Do Scars Make Her Ugly?

Q: My boyfriend and I have been dating for three months. We have wonderful chemistry, and he has gently indicated that he'd like us to be more physically intimate with one another. I have the same feelings, but am nervous because I have several large scars from some childhood surgeries. I know it's only a matter of time before I have to reveal my past, but I have always felt self-conscious about this and have never found the right words to tell my story without the fear that someone will find me ugly. — Stephanie, 38

Dr. Susan: Too bad childhood surgical scars on a woman aren't always seen to be on a par with war wounds on a guy. The thing is, when someone loves you, or is at least physically attracted to you, those surgical scars aren't going to be a deal-breaker. They just aren't. While a pimple on your nose can feel like the end of the world during adolescence, things fall more into perspective later on.

Tell your boyfriend right now that you're hesitant to get naked due to some big old scars. Men have been able to handle all kinds of physical imperfections on women they enjoy being with, and that includes defects much greater than skin scarring. I suggest you take this as a challenge to your and his communication abilities. When you say, "I need to tell you something. . . ," he's going to be relieved it's only something relatively minor.

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