Many people who have been diagnosed with genital herpes often feel alone, as if their prospects for dating are non-existent and as if they will never find love. There is a very unfair social stigma surrounding genital herpes even though it comes from the same virus as oral herpes, and nobody was ever turned down for a date because they once had a cold sore! With a little preparation and a few resources, it is just as easy to date with herpes.
Millions of people are diagnosed every day and learning how to date with herpes. You are far from alone! This guide will tell you everything that you need to know about the herpes simplex virus and how to date when you have herpes.
General Facts About Genital Herpes
According to The Center for Disease Control, one of out every six people aged 19-47 have genital herpes. Many of them don’t even know it, which is why it is so important to get tested regularly for this very common sexually transmitted infection.
Practicing safe sex through the regular use of condoms and avoiding skin to skin interaction with infected people can substantially decrease your risk of contracting genital herpes, or passing along the infection if you have it.
People with genital herpes are not more promiscuous than those who don’t have it, tainted in any way, or unfit sex or romantic partners. They are also not constantly having outbreaks. One of the major myths about genital herpes is that infected people always have symptoms. The herpes virus often goes dormant for months or years at a time. Some people only have one outbreak in their lives! If you have been diagnosed with herpes know that a significant minority of the world is also in your position. There is nothing to be ashamed of and no reason why you can’t keep living your best life.
Disclosing Genital Herpes To Your Partners
Often the prospect of telling a romantic partner is one of the most nightmarish parts about dating with herpes. There is still such an unfair social stigma about genital herpes, despite the fact that it is very prevalent, and that can make people feel ashamed or anxious about disclosing their STD status.
The sheer number of people who have genital herpes should make the process easier, but that horrible stigma sometimes makes us feel one in a million. Here are some tips and tricks for discussing genital herpes with your romantic or sexual partner or partners. If you date with herpes, you should keep these in mind!
- Be prepared with all of the facts such as statistics from the CDC such as transmission rates and frequency of outbreaks.
- Try not to be too ashamed. Genital herpes impacts a large minority of the population, so you are not alone.
- Invite questions and answer them transparently.
- Be prepared for rejection. Although people who have genital herpes are not rejected as often by their romantic partners as they fear, there is still the possibility.
Also, if your partner asks for a little bit of space or time to be able to process the diagnosis, give it to them. Let them know that you’re available to talk when they are. Even if the disclosure goes badly, remember, you are far from alone and the paranoia surrounding genital herpes is one of the most overblown panics in the world. Nobody has ever gotten seriously ill or died because they were infected with genital herpes. Generally, the disease manifests itself in one or more small outbreaks and goes dormant in the body. Knowing these facts should give you the courage to approach your partner with your STD status.
How To Deal With Rejection
Romantic rejection is a reality that anyone who is dating has to deal with, but it’s even more common when dating with herpes. Unfortunately, some people have bought into the mythology that genital herpes is one of the worst things in the world that anyone could contract. When someone is trying to date with genital herpes they might be told that they’re unwanted, dirty or unfit for a romantic relationship. None of those things are true, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t sting a little bit.
When we are diagnosed with an STD we can feel totally alone. One of the best ways to feel normal and whole again is to lean on a support system. The STD Project, whose mission is to break the stigma of sexually transmitted infections, compiled a list of support groups for people who have genital herpes. Simply attending one of these meetings will reinforce the knowledge that you are not alone in the world.
Know that the stats are changing
Even though STDs are still a dealbreaker for many people, more and more are coming around to the understanding that they are not as bad as they seem. STDs are becoming less of a factor as people become more educated and aware. Even if your STD status was a problem for potential partners in the past, it might not be in the future. It’s important to understand that not everyone will treat you the way that the person who rejected you did.
Dating Options For People With Genital Herpes
If you don’t want to have a conversation about your STD status with a partner who might reject you or ask uncomfortable questions, there is a way to bypass that altogether by simply dating people on STD positive dating websites.
These websites are a safe and non-judgemental place for people looking to date with herpes. All of the people on these sites have tested positive for genital herpes, so there is no need to disclose your STD status. Even better, many of these websites have forums where new members can find support and help if they need it.
Those who have successfully tried these services say that they have found both romance and a great sense of community with others like them. Being diagnosed with genital herpes, or any other STD can make us feel alone, unwanted and unlovable. These dating sites prove that a diagnosis is not the end of the world and that there are plenty of people out there just like us.
Living A Full Life With Genital Herpes
Although genital herpes has been unfairly thought of as the STD boogeyman for a long time, this impression is changing rapidly as people become more educated and aware of exactly what genital herpes is.
With treatment many people can go symptom free for months or years at a time. They avoid painful outbreaks and also limit the likelihood of infecting others. That’s especially important for those who are looking to date with herpes.
As time goes on it will become easier to disclose your genital herpes status with potential partners. You’ll be able to answer questions more easily, deal with rejection and be more confident in yourself. You will come to terms with your genital herpes and understand that it is only a small part of what makes you unique and wonderful. There will come a time when genital herpes no longer defines your life.
There are plenty of people out there who are living full lives with genital herpes. Genital herpes is not fatal and it does not cause any long-term health problems. It is merely an inconvenience that sometimes flares up.
A gential herpes diagnosis can feel like the end of the world, but it really does not have to be! There are plenty of people who find romance, sex, and love after being diagnosed with genital herpes.