acne dating

Acne and relationships: Dating with acne experience + tips. Dating with acne is difficult. And having acne in a new relationship can be terrifying. But it shouldn’t be — so let me share my how I overcame my fears once and for all!

First dates. Getting to know him. Spontaneous plans. Late night chats. Goodnight texts. Butterflies. Omg-It’s-Only-Been-A-Minute-But-I-Miss-Him. Did he actually just ask me to be his girlfriend?

Omg. I’ve found my person. But wait. What about my skin?

He hasn’t seen my skin. What will he think if he sees me without makeup?

Am I catfishing him? I’ll have to take my make-up off at some point. But he might think I’m disgusting. My skin might ruin everything. I’m terrified of showing him my acne. What if he doesn’t want to see me anymore?

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you can relate to the stream of thought above. Dating with acne, or starting a new relationship when you have acne, can be hard. On one hand, you’re head over heels for someone and nothing — literally nothing — could be better than this feeling. But on the other, you’re constantly hyper-aware of your skin and terrified of any situation that could lead to them seeing your bare face. I’ve been there, and it’s tough — but I’ve got lots of tales, tips and advice to share with you. Here’s my experience of having acne whilst dating or in a new relationship: My experience of dating with acne. I’d describe myself as a relationship gal. I’ ve literally barely been single since the age of 16. It’s just how I am — but thanks to my skin, it hasn’t always been the easiest ride. I’ve had three serious (as in, long-term) relationships. But guess what? Only one of those guys — my now boyfriend — ever saw me without makeup. Considering I was with one of the other guys for around three years, spent the majority of my free time with him and also went on several holidays with him, this is kinda crazy. I’m not quite sure how I even managed it. My skin was awful during that time. I remember feeling insanely insecure about how I looked. I’d sleep in my makeup and run off to another room to reapply it after I showered in the morning so that he never had to bear witness to my acne. I actually had my routine down to an art. And there’s no doubt that it had a huge effect on the relationship. I genuinely believe that I wasn’t good enough. I was constantly insecure and overly paranoid about my looks. I think that most young girls go through a phase like this, but my skin seriously amplified my worries. Weirdly, we didn’t ever really speak about it. Maybe he genuinely didn’t notice that I constantly had makeup on, or perhaps he just didn’t know how to bring it up. Either way, it wasn’t his fault. Even though we didn’t work out in the end, he was a really good guy (god forbid he ever reads this) — and I know he would have been supportive if I’d have opened up. The issue was in my head and my head only. I’d convinced myself that my skin was the be-all-and-end-all and that no one could possibly love me if they saw my spots or acne scars. I know that’s complete crap now — but I didn’t realise at the time. Acne in a relationship: How I overcame my no-makeup fears. When I first started dating my boyfriend Jack, I wouldn’t even let him see me without makeup, which seems insane to me now. I carried on with the take-makeup-off-and-instantly-reapply-concealer routine for a good few months, but it all changed when we went travelling to India together. In the run-up to the trip, I was really worried. How would I hide my acne whilst spending nights on sleeper trains (one of which, was 48 hours long), sleeping in hostels and living out of a backpack for a month? The thing is, I was getting sick and tired of hiding my real skin. I decided, by myself, that I’d wear minimal makeup and would remove it entirely every night. And I just did it. Guess what?

I don’t think Jack even noticed. Okay, my skin wasn’t exactly at its worst at that point, but it was still a huge deal to me. It clearly wasn’t for him though. It was like nothing had even changed. I think I’d convinced myself that guys would only love me with makeup, but it was a total myth. It’s funny how your mind can trick you into these things. If my skin had been worse at that point, maybe he’d have noticed a little more — but in all honesty, I don’t think it would have changed his perception of me at all. The truth is, if a guy likes you enough to commit to you (and in my case, spend their savings on a trip to India with you) they’re probably sticking around for far more than your looks. Anyway, fast forward through our relationship and he’s seen my skin through all its ups and downs. He literally doesn’t care, other than in a supportive way, of course. When my skin was bad, he’d talk to me about it and ask me how I felt, and when I was taking spironolactone and accutane, he’d ask me if there was anything he could do to help. He encouraged me to go out without makeup on, told me I was beautiful regardless and just generally accepted me exactly the way I was. If you’ve had bad experiences with dating and acne so far, there are so many good guys and girls out there, who will accept you whether you have acne or not. I promise. Dating with acne: My tips + advice. Now that you’ve heard my story, I want to give you something to take away and think about for yourself. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re feeling insecure about your skin, have avoided dating because of acne or are scared to show your partner your skin without makeup on. With that said, here’s what I’d recommend you do, in order to tackle these problems: First, realise your worth. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect someone else to love you?

You are your first love. Your first priority. Your own number 1. You’re really damn important, worthy and amazing — breakouts or not. And the first step to getting rid of your dating with acne fears is realising and remembering that. Here’s the thing. I believe that the fear of taking your makeup off in front of a partner doesn’t actually come directly from your acne or the condition of your skin, but rather, a lack of self-esteem and your inner critic. I’m not saying these things are easy to turn around. I know that acne can impact mental health. But there’s no better time than today to start working on silencing that negative voice inside your head and realising your worth. Your value as a person doesn’t depend on how clear your skin is, what clothes size you are or how many spots you have. These things don’t define us. Your outer appearance says nothing — and I mean zilch — about your character. Think about it all the amazing things about you. What have you achieved in your life, big or small? How have you positively impacted the world or other people? What are you good at?

What do people say about your personality, your work or the way you make them feel?

Do you make make people smile and laugh? I can guarantee there are tons of positive things about you if you really think about it. And if you need a little help with loving yourself before dating with acne, make sure to join the acne community on Instagram for self-love tips and daily pep talks. You need to respect yourself for who you really are — a unique individual with endless qualities, talents and quirks. Our outer appearance will always change, but what’s found within us never will. So, from today, try your hardest to stop basing your worth on your superficial exterior, and rather, on your character. Next, take off the damn make-up. Sometimes, you just have to force yourself off your comfort zone in order to grow as a person — and this is one of those situations. No, I’m not saying you should whack out a pack of face wipes on a first date. But if you’ve been seeing a guy or a girl for some time and see a future with them, just take off the damn make-up when the natural opportunity arises. If you’re really fighting the nerves, you could always have a heart to heart with them first. Tell them that you’re struggling with acne and are scared of taking your makeup off in front of them. People are often way more understanding than you think, and it might make the whole process a lot easier for you. In fact, I bet that most people would give you a hug and tell you you’re being super silly. It’s not that they’re not respecting your feelings (because they are totally valid), but more because it simply isn’t a big deal for them. It might feel uncomfortable and awkward to you at first, but it can only go one of two ways. 1: They see your acne and don’t care, because they’ve fallen for you as a person and still think you’re beautiful. 2: They’re super shallow, vain and superficial and make an inappropriate comment or don’t want to see you anymore. Before that scares you, I promise the first situation is far more likely. But even if you were to get a bad response from someone, think of this way — would you have really wanted to date them anyway?

You deserve someone who loves you for far more than what your skin looks like. And the types of people who judge people for a skin condition are not the kind of people you need or want in your life. I can say from experience that once you’ve done this once, it’s not scary anymore. It’s such a freeing feeling to be able to take off your makeup in front of someone you like, or love, and feel totally comfortable around them. And this way, you know you’re with someone who will accept you no matter what, and who genuinely cares for you and respects you as a person. Plus, try to remember that no one has perfect skin. The flawless selfies you see on Instagram are not real life and the models you see in magazines are often Photoshopped. Blemishes, spots and imperfections are totally normal — and any mature, self-respecting adult knows this and knows that they have no business judging you for yours. So, just take the damn makeup off in front of your date. I’ve got a solid bet on the fact that they won’t even care (or notice)… and if they do?

Well, that brings us onto my last point. Lastly, tell ‘em where to go. Listen to me. If you take your makeup off in front of a love interest (or anyone, for that matter) and they make you feel small, say something nasty or just generally act like a horrible and judgemental person, there’s only one thing you need to do: get them out of your life, pronto. While this scenario is entirely unlikely, there are some bad people out there. But you deserve a relationship filled with love and respect — and you definitely shouldn’t waste your time on someone who judges you for a skin condition that is out of your control. If they see your skin as a roadblock to a relationship or make fun of you for your acne, say a polite (ha, well…) goodbye. I promise there are plenty of lovely people who will love and support you exactly the way you are. Dating when you have acne: It’s tough, but you’ve got this. Having skin problems and low self-esteem whilst dating, or having acne in a new relationship, can be daunting. But you shouldn’t have to cover yourself in makeup to feel accepted in front of anyone, let alone someone you’re interested in romantically. Try to remember that you’re valuable with or without acne and that you deserve a relationship with a genuine, kind and non-judgemental person who willlove you no matter what state your skin is in. I’ve found someone who’s accepted me when my skin was covered in 20 cysts, when I’d managed to get rid of my acne, and everything in between. And there’s someone like that out there for you too!

If you’re scared of showing them your real skin, tell them how you feel, take a deep breath and take off the damn makeup. It might just be the moment you realise that you’ve found the one!

Like what you read?

Before you go, check out my recent blogs on diet and acne, Instagram anxiety, my guide to getting rid of acne or my review of the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. Dating with Acne : Tips and My Experiences. Is it weird I’m attracted to guys with acne? It's not that I find their acne particularly attractive, it’s the idea that someone may understand how I feel every day of my life. People with acne are misunderstood. People assume that you don’t wash your face or your makeup causes it. It's ignorant people like this that make me so angry. When I see someone with acne I automatically think, “aw, I hope they’re okay”. Not that all people with acne are sad or anything but I know my acne has caused a lot of emotional pain for me in the past and I kindly hope they aren’t experiencing what I did. People who have had severe acne seem to have a better understanding of people. They realize no one is perfect and are less judgmental in a general sense. Don't be afraid to open up about how you are feeling Don't surround yourself with people that make you feel insecure Converse with confidence and don't worry about your skin! Walk away if someone is acting grossed out or judgmental about your skin. I know, a lot easier said than done. If someone won’t date you because of your acne, well, first of all, that’s messed up. If someone can’t accept you and your flaws then they are a waste of time. Don’t spend precious moments of your life wanting someone who cannot see beneath your acne. There are plenty of people out there who do understand and want to date you. Even if you think you’re the most unattractive person in the world, chances are, believe it or not, someone has a crush on you. With billions of people in the world, it would be impossible for not one person to find you the slightest bit attractive. We've all heard of the cliche, “it’s not about your looks, it’s about your personality”. Of course, though it's not about physique, that is just the first thing you notice about someone. It's inevitable. It's human nature. When we meet someone, before we get to know them, we notice their look. Their hair, eyes, body shape, nose, you name it. But with so much to soak in, it's easy to miss a flaw that the person was so self-conscious about in the first place. There’s just something so beautiful about this. how one thing you hate about yourself, someone else can adore. And it's not just acne, it can be any flaw, big or small that makes you. you and someone completely love it. Anyway, what’s the point of being someone you’re not when there’s millions of amazing things about you? I write this post somewhat in humor, but at the same time entirely serious. Dating with acne has led to some true horror stories. Below, I share one of my most cringe-worthy experiences to date. I was twenty three when “Brad” picked me up one Saturday night. He had initially wanted to catch the sunset at a local beach, but I made up some excuse for why I couldn’t go out until the sun went down (that would be wayyy too much light on my face, I thought.) So we drove to a restaurant instead. While he was driving, our conversations flowed naturally. I felt confident and excited. Then, when we got out of the car and walked into the restaurant he had chosen, my heart sunk. The lighting was like a dermatologist’s office: insanely bright. We sat down and I threw some words at Brad from behind the menu, trying to play it off like I was just really fascinated with the food choices. He didn’t seem to think anything of it. As the dinner went on, he and I continued to talk about some of the conversations that had started in the car: my job, his job, our families, our hobbies, etc. I was having fun, and from the looks of it, so was he. And then, (because why not have something embarrassing happen on a first date?) as I went for another bite of soup, a bit dribbled down my chin, and a hastily wiped it away while Brad wasn’t looking. But, to my horror, it happened to land directly on a pimple I had concealed, and when I wiped away the food, I wiped away the makeup that concealed it. Crap. To my horror, Brad looked up, and his eyes went from my gaze to my chin. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Stay calm, I thought. It’s just a pimple. We carried on with dessert, talking easily through the night (aside from the fact that I couldn’t stop thinking about the giant red monster on my chin), and we eventually went back to the car. Brad was going to take me home, since I had to be up really early to go to work. Overall, the night went really well, and I knew I wanted to see Brad again. As he walked me to my apartment, he leaned in to give me a kiss, and under my dim porch light, I saw his eyes widen. “Are you ok? You’re bleeding!” Huh?

I thought. No I’m not. I feel fine. And just as I thought that, I felt a warm liquid drip down my chin. Kill. Me. Now. I’m mumbled something like, “Ah, I’m going to go see what it is. Sorry. Call me. Let’s do this again.” And, without looking back, I jammed my key into my door and ran to the restroom, horrified. A week went by before I had heard anything from Brad. Finally, I received a text saying, “Hey. I had a lot of fun the other night. I just want you to know that you don’t have to feel awkward about what happened. My little sister has acne and I know how that can go.” I guess I was supposed to feel comforted by this, but all I could think was, Your little sister?!

The one you said was 14?

You just compared me to someone who is almost ten years younger than me… who you’re related to?

I replied with a “Thanks. Sorry about the other night. I had a lot of fun before that, though.” Brad texted me a few times after that, and I responded. We never did go on another date, though. And, months later, I saw him in town with another girl. How to Prevent Acne Skin Insecurities From Holding You Back When Dating. Ah, the wonderful perks of being in a new relationship: you’ve got those butterfly-in-the-stomach tingles, each and every new factoid about the other person makes you swoon with excitement, and nothing about them annoys you…yet. The downside, though?

You’re overly conscious about your flaws, which stand on guard, ready to leak out at any given moment. While these can manifest in a plethora of ways, from shyness to your inability to hit a high note during karaoke, your confidence can take an especially brutal hit from surface-level skin issues…like pimples. “My patients often feel that when they have a breakout, it’s all people can see and it consumes their mind,” says Josie Howard, MD, a San Francisco-based dermatologist and psychiatrist. “Our skin and mind often have a very strong connection. The stress of beginning a new relationship is enough to trigger a breakout, which can then increase feelings of self-consciousness and make one feel guarded during a time that’s intended to be focused on being open with a new, special person.” Too true. The thing is, going makeup-free has become the ultimate rallying cry in the wellness world. It’s a strong act showing your self-confidence, but when you actually put yourself to the test in front of someone new and exciting, it makes you realize how big (not to mention revealing) of a move it can be. I’m personally in the throes of it myself. I’ve met a great new guy, we’ve gone on some wonderful dates…and then the first sleepover comes. I wouldn’t have been so stressed about it if it weren’t for the fact that my chin was in the midst of double header breakouts—monster ones—and staying over would keep me from completing my nightly routine and camouflaging these via gobs of concealer from my new crush. In order to keep this new dilemma from sending me into a spiral of worry, I sought out a psycho-dermatologist (you know, psychologist-slash-dermatologist) to quash my worries and set my head straight. Keep reading to see what an expert has to say—and what can happen when you let your guard down (AKA stop letting pimples stand in your way). Having zits on the brain. In my case, my first invitation to sleep over comes…then goes, thanks to my paranoia about newly forming breakouts. After a lovely evening in which my date and I bar hop, we head to his apartment for some friendly canoodling that lasts until a time that’s better described as early morning than late night. He insists that I stay over and we grab brunch the next day, but with my skin on the brain (I need to wash my face, tone, and put on a retinol to remedy the breakout, after all) I trek back to my apartment and snooze until the next afternoon. New York-based psychologist Vivian Diller, PhD says that being overly concerned with physical flaws when dating a new significant other is extremely common (phew). “Most people enter a new relationship with the desire for mutual physical and emotional attraction,” says Dr. Diller. “But, while we’re eager to find an appealing partner, our tendency is to focus on our own attractiveness: how we look and if we’re interesting and worth another date.” You want to put your best foot forward, of course. And that’s exactly why it can be intimidating to wash off your makeup around your new fling, if a swatch of concealer, a sweep of powder, or a dab of foundation makes you feel like the most confident version of yourself. But here’s the thing: Everyone is dealing with an insecurity in some way or another. “If it’s not breakouts, it’s crooked teeth, big ears, thin hair, the list goes on,” says Dr. Diller. “There’s always something that you think isn’t perfect. When you focus on a seeming imperfection, you give it increased importance—as if it’s the most prominent thing other people see. If you don’t focus on it, others likely won’t either.”(TBH, your partner is most definitely trying to mask their own flaws just as much as you are.) “A survey, conducted by Abreva, found that 74 percent of Americans would avoid at least one planned social activity such as a date if they have a cold sore,” says Dr. Howard. “A blemish on the skin, of any sort, can have a huge impact on confidence. And that’s a lot of missed dates.” Touché. Overcoming the flaw obstacle. Trust me—I’m aware that pimples are a minuscule factor in the wide-reaching topic of being in a relationship. There are bigger issues to deal with, after all. But I’m also aware, after talking to my extended network of girlfriends, that my fears of showing my makeup-free skin are real. “If a person doesn’t feel confident about themselves, they’re often fearful of exposing vulnerability,” says Dr. Diller. “So they perform rather than relax, and focus on their partner’s needs instead of their own and tend to be in constant need of reassurance.” In other words: That person doesn’t really act like themselves. This preoccupation can also lead to an unhealthy cycle of insecurity and stress, that can then even make the thing you’re worried about (breakouts) worse. “Trying to look and be your best requires time and energy—which can be exhausting,” notes Dr. Howard. “The last thing you want is a skin condition triggered by stress.” Amen. For the sake of moving forward in finding love, it’s all about treating yourself with compassion—blemishes, imperfections, flaws and all. I’ve calmed down because I’ve realized that I like my new love interest much more than I like stressing out about breakouts. Also important?

I’ve never met a pimple that doesn’t go away. So there’s that. How to Prevent Acne Skin Insecurities From Holding You Back When Dating. Ah, the wonderful perks of being in a new relationship: you’ve got those butterfly-in-the-stomach tingles, each and every new factoid about the other person makes you swoon with excitement, and nothing about them annoys you…yet. The downside, though?

I’ve never met a pimple that doesn’t go away. So there’s that. Dating When You Have Acne. The most traumatizing thing about having acne is how unattractive it it makes us feel. So how do you go about the nerve wracking activity of dating people when you are positive that the other person must be repulsed by your skin? I mean, going on dates, or starting a new relationship, is hard enough as it is. Throwing acne (or acne scars) in the mix can be terrifying. But in most cases, it really shouldn’t hold you back from trying to find love. So to address the question of whether or not the opposite sex actually minds if you have acne. Well, the bad news is that I don’t think anyone actually really likes acne. To my knowledge, I don’t think there are any acne fetishists out there (although you never know). I’m pretty sure everyone would generally prefer if acne just didn’t exist. But I think that in most cases, it’s really not as big a deal as we think it is. Because, in reality, a LOT of people have at least some acne. Seriously. Just look at people. People have blemishes. I know we always think that our skin is way worse just because it’s ours, but acne is a thing that happens to real people everywhere all the time. Which means most of the time, if you have acne, but you happen to also have a lot of other amazing qualities that they find attractive, they just won’t care about your skin. In the end, people just aren’t holding out to date the model with perfect skin above all else. If they were, they’d get really lonely. Plus, when you like someone, no matter what their physical flaws, they always become more beautiful in your eyes. Acne can definitely be transcended. A lot of people might even say they wouldn’t date someone with acne, but when it comes down to it, if they found someone they really liked, it honestly wouldn’t matter to them. My Experience with Dating and Acne. In all my years of having mild (and sometimes moderate acne), I have dated plenty of people, who obviously either didn’t notice or didn’t care. Having acne was probably a lot worse for me than it was for them, because I was embarrassed about it thinking that they cared, but they obviously just didn’t give a hoot. When my acne got severe, well, I was too traumatized to even think about going near the opposite sex. But even with my skin that bad, I actually had quite a few people who were still very interested in me – during, and after, while I was still dealing with the bright red scars. This was surprising to me, but it goes to show that even acne that bad can be looked past. And what about me? Have I dated guys with acne? Yep. I have dated guys who get spots and it didn’t bother me. No one with serious acne, but that situation just never came up so I can’t say whether I would have dated them or not. Sounds Cliché, but Confidence Really Is King. Many people just know that their acne keeps them from being able to date, but more than likely it is because many people with acne will act shy, distant, and ashamed of themselves (not to mention, they don’t actually ask anyone on dates!), which is actually what wards people off – not the acne! There is nothing more unattractive than being completely uncomfortable with yourself. I was recently having a conversation with a long time male friend of mine who used to have a decent bit of acne. Of course he was embarrassed about it, and he never got girls. But then one day he just said ‘fuggit’ – he would pretend to be confident and go for it anyway. I asked him whether it would work in reverse. For him, would a girl with confidence in herself be able to overcome all flaws she had, including acne? He said ‘Absolutely. There is nothing more attractive.’ I also recall him telling me a story a long time ago about someone we had gone to high school with who had always had pretty severe acne. This guy had a lovely, gorgeous girlfriend. One day, the guys implored to him desperately “How is it despite your skin you were able to snag this amazing girl?” His response? (this always stuck out in my mind) – he says “Well, I have acne one way or the other. So I could be that sad, lonely guy with acne, or I could be that outgoing and confident guy with acne. Which one is going to be better for me?” You might also recall that I wrote an article some time ago called “You Can Be 100% Overwhelmingly Beautiful, Even With Acne“, where I told the story of a girl I had met while travelling. She had acne, yet she was seriously the apple of all the boys’ eyes because she was so confident in herself. Tips for Gaining Confidence and Dating With Acne. Sometimes becoming confident is literally about faking it till you make it. Act confident even if you don’t feel it inside. Smile, laugh, start conversations, make eye contact. You may not feel comfortable at first (you might be downright terrified), but the more you do it and you see the way people respond positively to you, you will naturally become more confident. To build self esteem on the inside, put into practice the tips from this article about how to start loving yourself. Being kind to yourself and engaging in activities that you’re passionate about will begin to show you that you have a lot of awesome stuff about you that has nothing to do with how you look. The opposite sex will notice too. If you are dating someone and feel awkward wondering if they notice your acne or not, or whether it bothers them, get brave and talk to them about it. Sometimes it’s the secrecy, and hiding, and wondering, that makes all the emotions about acne so much worse. You’ll probably find that they don’t care and love you for who you are, and it will be a huge relief. Click here for more about this. Dating When You Have Acne. The most traumatizing thing about having acne is how unattractive it it makes us feel. So how do you go about the nerve wracking activity of dating people when you are positive that the other person must be repulsed by your skin?

(this always stuck out in my mind) – he says “Well, I have acne one way or the other. So I could be that sad, lonely guy with acne, or I could be that outgoing and confident guy with acne. Which one is going to be better for me?” You might also recall that I wrote an article some time ago called “You Can Be 100% Overwhelmingly Beautiful, Even With Acne“, where I told the story of a girl I had met while travelling. She had acne, yet she was seriously the apple of all the boys’ eyes because she was so confident in herself. Tips for Gaining Confidence and Dating With Acne. Sometimes becoming confident is literally about faking it till you make it. Act confident even if you don’t feel it inside. Smile, laugh, start conversations, make eye contact. You may not feel comfortable at first (you might be downright terrified), but the more you do it and you see the way people respond positively to you, you will naturally become more confident. To build self esteem on the inside, put into practice the tips from this article about how to start loving yourself. Being kind to yourself and engaging in activities that you’re passionate about will begin to show you that you have a lot of awesome stuff about you that has nothing to do with how you look. The opposite sex will notice too. If you are dating someone and feel awkward wondering if they notice your acne or not, or whether it bothers them, get brave and talk to them about it. Sometimes it’s the secrecy, and hiding, and wondering, that makes all the emotions about acne so much worse. You’ll probably find that they don’t care and love you for who you are, and it will be a huge relief. Click here for more about this.


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