Hello, my name is Simone Asam and I was diagnosed with primary lymphedema in both legs in 2013. I've been single for three years and now I'm looking for happiness in love again. In my last relationship, my illness and compression were more and more a difficult topic, but I assumed that there would surely be enough men out there who would have no problem with compression. Unfortunately, in the last two years, on dating portals or in direct contact, I have had very few positive experiences with it. I want a partner who loves me for who I am, just as I would with him. Regardless of whether fat, whether small, whether large, whether thin, with or without chronic illness / limitation, etc.
Don't panic, it's just compression!
So I thought about addressing the topic early on in order to soon "separate the wheat from the chaff" and let it flow in when there were more intensive contacts. Sometimes it came up anyway, especially when I sent pictures (in midsummer) of myself in black “tights”. Although previously showered with compliments from the men I wrote with, I was blocked, deleted, or no longer responding as a result. Felt the staring glances on my legs (until now I always wore pants, leggings or tights over the compression anyway) when it came to a meeting.
I once arranged to meet someone on the phone (just before the lymphedema was discussed). Strangely, for the most inexplicable reasons, the technology failed (with him), but then he didn't answer.
I don't remember how often I read or heard that it was “no problem” and that I was “still such a beautiful woman” and, in retrospect, never came back from the person.
Is it because of the other?
I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way from reading in forums on the subject of compression and lymphedema and from talking to other sufferers. I also asked male acquaintances and friends for their advice to teach my dates the subject "gently". I was advised to sell them - on nights together - as "suspenders" or part of a "nurse's costume" (I still find the latter idea quite funny) and then to explain to them that they are medical compression stockings and why I wear them.
Is it because of me?
I guess I sound very bitter and you guess I just met the wrong men. Quite possible ... But I'm already thinking about why a part of the male world has such a problem with it. Of course, I also asked myself whether it was simply up to me. My personality, my demeanor? Am I visiting the wrong type of dating portal? Is it just the "incapable of relationships" generation? Did I bring up the subject of compression / lymphedema too quickly?
Hide or deal with it confidently?
Until recently, I was still very unsure about how to confidently wear and accept the compression and I'm still working on it, but should I hide it right away and hope that the partner or date doesn't notice it? Don't recognize them as medical compression stockings? It's not just the stockings! Should I claim that I have migraines or my period if I don't look quite happy, relaxed, or in a bad mood on a painful day? That I don't go to the lymphatic drainage at least once a week, but to the university, to the vet, to work, etc. for the hundredth time. Should I explain to "him" that there may or will be possible restrictions, spa stays, etc.? And so on? Nein!
Compression dating - it takes self-confidence ...
We already have enough to do with our edema, with all the negative aspects and experiences. I don't think dating (which in itself is nerve-wracking) and love should be negatively affected by something as succinct as compression. And also that you should therefore feel less desirable or less beautiful!
And let's be honest ... As if the men who have such a problem with our helping compression (and are usually not models themselves) have no "little problems"?
Maybe you have really bad acne, bad breath or even a chronic illness? Can't handle it and take out your uncertainty on others? I can take off my compression and what do they do with their character?
... and self-acceptance!
But I've also heard and read a lot of positive reports (such as on this blog). Many say that their partners deal with it positively or do not really notice the disease and the compression. A lady who was also affected also told me (thanks again for that!) That I might not be able to accept myself adequately with the lymphedema and compression and that is why I would have had so many negative experiences. The charisma is what counts. The way you see and accept yourself, your compression, the illness. Your environment reacts to this, attracting the "good" kind of man. A natural and uncomplicated way of dealing with the subject of compression and lymphedema.
Admittedly, my toe caps aren't beautiful, but they pretty much belong with me for the rest of my life, so so what?
Hope dies last!
So I just keep dating, gain experience as a single in compression and work on my self-love and self-acceptance. And at some point “the right one” will come who accepts compression and lymphedema as part of me. And if not …
Yes my, as the Bavarian says so beautifully!
Many thanks to Caroline and the Lipedema-Mode team for sharing my experiences and thoughts!
You are doing an amazing job and you contribute so much to this community! From the heart: Thank you!