Dating is hard enough without throwing acne into the mix. But there are so many added insecurities associated with breakouts. Questions swirl: Will he think I’m pretty with acne? What will he think when I take off my makeup? Will he be grossed out if he sees me using acne medication?
“One of the most painful things when it comes to acne is that it’s right there on your face,” Dr. Jenn Mann, former acne sufferer and author of The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection & Intimacy, told Acne.com. “It’s the first thing we present to other people including a potential mate. That can make people feel embarrassed, ashamed and insecure.” All these feelings of self-doubt can prevent someone from getting close to a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
“We all want to come into a relationship feeling great about ourselves, but it’s hard to feel great with this open wound on your face,” added Dr. Mann. “The biggest downside of all is that you can lose sight about what you can bring to a relationship. And when we don’t realize our value we can bring to relationship we tend to put up with bad partners.”
So what’s the best way to deal with acne anxiety when you’re dating? Step one: Do something to feel more confident. “Working with your doctor to find a solution will help you feel like you’re taking control and make you feel less insecure,” said Dr. Mann. “Then you need to work on the emotional side by remembering all of the other amazing things you bring to a relationship.”
To do this, Dr. Mann suggests making a list of all the negative self-talk you tell yourself. Then for every negative thing you write down, write a positive, affirming comeback next to it. “We have healthy and unhealthy voices,” she said. “We want to help the positive voice to give it more power.”
The same tips hold true for long-term relationships. “The same insecure feelings can pop up in a marriage or if you’ve been dating for years,” added Dr. Mann. “Making that same negative/positive list is just as helpful. It’s also important to communicate with your partner about acne. Being open about how painful an issue it is will help you get the support you need.”