Starting a New Romantic Relationship

Being single and navigating dating someone new is challenging for everyone. If you have a chronic disease like hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), this may be even more challenging.

If you are single with HS, following these tips may be helpful to make your dating journey a bit smoother.

Be honest and upfront about HS

This may go without saying, but it is always best to start a romantic relationship with honesty. You may feel uncomfortable sharing your diagnosis with a new romantic interest who you do not know and trust. Be upfront and explain your symptoms and impact of the disease. You will want to make sure this new romantic interest is worth your time and energy. Being honest about HS can be scary, but it is especially important when starting a new relationship.1

HS does not define who you are

Being open and honest with a new romantic interest may be the foundation, but remember that HS does not define who you are. Everyone gets nervous and self-conscious when first dating someone. HS can make this worse if you do not focus on all of your positive features.

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You can start by playing up the assets you love most about yourself. A new outfit to highlight your favorite features might help you feel more self-assured. Feeling confident about how you look can help you have self-confidence about all of you. Confidence is attractive to everyone.1

HS is only part of who you are – it does not define you or your personality.

Be flexible when you can

Sometimes your plans may need to change according to how you feel or your symptoms that day. Were you planning on going to the beach, but now you have lesions that make you feel uncomfortable wearing a bathing suit? It is okay to change your plans. The person who is worthy of your time and love will understand.

Again, being honest about how you are feeling is the best approach. Chances are, the change in plans will not be a big deal to the person who wants to get to know you better romantically.1

You are worthy and deserving of love

The person who you choose to have a romantic relationship with will take your lead when it comes to your disease. It is okay to have days when you need rest or are feeling sad about your symptoms. Try to remember that if you are sad, your partner will follow. Lead by example of how you would like to be treated.1

Remember that you have to love yourself first. You are worthy of the love and respect you desire and deserve. Surround yourself with those who respect and honor you, with or without HS. Keeping these things in mind will help you navigate the sometimes scary world of dating while also navigating your journey with HS.1

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Written by: Katie Murphy | Last reviewed: December 2020