I had the opportunity to speak with the lovely folks at OurPerfections.com and hear a personal story leading to the creation of this dating site (and soon an app!). At first I was skeptical, me being me, always questioning anything that is new or different. Well, after hearing the story it made a lot more sense. After all, I’ve been in a relationship for 3 + years now (with someone who so rarely even gets a cold), I don’t exactly have experience dating with my condition. So this was a nice change of pace, and I think everyone can get something from this deeply personal story which was so generously shared with me and now all of you. Hopefully, you find some inspiration and confidence.
“The idea for OurPerfections was born from personal frustration with my own health issues. At 15, I was diagnosed with a skin condition called Tinea Versicolor, which is an infection that causes discoloration of the skin in various forms, which can last months, years or a lifetime. In my case, the eruption took the form of dark, dry, itchy patches on my neck, back, torso, chest, and upper arms. And it seems that I’ve been given the lifetime brand as it is something that I still live with.
As a teenager, I was already pretty introverted and with the emergence of my Tinea Versicolor came the insecurities and self-doubt. I was so insecure about my body that it seriously affected my social and dating activities. My first serious relationship came when I was 18 and was with someone who also had a skin condition (psoriasis). It may sound weird but in the beginning, I really fought off the relationship because I knew she had a skin condition. I don’t know why but I just didn’t want to convince myself that the only people I will ever be able to date were people who were “like me” (whatever that means). I guess I thought I was doing myself a favor. It was just a strange confusing paradox. Fortunately, I lost that effort and we started dating and it was a wonderful relationship. We bonded about things only we would be able to understand.
Eventually, we moved on and I did go on to explore other great relationships (with people not “like me”) but it was that initial boost of confidence and validation of my awesomeness that allowed me to do that. That’s the underlying message and the reason I started the site. A lot of people, just need that initial push to get them off to the races, at least that’s what I’ve gotten from the people I’ve spoken too about it. I think we all agree that no one wants to hear “sick people should just date sick people”. I’ve been very cognizant of staying far away from that message especially because I certainly don’t subscribe to it myself.”
I understand that need for having the initial boost in confidence and maybe that can experience come from places like this. You can meet someone and not have to wait a couple dates to have “the talk” about your condition and then possibly never hear back again.
I personally was diagnosed early on in my current relationship and had to have the talk. That was back when they were still testing me for, well, scary stuff. I remember having that talk on a day when he was so bravely taking me to get an EMG. Not a pleasant test to watch or receive, and results that are bad mean serious stuff. So I asked him, “If all of this comes back and says ‘you are like really really sick’ what would you like to do?” We were early into our relationship, not living together yet but talking about it, so he could have left. And having that weighing over the survival of the relationship is daunting. Obviously, he stayed. We wen’t through a lot together, and I am grateful that I had someone to go home to, talk to, and lean on. It was and is still something I depend on. I am lucky to have someone who understands when I am having a bad day, or when I need to go to the hospital, or even have to go through more scary tests. He understands, and that is the most important part of all of this. Someone who can understand that life is just a bit different for you. Also, someone who knows the difference between an absence seizure and you just blatantly ignoring them because they are annoying you is nice.
This site is for those of us who need to get out there and gain some confidence, wether you are newly diagnosed and unsure or have been living with your condition for a long time and just need a fresh start. This is a simple and inclusive community for those living with health and life challenges. OurPerfections.com makes this process so easy, and safe. It is definitely worth a shot if you are wanting to date again.
It is hard to find someone brave enough to stick around and be there for you. Finding someone who is already dealing with health and life challenges (Like epilepsy!) can make things easy, and more fun in the beginning because they also understand. Just because you are sick or going through something doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and get out there. No need to be shy or worry that they won’t understand, this site was made to avoid that. It takes a lot of stress out of an already awkward situation, which is something a lot of other sites just don’t have.
I encourage all of you interested to visit the site and peak around. I liked what I saw, and I believe this is a great place to enter into a whole new world of dating.