My boyfriend and I have been dating for seven years. The problem is that we have always been a “cute couple” since we started dating in high school. Well, that image/title has always been something I’ve been proud of. But now Dave is now losing his hair and I don’t know what to do. It bothers me so much! I cringe every time I see him put on a hat. That tells me he KNOWS he’s losing his hair and isn’t doing anything about it! I want to bring up the issue, but I don’t know how. He is still very attractive to me, but bald men are NOT attractive, which is why there is a billion dollar industry devoted to fixing hair loss. Is there a sensitive way to broach this topic or should I just love him as is?
Missing His Hair
You started dating in high school, and you’ve been together seven years so basic math says you’re in your early twenties. With all due respect, that means you probably aren’t old enough to know better, which is why I’m not locked onto your leg and shaking you like T-Rex right now. Instead, I’ll let you in on a couple facts. Please read, then re-read them until they actually sink in:
FACT 1. EVERYONE IS CUTE IN THEIR 20’S. If you don’t believe me, find any 40-year-old and ask them to show you a picture of themselves at 25. I’ll bet you an orange scone that they say, “Those clothes and that hair looked ridiculous but, DAMN, I was sexy!”
FACT 2. YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE WHO GIVES A CRAP ABOUT BEING THE “CUTE COUPLE”. Do your think you friends sit around talking about how cute you two are? How conceited maybe, but not cute. They may pay the compliment to your face, because obviously it makes you all warm and fuzzy, but trust me, they really don’t care.
FACT 3. YOU AREN’T AS ATTRACTIVE AS YOU THINK YOU ARE. How do I know this without ever seeing you? It’s simple: people who think that are NEVER as attractive as they think they are (not even me, and I’m freaking gorgeous!). So find yourself a pretty hammer and some pretty nails and build a pretty bridge high enough to get over yourself.
Okay, I’m betting that wasn’t as fun for you as it was for me, but if you’re still reading, let’s dig a little deeper. What exactly would you want your follicly-challenged boyfriend to do if the shoe were on the other foot? Women lose their hair everyday for a multitude of reasons. Let’s say you wake up tomorrow with only a couple of hairs left on that pretty little head of yours… just enough for a Homer Simpson comb-over.
-Would you feel embarrassed?
-Would you feel ugly?
-Would you try to hide your head under a wig or a maybe hat?
-Would you feel like everyone was staring?
-And who exactly would you count on to make you feel beautiful again?
-Do you think he’d stay by your side and try to make you comfortable, or would he give you a couple of Benny Hill smacks on your bald head and run off with a cuter girl?
-Would he tell you to try drugs with possible sexual side-effects to re-grow your hair?
-What would you want him to do?
Here’s a shocker for you: About three years ago I found out that I have vitiligo. “What the hell is that?” you ask? It’s a skin disease. It doesn’t itch or hurt or make me sick. It isn’t contagious. There are really no physical symptoms at all. The only thing that happens is, little by little, the pigment cells in my skin stop making color, so I get these tiny white spots that get bigger and bigger (yes, like Michael Jackson). Funny thing is there is NO CURE. You can try to cover it with make-up or tanning creams, but none of them actually work. So eventually the spots will cover my entire body; my face, my arms and legs, my scalp… everywhere. I’ll be completely white, like that kid in the movie “Powder,” but with better hair.
You’ve probably seen people who have it. You may have thought the spots were birthmarks , maybe burns. But while you were trying to figure it out, you were probably staring at them (I get that quite a bit.) The spots on my face are somewhat noticeable, but not nearly as much the ones on my hands.
When they first started to grow, I can’t explain how self-conscious I was. This may sound conceited, but I’m used to being one of the best looking guys in a room (yeah, that definitely sounds conceited). I’m used to having women stare at me… but now they weren’t thinking how cute I was; they were wondering what had happened to my face.
BUT… the one woman who never batted an eye was the one I asked to be my wife nineteen years ago. When the dime-sized spots on my face felt like they were the size of pie plates, she assured me that she could barely see them and that I was being silly. When I felt ugly and wanted to hide, she told me I was still as gorgeous and walked hand-in-hand with me through the mall. When I was sure people were staring because I looked like the elephant-man, she told me women were staring because I was handsome, and that they’d better stop because I was all hers. It also helped that my wife is freaking hot and still wanted me.
And after a while, I started to feel attractive again. Now I’m at a place where I’ve decided that, the spots are just part of my transformation: I used to be one of the hottest black guys around and now, eventually, I’ll be one of the hottest white guys around (yep, I’m conceited again).
Let me save you some time; he’s going to go bald. Your breasts are going to sag. One day, God willing, both of you will get wrinkly and old. The question is, will you still be in love when it happens? What I’m saying is, if you really love him, his hair shouldn’t matter enough to bother you, and if it bothers you too much to be with him, then he isn’t really the problem, is he?
I suggest you take a good, hard look at him… and yourself… and decide what really matters. Cute couples are a dime a dozen and they split everyday but real love is rarer than diamonds and even harder to break. It’s your call.
William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing. Follow him on Twitter @goodenoughguy1