Angela, I like your 3rd point. "Stay in the middle, being neither the hero nor the martyr." In a peer partnership we should be equal. Sharing our gifts and talents and at one time one member may excel and at another the other may excel, but both being totally aware that either is a capable of standing on their own two feet.
1) Be yourself from day one and not somebody you think I want to have. Simply put, that kind of change is only temporary and eventually you will resort back to your old self and someone's feelings will get hurt. Wouldn't you rather meet someone who likes you for who you are and won't try to mold you into someone he would like you to be?
2) Communication is a must at all times. I believe in having a strong foundation of some sort with anyone I allow to get close to me. "It doesn't matter how big and beautiful the house is if the foundation is made of sand!" That house will fall. The foundation I look for is trust, honesty, and respect. If we are just friends and just started dating then I can understand your hesitation in handing down voluntary information all at once cause you don't want to be pre-judged before we get to know each other. But once we have gotten over the "new friend" status and we decide we want to take it to the next level, you must realize it is time to open up. I am an open book, if you ask me a question I will give you an honest answer. But depending on the question I may say "Are you sure you want the answer to that?" And I expect the same in return. A lot of people will hold the answer received against you and continue to throw it back up in your face over time. To me, that is a huge mistake and will only lead to alot of lying and deception to keep the peace in the relationship. Personally I can't stand that because I didn't have to tell you. I need for you to give me the truth no matter how you think I will react and if it was something that happened while we were dating I would like for you to tell me before I find out myself. If I find out on my own then all bets are off.
I can forgive someone who made a mistake and realized it and then has the ability to get up the nerve to let me know about it because in actuality I may be upset for a minute but it won't last long. You didn't have to tell me right? You could've waited and hoped that I never found out like most people do and then they got busted....there goes the foundation right?? Instead of holding it against you I will look at it in a different way...after the initial reaction within the first minute or so I would say to myself, "Damn, that took guts right there!" It says a lot to me about your character right there. I would still feel like our foundation is intact because you realized you did something wrong and told me. And I will forgive you. We all make mistakes and have our weak moments but it takes a big person to say when you did something wrong. When I am in a relationship I ask myself this question..."If I were him would I get upset?" And I would like for him to be just as considerate of me.
3) Don't talk about it be about it!! Actions speak louder than words with me. Don't put your foot in your mouth because that is one thing I will throw back into a conversation later. I've been around the block a few times and I've seen and done enough to know when you're real with yours or you're all talk and no action. To tell me you love me means nothing if you don't show it.
You know Jeff, it took me 3 years to read your initial response to my answer to this question and now that I have read it I have an answer. The short answer is, it depends on the mistake.
If it was something like I cheated on you, I got another female pregnant, I ran over the family dog and bought a replacement so you wouldn't notice, etc, etc, then you know what, you're right - all bets are off. Something else, for example, like I forgot your birthday, I forgot you like white roses instead of pink, I forgot you're allergic to cats and I petted the neighbor's cat, etc -- that's what I'm talking about.
Behaviors? I'll forgive you the first couple of times for touching my head, especially if you didn't know I hate having my head touched or if you do something reflexively or out of habit, like kiss me on my forehead or something. But if you insist on doing it and I have made it loud and clear that is a boundary not to be crossed, then that is something else again.
Did that come across clearly or did I need to explain more?
1. Everybody will deal with this condition in a different way listen and learn.
2. Don't be afraid of hurting someone you are trying to get to know. If your intention is for kindness and care it will ring through.
3. Relationships are about about negotiation and communication. Trust yourself and your partner to be able to do this with kindness and love.
Thanks to each of you for sharing such practical and profound advice. People who take this advice to heart should be able to benefit from it, not only in their relationships with alopecians, but also in their relationships with others. You're all such jewels. :-)
Any mention of products and services on Alopecia World is for informational purposes only; it does not imply a recommendation or endorsement by Alopecia World. Nor should any statement or representation on this site be construed as professional, medical or expert advice, or as pre-screened or endorsed by Alopecia World. Alopecia World is not responsible or liable for any of the views, opinions or conduct, online or offline, of any user or member of Alopecia World.
AlopeciaWorld.com: It's hair loss support at its best!