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Hair TodayGone Tomorrow

Dear Philippa:

It may be difficult for you to understand, but guys have a tough time dealing with the issue of baldness, especially if they are meeting women online like I do. I don�t wear one of those tacky toupees. No one can tell that I don�t really have this head of hair. But I am concerned about when I should tell someone the truth. Should I do this on the first date? What do you think?

�Jarvis, San Antonio


Dear Jarvis,

Yes, we all have our "packaging" issues especially in this day and age of media glamour and youth orientation. I happen to be someone who finds bald men very appealing and have had a personal experience with this issue. Years ago I developed a phone friendship with a business contact. When this person and I finally met there was strong chemistry in addition to the friendship. So we started dating. I had absolutely no idea that the hair on his head wasn�t his own until a very inopportune moment. It was a shock for both of us. It definitely killed the romance�not because he was bald, but rather because he did not look like the man that I had become accustomed to. And I also felt a bit misled.

I think my old beau should have told me about his hairpiece on our second date, when we already knew that we really liked each other. He could have then whipped off his hair and laughed with me about my surprise. Then we would have had a chat and he�d have found out that it made absolutely no difference to me.

So what are you supposed to do when you have hair (or breast enhancements for that matter), or a hidden scar, a child in rehab, or some chronic physical condition? When is the right time to tell someone about the things that you think make you less appealing? It�s that old fear of rejection thing�how you view yourself as less than what you think someone else might want�that is the crux of the issue, not the timing. Chances are that what we think is such a big deal is often a lot less significant to the people we meet.

Concentrate on all the aspects of you that are so appealing. You are much more than just your hair. Focus on finding a woman with whom you have strong compatibility as well as physical attraction. When you click on a lot of different levels it puts the packaging stuff in perspective. Be a good listener, tune into the other person and focus on how you feel when you are with them�not how they feel about you. These are very attractive qualities. A sense of humor about yourself and life is your greatest asset.

When we accept ourselves as great just the way we are�not perfect, not living a storybook life, just being real�the pressure is off both of you. After years of trying to be "perfect" myself I have found that being vulnerable is a very attractive quality. It lets the other person know they can be real too. And it makes you more approachable and believable. The world is full of couples, where one person appears to be genuinely in love with someone who has significant challenges. Love does not choose perfection�neither do we.


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