible construct that does me well.
For you it may not be exercise, it may be something else, having an incredible memory for names, a well-trained hand that can draw what you can see and the ability to sing in tune (all things I would love to be better at). What does your body do that is truly
It makes you more interesting: I used to work in a big corporation and sifting through CVs was fun- I stopped reading the cover letters after 15 and read the hobbies instead. That was my first point of differentiation and then I went back to the cover letters of those I had left.
If your hobbies were shopping and going to the cinema I binned you. The guy who trained his tortoise to do tricks made it
Things you enjoy to do in your spare time are great conversational sparkers on a date, and can really boost both interest and enthusiasm in a conversation.
Exercise can be a great one even if the other person hates
Six: Speak to your doctor
Sometimes, no matter how much
I use hydrocortisone in my eyebrows but make sure you have a consultation with a medical professional or a suitably qualified pharmacist (in the UK our pharmacists are qualified to dispense hydrocortisone). This gives me the confidence boost
In my twenties I because fed up and tried Cyclosporin. I felt liberated by the freedom I had to date without psoriasis for a short time, but also by the realisation that having clearer skin made no difference to the success of my dates- only my confidence in going on them.
I am a huge fan of healing
If you think I have missed anything out, let me know in the comments 🙂