How to make psoriasis work in your favour and filter your dates for success with Jude from @theweeblondie

We need to talk more about meeting new people, as psoriasis can really impact our experience of new interactions and taking part in the intimate act of touching.

In this interview we had a fascinating chat about the strategies she used to net her current boyfriend and some of the techniques and strategies she has perfected along the way.

Dating by Pictures

“At the end of 2016 my psoriasis flared so badly that I couldn’t cover it with makeup- I intentionally put photos onto my dating profile.”

What I really love about talking with Jude is her use of imagery. We are so afraid of showing our skin for fear of comments, of rejection that we hide away. Jude’s approach to putting a photograph of her psoriasis flare (across her forehead) on her dating profile was inspirational and in my opinion, pure genius too!

[bctt tweet=”I got bored of going on dates and in the first 5 minutes being asked, ‘what’s wrong with your face?’ “]

Unsurprisingly Jude became bored with being asked, and bored talking about psoriasis on her first dates. When a first date failed- she asked herself whether it was her or her psoriasis. It’s crushing to think that a date failed because of psoriasis, not because of a personality compatibility problem. To me that feels so superficial- because psoriasis isn’t who we are- it is unfair that we may be judged because of it.

It’s crushing to think that a date failed because of psoriasis, not because of a personality compatibility problem. To me that feels so superficial- because psoriasis isn’t who we are- it is unfair that we may be judged because of it.

Owning It

In Jude’s dating profile, she could have four images. Three showed her face without psoriasis, or with makeup covering the lesions as she demonstrated other aspects of her personality- to tell the visual story of who she is. Her fourth image was with psoriasis mid flare.

I ask whether this led to a decrease in interest, and unsurprisingly she said it did. What is surprising though is the hugely positive impact this had- the men that Jude met were more interested in relationships than casual sex, and the more relaxed approach to the first date meant that the psoriasis conversation would often arise later- sometimes in the third date, and in a much more sensitive way than asking ‘what’s wrong with your face?’

The psoriasis filled image filtered out the wrong kind of date. In my opinion, that’s a win-win all around. Living with psoriasis, we need partners who are understanding and are prepared to support us, not judge our validity by our visual assets.

There was a drop-off, but the guys were more genuine- the guys were looking to date so actually it was a great time saver.

In her first date with her current partner, Jude told him about psoriasis. He replied ‘Oh, cool’ and they carried on with their date. He then went away and researched what psoriasis was, and came back to their next date and they talked openly about what she did to manage her condition, he had an interest in health and fitness- and as their relationship has evolved; they have moved to solve problems together.

Flaring in a healthy relationship

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It’s not uncommon for us to have clearer skin as we start dating, only for it to worsen. The right match will be supportive of this. Jude described how previous partners had tolerated her flares but made her feel like the flare was an inconvenience. Since using her psoriasis as a filter for her partners, she now has a partner who helps ensure she maintains her self care routines; making sure she drinks enough water and keeping creams at his house in case she forgets hers. This is the level of respect and understanding we should expect in our relationships.

My husband respects the space I need when I flare, and him helping to apply creams can be very bonding.

First date anxiety

Psoriasis on the face is always something that comes up on a first date. Jude describes it as ‘the elephant in the room.’ Waiting for them- -questioning when they are going to ask.

Then after experiencing a number of dates, a turning point takes place, where you realize that it’s not you. “I am more than my skin, more than my psoriasis – and if you can’t get past that – that says more about you as a person”.

[bctt tweet=”I am more than my skin, more than my psoriasis – and if you can’t get past that – that says more about you as a person.”]

Jude has also perfected the explanation of what is going on with her psoriasis so she can get on with enjoying her date. I call it the Deflection Strategy, and it goes a little like this:

Them: What are the marks on your face, do you have eczema?
You: I have psoriasis, can you pass the water, please?

If your date wants to know more, you need to be open and honest. If you find yourself talking about your test results or how much you like your doctor on a first date you have probably gone too far. Let the other person lead the conversation and answer as briefly as possible.

Advice for getting into the dating

“Be yourself, you are enough.”

Jude @theweeblondie

Jude admits this is a golden oldie, but it doesn’t make it less accurate. Dating is all about finding connections, sparks that excite you both and bring you closer together. Finding interests that align you, finding common ground so you can both relax in each other company. You are an interesting person, remember that, and get that across in your conversation.

About Jude

Jude, 25, first noticed her psoriasis in August 2013 when a small patch appeared on her forehead. Having had various other skin conditions Jude thought it would go away in a few weeks and thought nothing of it. After a few months of the patch growing, Jude went to her Doctor and after many back and forth trips was finally diagnosed with Psoriasis in early 2014, though was not referred to a dermatologist or given medication for the condition until January 2015. Jude talks openly about the condition and enjoys sharing tips and knowledge to help others, from advice on mental and emotional wellbeing to helping people get the best from their skincare and handling dating with psoriasis. In December 2018, Jude was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.  You can find her on Instagram.

Additional Resources

After chatting with Jude I found myself reading more about online dating. If you know what a Funnel is for marketing leads- you will love this TED Talk.

Recommended Reading

Assume links are affiliate. This means purchases do not cost you more, but support us.

These books address some of the topics we cover in the podcast.

If you feel like telling your date is not working is just – too – much then you need to read this book. There’s some serious sass in here. I first read this three years ago when I was feeling really stuck – and am listening to it again on audiobook this week. I prefer the written book- I found it easier to wrap myself into the fold- and liked having time to contemplate some of her statements. It’s certainly a different read. If you read this- let me know what you think 🙂

Other episodes in this series:

2. Erectile Dysfunction and Genital Psoriasis (coming soon)

3. What its really like dating someone with psoriasis (coming soon)

4. Dating and Psoriasis: Your Questions answered (coming soon)

5. What to wear when dating (with psoriasis) (coming soon)

Don’t want to miss any of the episodes coming up? Then make sure you subscribe to the podcast 🙂