Hi R!

I think that the main reason you feel you can't persue a relationship is your own feelings toward yourself. You say that you, yourself feel repulsed by your condition--not the girls. The girls, however, are picking up on your own feelings for yourself. I mean, c'mon, would you want to be with a girl who is constantly fretting about her appearance?

Say you had a girlfriend who swore she was fat, when really she's a very beautiful woman. But say all the time she complains how heavy she is, how unattractive she must be, and even asks you over and over "How can you be with someone as ugly and fat as me? You're so nice, you deserve someone thin and beautiful!" Being around a person like that would get old, wouldn't it? Well, that's probably what girls are thinking about you--simply because you feel ashamed about who you are.

Don't ask/talk to "normal" people about stuff relating to your skin. Wear gloves? Um, can you say Michael Jackson? LOL "Normal" people don't undersand, and they never will. That's why they say "That sucks" and "what a shame" and basically come across as unsupportive--they don't know what else TO say, so they CAN'T be supportive! Especially if you tell them about it in a "downer" manner. Which is probably why your online lady-friend stopped talking to you--the tone you described your condition to her portrayed that iv is a bad thing, not something that's really no big deal.

Instead, when telling someone about your condition, just say (with a smile & a friendly tone): I was born with this skin condition called ichthyosis where basically my skin grows faster than it sloughs off, so I get flakes. And because of it, my sweat and oil glands don't work as they should, so I get very dry and I get overheated easily. But the upside is that because it grows so fast, I heal quickly and don't get scars!" (smile & a light laugh)

If they still say something like "That sucks" or "What a shame" smile and tell them, "Not really, I've lived with it for the past 28 years, and I'll continue living with it for many more! It's no big deal, really." Usually the next comment is, "you seem to be handling it well, that's for sure" and the subject gets changed.

If you see someone looking at you, don't immediately assume it's because of your skin. If you're going to assume anything, assume it's because you're frickin' H.O.T!!! Give them a flirty smile, maybe a little wave, maybe a wink, and continue on, my friend!

One thing that will help you get over yourself and your youthful mojo back is to say affirmations to yourself. Out loud. But not in public, or people WILL think you're strange and you might as well be wearing those gloves! Say positive stuff like my "Admit it...I'm awesome!" or maybe a more subtle "I'm unique, attractive, and an all-out nice guy. Women like me, want me, and deserve me."

Believe me, you WON'T be letting anyone down! For someone out there, you're the best thing that ever will happen to her. And she will be yours. Don't let this condition rule your life. You only get one life--do you really want to waste it feeling sorry for yourself, or do you want to make the most of it?
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If the grass looks greener on the other side, maybe it's time to start watering your lawn!