Dating was already hard, and then all my hair fell out in 1 year

  I am basically 6 feet tall (5' 11 1/2").  Dating was already hard because of my height.  Most guys are attracted to average height women.  I was shy and a very late bloomer--didn't start dating seriously until age 30. Over 10 years, I had one crappy or bad relationship after another.  Nothing lasted very long, was cheated on, etc. 

  2 years ago, I finally figured out the kind of man I really wanted.  I broke up with the boyfriend I had at the time because we were not right for each other.  He was somewhat selfish and self-absorbed, and not caring enough.  My hair had started to fall out here and there before that.

  My father went into a nursing home at that time--4/2016. My hair fell out more and more.  Before he passed in 10/2016 , I had almost no hair left on my head.  < Later I shaved off what little was left and continued to try to cope with my father's passing.

  I got a wig, and tried not to give up hope to meet a good man.  I tried online dating for the millionth time in my life.  Shortly thereafter, I started dating a guy. 

  Our relationship lasted 3 months.  He said he was o.k. with my medical condition--alopecia universalis.  Near the end of the relationship, I'd hug him and he'd move his head as far away from my wig as he could get.  He wasn't ok with it, obviously.

  A couple of weeks ago, I went on a third date with a guy I had met online.  I had cancelled my account shortly after he and I started dating.  I couldn't take the ups and downs anymore.  I had read advice that you should tell your date about your alopecia on the third date.  I did so.  I texted him after he went home on our third date, with a couple of links about my condition.  He said he had to think about next steps and ghosted me after that.

  The blow to my self-confidence has been very bad.  I am 41, have finally figured out the kind of guy I want, and it seems very unlikely I'll ever meet him now.  I live in a rural area and am in my permanent home.  I work two jobs in the spring and summer.  I've been passed by a lot because I am tall.  I have been rejected twice because I'm bald.  My age really doesn't help things either.

  I guess I'm just trying to cope with all of this.  I had a full head of very thick hair for 38 years of my life.  I'm trying to cope with the likelihood that one of the things I've wanted the most in my life may never happen--a positive long-term relationship with a good man.  I'm trying to overcome some pretty difficult sadness as a result.

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Comment by JeffreySF on May 18, 2018 at 12:47am

Hi Kathryn.

Sorry for the loss of your father, your alopecia and the relationship woes.

Life seems to throw us a curve ball to see what we can take...

Take care of yourself and be sure to get the support you need during these difficult times.

While I'm not your Knight in shining armor I can be your friend!

Jeff

Comment by Kathryn on May 18, 2018 at 1:49pm

Thank you Jeffrey!  You are very kind.  I appreciate what you wrote!  I need friends, and those who understand Alopecia would be awesome!

Kathryn.

Comment by LeslieAnn Butler on May 21, 2018 at 6:38pm

Hi Kathryn,

I am so sorry you are going through this. I understand. In my book, "If Your Hair Falls Out, Keep Dancing!" I have a chapter on this. So many women have problems with men who are unable to get past the baldness. 

Let's talk about your height. It's wonderful! That's the ideal height for models! As a matter of fact, the most recent season of "America's Next Top Model" featured a model hopeful with alopecia universalis (that's what I have). She had been wearing wigs, but was advised to use her baldness to advantage, and made it to the finals! Of course, I was rooting for her!

Your age -- 41 seems really young to me! I met my husband in 2013 on a dating site (Plenty of Fish), after looking for someone for several years on Match.com. We were married in 2016 and he is 13 years younger than me. I am "of a certain age" -- he is 60 this year. So anyway, I would not worry about your age at all! And if you were wondering, the photo of me here was taken two years ago. The wig is "Sheridan" by Paula Young, in Swedish Blonde. And really inexpensive!

Next, your home town. Would you be willing to try looking for someone online? There's a good chance a guy would come to meet you either there, or in a nearby town. A lot of people don't want to do this. But if you really want someone in your life, it's a great door to open. It's best if you have a good attitude about it. I decided I just wanted to have fun and meet people, and didn't pressure myself to find a perfect mate. I sort of let that all go, just deciding I wanted to be happy, however things turned out. Somehow, after all these years and difficult relationships, I found my soulmate! And I'm 30 years older than you!

I understand the sadness and grief you are going through. One woman who had been married many years and developed alopecia, was told by her husband that he couldn't cope with it and left her.After 20 years of marriage! Good riddance -- you will run into those kind of guys. But not everyone is like that. My husband said he was attracted to my heart, not my head.

Please think about all this and if you would like to talk with me more, my email address is labartist@aol.com. 

Many blessings to you.

Comment by Heather Lorelle Mattisson on May 21, 2018 at 9:59pm

Hi there Kathryn!  I am so grateful that you shared your story with us all.  First of all, my sincere condolences on the loss of your father.  I lost my father to diabetes in 2016 after a steady decline, and I remember the shell-shock that that can entail.  

I sensed the frustration and some grief in your blog, as if you were grieving a dream of a life you'll now never lead, and due to alopecia.  Well, I was in your shoes.  10 years ago, I was 33 years old, single, and living in Chicago when my hair fell out.  I called it "The Hand of God."  The doctors would give me shots to my scalp, and the steroids would work for a couple of months.  Then, within about a month, whoooshhhh.  All gone.  The biggest issue I grappled with as a single woman (I'm 5'1, a shortie!) was that I no longer believed I was desirable by men.  I no longer fit the media depiction of beauty, the vision of "woman" that every kindergardener learns to draw, and most critically, my own vision of what beautiful was.  Alopecia in some critical ways destroyed my self-concept, requiring me to re-build my self-concept along with my idea of what beauty was, and that I was beautiful.  I went through a painful time where I thought I'd never find a man who thought me beautiful before having a revelation.  How was it that I get some disease that I surely never "earned" or deserved, and purely because of this single disease, that means I will be single for the rest of my life?  Not wanting to use cuss words, but when I asked myself that question, my heart answered back, "That's bulls*it sister."  Because.  It is pure, total bullshi*t and fear speaking. Don't ever let those words enter your head, because that's just the fear speaking.

Now, let's get to some of what I heard.  You mentioned that you've dated men that seem to be turned off by your alopecia.  Yep.  Guess what?  Have you dated any blind partners online yet?  Or anyone missing a limb?  Anyone with serious burns on a large part of their body? No?  How might you respond if you did?  If not, why haven't you thought about it?  So what's my point?  And no, it's not that people who don't fit America's glossy, fake, social media-inspired version of beauty are not worthy of a mate.  Nope.  My point is that each of the people that I mentioned above has a love waiting for them in the world, someone chosen by the universe just for them.  When you show up in the world and you don't fit society's ready-bake mold, you have a choice:  develop the self-love that builds your character and turns you into a butterfly, that luminous soul, or sit and wonder about how to fit the mold.  As you butterfly into your self-loving self, your mate will be attracted to you and will be able to see your brightness.

I see you on the precipice, or in a decision-point.  It feels as if you're not wholly convinced that you won't find a mate that loves you as you are. You are simply afraid that this could be true.  Good for you girl - don't buy the doom and gloom!  The thing though is this:  If you have alopecia and want to dive deep into your inner radiance, you'll have to BELIEVE that you are beautiful, and that you are WHOLLY, completely deserving of an all powerful love.  You are, and no alopecia can get in the way of such a love.  Alopecia is simply far too frail of a human condition to get in the way of love.  It's flimsy in the face of love.  It's the believing itself that brings out the shine, and will call to your beloved.  He will see you and be simply unable to resist you.  So, don't worry about all that.  After all of my mumbo jumbo above, what am I saying?  If you haven't met a man that loves every single inch of you, and adores your bald little head, you simply haven't met the right guy yet.  That guy who didn't like your wig?  He just wasn't your guy.  It actually doesn't matter WHY he wasn't your guy.  Really, it doesn't even matter.  He just wasn't for you.  Wait for YOUR guy to come along.  I'd also say the same to the single blind person, the cute guy missing a limb, the studious and kind woman with burns all over her body - I'd say the same to them.  

If you think that this is mumbo jumbo...I'm living proof.  I met the love of my life, from Sweden, in 2013 at the age of 39.  Our first date was in Paris.  When I met him, I kissed him on our first in-person date, and said, "Let's DO this."  And now, when he holds me close, he kisses my bald little head with such love, such reverence.  I am a treasured, beloved thing, and I know it, in every millimeter of my bones.  The way I found him?  I wasn't willing to settle for anything less. And we have lived happily ever after ever since. 

If you want to chat, let me know and I'll send you an email.  I have two other girlfriends who also fell in love and got married long after their hair had fallen out.  You are not alone, and there are so many love stories out there for you to enjoy.  You'll be one of them.

Comment by LeslieAnn Butler on May 21, 2018 at 10:38pm

Lorelle, fabulous and right on!

L.A.

Comment by Ty on May 21, 2018 at 10:39pm

I am sorry to hear about the passing of your father as well as your misfortunes in dating. I understand the pain of losing a parent as I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer last year and still can't sleep right because of it. I've also had more than my share of dating misfortunes. I don't have alopecia, but I acquired aphasia due to trauma during birth, which has affected how I am able to express myself with words to people. I have overcome it for the most part, but a childhood full of ridicule and torment has made me self-conscious of it. I made it far in school and have a great career in spite of it. Many women whom I dated have written me off as a failure to communicate due to being somewhat reserved on a first date and don't have the patience to allow me to warm up to a complete stranger. I have dated women with and without hair and have no problem one way or another.

I don't know if it's within your comfort level, but perhaps if you were open to the idea of going without your wig, you may find that there are men who can appreciate you the way you are.

Comment by Kathi on May 21, 2018 at 11:59pm

Hi Kathryn,

Condolences on losing your dad. It is one of the hardest things to go through, death of a family member.

What I want to say to you is I understand how you feel as I also felt this way just a few years ago. BUT! Here is my secret - self love

If you learn to love and accept yourself you'll naturally attract the right guy, when you are READY!

Until you do you will keep attracting the wrong kind of person.

So how do you get to self love when you've loathed your alopecia for so long?

Well this is not an easy thing but it is SIMPLE. Start by looking in the mirror everyday and LOVING YOURSELF. Look into your eyes and tell yourself you are beautiful, you are worthy, and you ARE NOT YOUR HAIR!

If you would like to talk more, or make a friend to talk to this about please catch me on facebook, KathiRTait or @Baldwarrior

Much love & light to you all

Kathi

Comment by Kathryn on May 22, 2018 at 9:26am

Leslie,

  Thank you so much for what you said.  It is very inspiring that you met your guy online and that he was attracted to your heart!  That's really awesome!  Thank you for saying my height is wonderful!  That's very kind.  I've always enjoyed my height.  Thanks also for saying that I'm young--I supposed I fall into the young-ish category. 

  I think at some point I might be able to try online dating or dating in general again, but I am really burned out emotionally speaking and energy-wise.  I have tried online dating on and off since I was 24.  I know that not all men are superficial, but finding them or them finding me is the challenge.  You mentioned a woman developing alopecia and then her husband of 20 years left her?!  That is so awful!  That must have been soul crushing.  That makes my issue seem very small.

  I will check out your book.  Would like to ask some questions if you'd still like to chat.  Again, thank you so much and take care!

Kathryn.

Comment by Kathryn on May 22, 2018 at 9:58am

Heather,

  Thank you so much for all you said!  That is awesome that you met a man who loves you for you!  And your first date was in Paris--how romantic is that! 

  Thank you for the condolences for my father.  Very sorry for the loss of your father.  The good memories are what help us when we miss them.

  I have struggled with what you struggled with--loss of confidence, feeling unattractive, etc.  After the most recent bad date experience, for the first time in my life I actually felt ugly.  I know that our culture's ideals of 'beauty' and attractiveness are far-fetched, fake and unattainable by most, but reconciling that most people buy into them is the hard part.  The hard part is realizing that being passed over by the majority of men is going to be even more the norm for me, and it used to just be because of my height. 

  I know all of us are still beautiful in spite of what society's false ideals of beauty are.  I know it's crap to think that things are impossible--you are very right!  I thank you for reminding me of that.  I would definitely date a guy who is missing a limb, a guy who has alopecia, who is blind or has burns.  I think all of this is possible.  It might take a really long time because as I mentioned, I live in a very rural area and don't do much other than go to work and come home and then do my part-time work, and either run or bicycle.  The only other thing I do is go to church every other weekend, as I work every other weekend.

  You are very right on the working on developing self-love and inner radiance as well as believing that I am deserving of love.  I have had to work on correct and unconditional self-love and acceptance for many years because I had some struggles with self-image my whole life.  Believing I am deserving of love--I guess I hadn't thought consciously about that enough.  I will have to dive in my brain and see if some of my beliefs are wrong--maybe that's part of the problem.  In thinking just now, I think part of me never believed it would happen and that I would always be passed by and things would fail or never last.  That's certainly an epiphany!!

  Thank you so much for your faith and sharing your story!  Thank you for the positive and true affirmations.  I would love to chat with you further--that'd be great!  Thank you so much and take care,

Kathryn.

Comment by Kathryn on May 22, 2018 at 10:06am

Ty,

  Thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences. I a very sorry for the loss of your mother.  Cancer is a terrible and painful.  I hope that things get easier over time.   I am so sorry you had to go through what you went through in childhood and with dating and impatient / superficial women because of aphasia.  That sounds very difficult!  It is wonderful to hear that you have succeeded in many ways in life in spite of it!  I am not ready to go without my wig because of various reasons--fear, anxiety, especially in today's political climate.  I live in an extremely politically conservative area.  I thank you though.  I might try it sometime.  Blessings and thanks to you,

Kathryn.

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