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This is a longish post, but I want to explain where I'm coming from on a personal level.

Like always, reading through the forums has made me feel a lot better about the current breakout of cystic acne along my jawline (oh you tricksy hormones!). But it also got me wondering.

This is more of an academic question than a self-pitying one, and I’m asking only women for two reasons. One, men primarily approach, while women are approached (not always, but old traditions die hard). Two, I think there is a big difference in standards of appearance. Women are often expected to look perfect, and scars not only hurt the complexion but can also really age you in certain lighting.

Anyway. As a woman with moderate to severe scarring, do you get approached by men?

Personally, I am basically NEVER approached. Maybe 2-3 times my entire life. What really bothers me is not so much the lack of dates or relationship opportunities. It’s just, I like to interact that way. I like that exciting affirmation of flirting with somebody, even if you never see each other again. I like to feel noticed, you know? I think that gives us all a boost.

Unless I’m just completely delusional, I am a pretty good-looking woman. I’ll never be in anyone’s calendar (short, small boobs, wide face, etc.), but in terms of traditional, superficial requirements, I’ve come a long way since high school. I have days of course where I feel less than attractive, but who doesn't? I enjoy showing my femininity and personality off with clothes and lipsticks and so forth. I think I’m sexy.

I would chalk it up to my age and location (re: dwindling opportunities to meet people) but for the fact that I didn’t get approached in college either. I would get the occasional look or shout-out, but I always had this feeling I was just a little bit “off,” you know, from what the guys there were looking for. I mean, it was college. There were cookie-cutter-perfect, blonde, fresh-from-the-tanning bed, cleavage baring barely-legals jogging in sports bras all over the place. But it really surprised me that in the three years I was there, no one ever showed a real interest in me. The closest I got was a weird, two-year attraction to a man who had been a former classmate and could never remember my name. Finally, a week before I graduated, he happened across me sitting outside the library with my laptop, we flirted for about an hour, and he confessed to being attracted to me. Rather pitifully, that’s probably the romantic highlight of my life so far. He never really spoke to me again, and I swear to God I think he forgot who I was right after it happened. Ugh. People.

What I'm saying is, my self-esteem is fairly normal. I'm friendly, an introverted type but not too shy to make conversation. I smile at everybody, so it can’t be my resting bitch-face. I’ve even wondered if maybe men think I’m stuck up or something from the way I dress. But always, ALWAYS, when I get a new breakout I come back to that nagging thought, “Maybe it’s the scars.” They’re pretty significant, particularly on one side of my face. Most are moderate rather than severe, but they can make me look really roughed up and textured in some lights. I don’t know.

What’s your take on it?

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tend to agree, didn't get approached much in college, but I focused on academics....got a great job (not sure if Barbie Doll did but I did) and kept working on my scars, but really kept focused on my career

I can tell you the older you get, the more attractive successful people become, and my scars are evident still, sadly....but much better

focus on yourself, education, your career...and the rest will come -- be confident in the world you are in, where you work and make money, and if things come they come.....they did for me, and I've got a great husband

but I focused on me and my world first on good friends and family and my career...if nothing else ever comes, their loss- you will build a great life

but do work on those scars, there are things you can do to get slow and steady improvement if cash is an issue

good luck to you, chin up...many of us have been there

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Well I don't have admirers on every corner, but yea, I do get approached. In my ealier 20's I didn't get so much attention but mostly cause of how cold and uptight I was with men due to my cystic acne (though when I think back, even during my worst period there were a couple of guys who were interested, so I can only blame it on my attitude). Now I'm in a second serious relationship (no more cystic acne, but really bad scarring on one cheek) and some things repeat themselves - both my ex and my current partner say that the scarring doesn't disturb them and I shouldn't be so worried cause it's not what defines me. I guess the scarring itself doesn't scare men off... If you have a good attitude as well, I don't really know what might keep them from approaching you, maybe you think too much about it? I think guys aren't so brave nowadays, many people get to know each other through the internet, or common friends. Not so many simply come forward to have a chat or flirt, unless their drunk looking for a one night stand in a club

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Not so many simply come forward to have a chat or flirt, unless their drunk looking for a one night stand in a club

That's because that generally doesn't work for men. Definitely not for men with acne. For me, a man with acne, it is seemingly impossible to get people (and girls) to even like me the normal way, independent from the setting.

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Not so many simply come forward to have a chat or flirt, unless their drunk looking for a one night stand in a club

That's because that generally doesn't work for men. Definitely not for men with acne. For me, a man with acne, it is seemingly impossible to get people (and girls) to even like me the normal way, independent from the setting.

I understand why it doesn't work for men, though I wasn't even talking about men with acne. Those who approach a girl out of nowhere are usually rejected as creeps anyway, so why even trying.

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Novelist, I'm 67 now so I have more than my scars going against me. I used to get noticed when I was younger as long as I was wearing makup. But there were lots of times guys lost interest when they saw me outside in broad daylight. Sunlight is not our friend nor is candlelight BTW! I had a couple of marriages and several relationships so they are out there. Your attitude makes a big difference but I'll be the first to admit that a good attitude is sometimes jars to come by.

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My male perspective. If you have an attitude that comes off as "bitch of the world" it's a huge turn off. I have come across this as a defense mechanism to deal with their troubled battle with acne. I understand even more than that person may know. But for me, in ten seconds or less I can tell you if I give a person a chance or not. Whether I will make conversation or not. With someone with acne or not. It's that initial experience that shapes what I see. Probably bad experiences with fake people have done this.

It's those that are still battling acne but are motived, career driven, fun, interesting, genuine, and nice that I respect. And will approach again and again.

If I was battling a break out, I would be terrified to confront someone that could potentially be a good friend or relationship material because I feel my best footforward would only result in that person remembering what I looked like. I would fear to be judged as a creep, or less of a man even tho my intentions are just.

Now let's say I approached someone in my shoes of the opposite sex (having a good skin week) they would cower, try to hide it, or be unsocialable. I not wanting to be mean would say nothing. But I would try to relate, but from personal experience that didn't help or even end well.

It's a slippery slope.

I gave up and the bar scene isn't me. Even though at this time my skin is 'okay' I'm tired of trying to making things happen.

I feel exhausted. Done trying to market my self as what society says a guy like me should look like because I am sucessful. When you think of the positive experience you had from a nurse and embody what it means to be one... That is me inside and out. Yet..

I have had patients tell me based on my looks and age that this isn't me.. Until they've been under my care for 3 days.

So I guess people don't have patience to see that. Nor are they so willing to look past today's views of what prince charming should be.

I will probably end up buying my own house and adopting a baby/s. Just saying.

Edited by k3tchup
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Hey, all. Sorry, for some reason I thought I would get an email notification if someone responded to this. Having a post ignored would not exactly be unprecedented in my internet forum experience. :)

I don't know. I will admit, sometimes I do worry about not being able to find a relationship, but it's more that--the possibility of ever finding one, rather than just not having one currently. In that way, I guess what I'm talking about (in retrospect) is not necessarily being APPROACHED by men, but rather never feeling seen by them. I sometimes feel invisible. I'm sure I have other significant barriers to establishing a lasting relationship, but I would feel better about the possibility if I felt I were noticed more than once in a blue moon.

From some of the responses, I think I may have misrepresented myself in my OP. I have good self-esteem. I genuinely think I'm feminine and sexy and interesting. That's why I can't help but wonder if it's the scars, because come on, it's got to be SOMETHING. And I highly doubt I'm giving off any kind of bitchy vibe. I make it a point to smile at people, and I get the feeling that a lot of people (including men) who talk to me find they really like talking to me, because I can have a real conversation and not just make small talk. It just seems hard to get to that point, you know, when people walk right by you.

I know I must sound so sorry for myself, but I promise you, that's more an effect of winter than the issue at hand. Being stuck in the house and bundled up in unflattering clothes gives me S.A.D. My dogs are a comfort but not exactly great conversation. Lol.

Superficial guys, who are turned off by acne scars, are guys you want to stay away from anyway.

You're completely right, of course, Alexander. I suppose that sometimes, I just despair of the existence of men who are looking for that indefinable "spark" rather than a set of criteria which includes smooth skin. I know women, particularly of my generation (and younger) can be just as rigid.

Thanks everyone for your responses. I wish spring would hurry up and get here. :/

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