Last week my mindset was all off and I spent an entire weekend being jealous of every girl with hair on Instagram. On Monday I reset my noodle. In the past couple weeks, I’ve been so caught up with life and trying to figure out next steps that I’ve let gratitude journaling go on the back burner. Now I’m back at it AND I downloaded a gratitude app to help me focus on the things I DO have throughout the day. I may not have hair, but I surely have a lot of other things going for me. I know some people think law of attraction and gratitude is mumbo jumbo, but for me it has always helped me turn my frown upside down.
Today I wanted to write a post about everyone’s favorite topic…DATING with alopecia…dun dun duuuuun. I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve never been a good dater. In the past I’ve been told I have a “broken picker”, but the reality of the situation was that my picker was broken, twisted, and backwards with a mind of its own. If you followed my blog from day one, you know that alopecia entered my world at the end of a very toxic relationship. Boy bye. Hair bye. Rude! In my opinion, this is no coincidence. I’m not going to say I was perfect because I was far from it and I made some massive mistakes. However, I probably would have avoided a ton of poor life decisions, heartache, disappointment, and hurt had I left many moons before the relationship combust. I pulled the classic girl move and stayed with the hope that he would eventually become the man he was man he was when we first. Has there ever been a relationship in history where this game plan actually worked? Why do we ladies always do this? I stayed when I was crying every day. I stayed when every day was filled with unbearable anxiety in anticipation for the next hurtful thing that was most certainly going to happen. I stayed when trust was broken, and bridges were burnt. I stayed when I completely lost myself and was acting out in ways that I can’t even believe were me. In ways that go completely against my core beliefs and morals. This toxicity imprinted on my body. My body handled the emotional strain until it couldn’t anymore and started to manifest the pain physically. I believe this is what triggered me to lose my hair. I believe the universe was grabbing be by the shoulders, violently shaking me to get my life together, and begging me to let go and move one. Begging me to fill my life with people who healed me and mentally cut this person out. I finally listened and moved the hell on! Thank you, little baby Jesus!
After losing my hair, I assumed I’d be single for the rest of my existence. After losing my eyebrows, I completely gave up on ever finding a life partner. I could not imagine a man being okay with a chick who looked like a little brown alien when her hair and makeup came off. I didn’t like looking at myself in the mirror, so I couldn’t imagine a guy looking at me and thinking, “Oh yeah! Sign me up for that!” I had succumbed to the fact that the only men in my life would be pets. I got to a point where I even made peace with this. To me it was a win win. A pet couldn’t yell at me, put me down, lie to me, or stomp on my heart. Seemed like a no brainer!
One day I realized I didn’t want to be alone forever. I think I always knew this, but I finally admitted it to myself. As many times as I joked that nobody wanted a bald/eyebrowless gal, I secretly hoped that there was a nice guy out there who did. I decided I’d join the millennials and download the apps. I tried a few…tinders, bumbles, coffee meets bagels etc. Downloading these apps made me realize I’m the WORST at online dating. I’ve never been the casual dating kinda gal, so having to form a connection with someone through an app was my worst nightmare. There was also the big bald elephant in the room. Should I be forthcoming about my hair loss on my profile? Should I post a bald pic? Should I tell the guy in our first message? Is it rude of me not to tell him? What happens after I share this fact? Is he going to ghost? Is he going to be mean to me? Is he going to tell me to keep my wig and makeup on at all times? Is he going to tell me I’m unattractive when I’m not done up?
I was not used to dating good men, and I assumed the worst of the worst of every guy I swiped on. This is why I pretty much never swiped right. Every time I opened an app my head flooded with these concerns. Every now and then I would get enough courage to message with a guy, but I would immediately ghost before he had the chance to ask me on a date. I would tell my friends it was because the conversation was boring. The truth was that I was too scared to let myself be vulnerable and share my truth with a man who could hurt me. There was a time in my early 20s where I had men in my life who were so cruel to me about my weight. I remembered how badly it crushed me. Yet it was also something I could control. As unhealthy as this sounds, I knew I could lose weight if I never wanted a man to be mean to me about my weight again. However, I had no control over my alopecia. If a man was mean to me about my bald head, there was nothing I could do change it. There was nothing I could do to make him love me. It sounds so f’d up and it is. What I should have thought is, “If I a man is mean to me about ANYTHING, BOY BYE! See you never!” Instead I let these fears and insecurities hold me back from putting myself out there.
After my 35th birthday (after much gentle nudging from my BFFs) I FINALLY said yes to going out with two different guys I matched with on good ol’ Tinder. I made the decision not to tell either of them about my alopecia before the date.
Let’s call him Gaston. Dude…Gaston was very touchy. (red flag) Like bro back off touchy. We were at a non-boozy brunch on a Sunday afternoon. Keep your hands to yourself sir! I had been out of the dating game for so long that I didn’t know if this was what the kids were doing these days. We were sitting next to each other at the bar of a brunch place, and I moved my bangs out of my face. Welp his first instinct was to reach over and move my bang out of my face. In doing so, he immediately touched my wig and froze, and I froze. My sweat mustache instantly started beading up. He looked at me and said, “Are you? Is that a…” to which I responded by shouting “I HAVE ALOPECIA!!” Played it really cool cow girl. He quickly asked what alopecia was and I explained. I was a nervous wreck. It was not in my plan to talk about any of this. I was shocked to realize he was okay with it. He even said it was cool that I could change my hair up with and wear different styles anytime I wanted. I told him I wanted to get a short wig, and he said “No! I like my girls with long hair” (reg flag) Then he randomly said, “You know what, nobody is perfect. I’ll tell you something about me…………..I’m lactose intolerant.” YOU GUYS. HE WAS NOT KIDDING AROUND. He was comparing my hair loss to him getting the toots after eating cheese. (RED FLAG) Finally at the end of the date, he scooped me up like a small child in the parking lot. (red flag) So yeah, that was the end of that.
Let’s call him Joe Camel. This guy was super nice. We met at a bar to grab a beer and just chatted and laughed the night away. He stopped the conversation to take off his hat and tell ME that HE was bald!! He wanted to warn me incase that was a deterrent!!! I was shook. I immediately responded with, “Well I have alopecia and I am bald too!!!” We had a laugh about it and just went on with the conversation. The date was very fun, but he was smoker (spew). He even left the date to smoke a cig. I wasn’t feeling a romantic spark, and this is why I declined a date two. He was a great guy though, and I’m sure he is out there making some gal happy now.
Shortly after that, I threw in the towel on online dating. I would keep swiping here and there, but had completely lost interest in trying to connect with people via an app. Even though my first two dates were totally cool with my alopecia, my fears about people’s reaction to this disease paralyzed my dating progress.
I bet you’re wondering how the heck I got me a man without online dating. Welllllll…that is a story for another day 😊 I will share a few things about him though! I’ve never in my life been with a man who is so sweet, kind, and caring with my heart. My cat LOVES him! He is my best friend and he makes me feel like the prettiest girl in the entire world no matter what I look like. I could be done up to the nines or a hot mess morning alien face. He always makes me feel so loved no matter what and my heart is so full. I’d say my picker is finally fixed!!
I want my fellow alopecians to know that there are good humans out there who WILL love you and all your alopecia beauty. Having no hair just gives you a leg up because you can quickly weed out the people who don’t genuinely care about you for you. If someone is awful to you about your hair loss, that is 10000000% a reflection on themselves and has NOTHING to do with you. When someone is kind and accepting, that is the kind of person you DESERVE to have! Don’t sell yourselves short and keep the faith!