Nowadays, we have access to everything and everyone on social media. We are bombarded with images of men and women with perfect physiques, portraying that they live perfect lives.
Mental health problems are more damaging to the younger population than we know. I was a victim of this, and my dating life was horrible.
In this article, I will talk about the impact of pectus excavatum on your dating life.
DATING WITH A SUNKEN CHEST CAN BE DEMOTIVATING
When we talk about dating and socializing with pectus excavatum, we need to focus on the mental health problems the deformity can cause. I can confidently say that our appearance problems begin when we become more conscious of our life.
We are introduced to dating when we transition from being carefree kids to teenagers. We start becoming attracted to other people.
It intensifies in puberty and continues to last in your adolescent life. That is the time in your life when you start to analyze and find imperfections in your body.
You start to think about how others, especially people from the opposite sex, perceive you. A hole in your chest can affect your body image a lot.
You will begin to lose confidence and think that your deformity can stop you from your date or love life. Fighting these kinds of thoughts is very tough. It can last for years.
Perhaps wasting some years working on yourself is better than many failed dates that will ruin your self-esteem.
If you don’t feel comfortable in your skin, there is no way for others to make you feel confident. You are your most significant friend and enemy at the same time.
BUILD A STRONG EMOTIONAL BOND
Pectus excavatum can affect your love life only If you give power to the negative thought! If you are a male with pectus excavatum and start dating someone with whom you can build trust and a strong connection, the deformity shouldn’t be a problem.
Always remember to find someone who loves you truly and has affection for you, not only because of your body but for your complete being. When you feel accepted for who you are, you will stop thinking about your problem.
If you can’t control your low self-esteem, I suggest you first build a good connection with your date. With excellent communication, everything is possible.
With time you can share your problem with your lover when you feel that you can trust them. I am sure that 99% of girls will not have a problem with your deformity.
A few weeks ago, I did a quick survey. I showed pictures of guys with pectus excavatum to girls I am friends with. I asked them if having a boyfriend with a deformity would be a massive issue for them.
They answered that if the guy is a nice person, funny and caring, they wouldn’t mind the sunken chest problem. If they could build a strong connection with him, then overall body image, not just pectus excavatum, is not a problem.
I also explained to them that you could fix the deformity without surgery. Many women were incredibly supportive and said they would love to help them through their repair.
The only difficulty girls emphasized was the fear that they might somehow hurt them during lovemaking. It is normal to feel that way because of the delicate-looking chest appearance.
MAKE FUN OF IT
Some people with sunken chests do not consider that a big problem. In my experience helping clients, the guys we’re comfortable with the way their bodies look didn’t have any difficulties dating.
Some of them are very charismatic and even make jokes about their indentation. That’s what women are attracted to the most.
How a sufferer looks at his deformity varies on many factors, including the visibility of the deformation, age, social support, and personal characteristics such as social skills, values, and competency.
Their coping with the deformity was shaped by their self-concept and values. Individuals with high self-images could cope with their deformities much more effectively than those who suffered from low self-esteem.
Individuals who value appearance over everything else are more prone to suffer from self-esteem problems than those who prioritize other unique values, strengths, and talents.
I can confidently say that deformity severity and visibility are less critical than other factors. On Reddit, hundreds of people regularly post pictures of their chests, asking how severe their deformity is.
However, their chest appears completely normal. The indentation is barely visible. Also, I’ve seen some of the people I try to help with 3 cm chest indentations being far more confident than most people I’ve met in my lifetime.
Complete individuals with high self-concepts, who give meaning to aspects other than physical attractiveness, can cope with anything negative that comes their way.
Suppose you have judgemental people in your circle who view physical perfection as a priority. In that case, they are unlikely to accept you well.
Always choose someone who values qualities such as intelligence, creativity, humor, athletic ability, or any unique thing about you.
In that case, you will likely have an easier time when you begin dating more frequently. Your mind won’t be flooded with negative thoughts about your date.
You will go on a date, thinking that you’ll have a good time, which will increase your chances of having a great date, which leads to beautiful things in your life.
DOES THIS APPLY TO WOMEN?
The same applies if you’re a girl with pectus excavatum. However, I think things are easier for women because their deformity is less visible than for men.
The chest indentation will not be visible if you wear a proper bra and clothes. I also asked my male friends what they think of girls with pectus excavatum.
Their answer was very similar to what women had to say about males. Self-confident women are the finest type of women!
Never forget that you have power in your spirit and your being. Do not let your body image define you as a person.
Also, I suggest always being with someone who will respect you and motivate you to be your best version possible.
USE DATING FOR MOTIVATION
Let the deformity be the motivation for your date! If you have at least one successful date, your confidence will go through the roof the next time. Most self-esteem issues are because of body perception.
Consistent exercising will help you build confidence by improving your body image. While working out, you are strengthening and toning your body.
Noticing physical improvement will boost your self-esteem and make you feel better about your appearance.
A physical deformity affects many aspects of an individual’s daily life, including social and emotional well-being.
Suppose you continue to believe that you are not enough to have an everyday dating life. In that case, it will negatively affect your perceptions and social interactions.
This way of thinking leaves a person at higher risk for diminished self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, even for a lifetime. These thoughts include feelings of embarrassment, social difficulties, anxiety, and depression.
However, working on yourself can solve your problems and enable you to deal with physical deformities.
Most of the population with pectus excavatum is always at risk for developing social issues, beginning in their teenage years. They are prone to unsuccessful interactions, social anxiety, and social withdrawal.
Remember that we are much more than body image. Always have positive and supportive people by your side. Learn communication and improve yourself every day.
Do not let one unsuccessful date ruin your self-esteem. By improving regularly, while feeling good in your body and mind, you will be an amazing boyfriend/girlfriend.
You will have a positive aura around you, which will amaze and motivate the people in your surroundings. Learn to use your chest deformity in a charming, humorous, and positive.
- The complicated truth about social media and body image – BBC Future [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 3]. Available from: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190311-how-social-media-affects-body-image
- Jurewicz I. Mental health in young adults and adolescents – supporting general
physicians to provide holistic care. Clin Med (Lond). 2015 Apr;15(2):151–4.