I recently received a question from a reader about how HH impacts my dating life.
Well, from my previous entries, you all know I’ve been in a long term relationship for a while.
My boyfriend’s name is Francis and we have been together for 4 years. We were long distance for a while, but now we are happily in the same city- New York City!
Although my boyfriend and I are now very comfortable with each other, my HH still plays a big part in our relationship. Just the other night, I asked him again (for the umpteenth time): “Are you sure my hands don’t bother you? “It’s not gross when I touch you?”
Thankfully, Francis has always been fine with my HH. I am lucky to have found him!
Other than the physical aspect of HH, he understands when I get very frustrated and emotional due to HH limitations. I try to be calm, but sometimes I can’t help it. He talks me through it or gives me a hug.
Francis is also very supportive about my goal to help others like me with HH. He encourages me to blog and to talk to people. It feels really good to trust that Francis isn’t grossed out by my HH and he is someone I confide in all the time.
We don’t let HH limit our relationship. We go out, stay in, watch movies, go to dinner…we are a pretty normal couple. If we’re talking about HH, it’s usually about ideas for my blog or ideas for future non-profit organizations for people with HH. We don’t like to let HH bring us down, although it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.
My advice to you is: Don’t settle. There is a guy or girl out there who will be accepting of your HH and you deserve to have that person.
And you never know- that person may just have HH themselves. Or a version of it.
I will go out on a limb and say that Francis has secondary HH. Secondary Hyperhidrosis is different from mine (primary) because it is caused by something. For example: taking certain medications, being overweight and/or having other medical conditions can cause overactive sweating. Francis’ cause happens to be spicy food.
The first time I noticed the sweating was when we ate chicken wings together at a dining hall on our college campus. His forehead had broken out in a sweat and had started dripping. The back of his shirt was starting to get wet.
I felt more comfortable mentioning the sweating because of my own condition, and Francis told me that it always happened to him when he ate spicy food.
Since then, this has been a normal and frequent occurrence. We both really like Thai food, and sometimes it can get spicy. He will sweat right there in the restaurant, and sweat way more than me! His forehead will sometimes get really sweaty and he has to go through a bunch of napkins to mop it up.
I have never had a problem with spicy foods and sweating, so I don’t really understand that aspect of overactive sweating. However, I know that Francis has a much better idea of my HH through these experiences.
I recently asked him if he made social decisions based on his spicy food sweating episodes. He said that he probably wouldn’t eat anything really spicy out in public, but it doesn’t bother him too much if he sweats just a little bit since he really likes spicy food.This is similar to people who suffer from primary HH because we make social decisions based on our HH all the time.
Francis did not know what HH was before he met me. I didn’t know he had sweating tendencies when eating spicy food. Since we started dating, I have slowly taught him what it means to live with HH. I know he still learns new ways I am limited by the condition, but he has a much better sense of what my life has been like.
If it’s any reassurance for the future, I notice that my sweating has decreased when around Francis because I am now more comfortable and relaxed around him. Dating always made me nervous, and nerves will create more sweat.
Don’t hide your HH. If it comes up, talk about it. HH is a big part of your life and a big part of who you are, whether you like it or not. The right person for you is going to love you for everything you are.
All my best,