Herpes And Dating, 7 Things You Need To Know
What You Need To Know When Dating With Herpes
I get it, you were either just diagnosed with having herpes and you feel like your whole world is up in the air or you just broke up and now you are back in the dating game. Regardless, it is scary and now adding herpes to the dating game is a whole new animal. I can remember when I was first on the market after finding out about my diagnosis. I already had herpes for about 2 years before I had broken up with my ex and decided to get out there. All of the emotions ran through my head; will someone love me, Will someone even want to touch me, will I give it to someone, maybe he will have it too, how do I even begin to disclose. Sound normal? What I realized is we put so much emphasis on herpes. I decided to take herpes out of the equation and go for it. At the end of the day what is the worst that can happen? They say that they are really not into you and you move on. I can remember I had a family friend tell me, “Alexandra dating is like the city bus, there is always another one on its way.” Its funny but if you think about it it’s kind of true. When I look back at my dating days and deciding to date with herpes here’s what I learned…
1. What is it you want?
Really look at yourself and answer this question. Think to yourself, am I looking for a long-term relationship or is it something casual or maybe I really don’t want to date at all I am just filling a void. Have a clear idea of what you are after and what you want in return. Knowing ahead of time can even make it easier to “have the talk”.
2. Talking about sex is already scary, now you have to add that you have herpes to the talk.
Naturally, when the word sex is used we all turn into little kids. We giggle, laugh, get shy, raise our eyebrows, or even feel shameful for talking about it. Sex especially herpes is not something we were educated in to have a productive, adult like, or normal talk. Even if you did not have to disclose you have herpes, having the sex talk would either never happen or it would be really uncomfortable.
3. You don’t have to have sex to date.
Maybe this is an ah-ha moment. A lot of times when we use the word “dating” we assume that sex is involved. Well, there is no reason why sex has to be involved unless in case you want it to. I dated many many many men and never slept with them. Therefore, I never had to disclose to them that I had herpes. It was kind of a breath of fresh air to go on dates and meet different guys and learn what I liked or didn't like. The beauty was I got to have fun without having to disclose my little secret or even let the sex complicate it.
4. It’s up to you to decide when you want to disclose and yes you have to tell them!
Some people disclose asap and some disclose months down the road, it’s totally up to you and every personality is different. If you really don’t give a F*%k about the outcome then you will most likely tell them early and get that out of the way. Or sometimes people just want to lay it all out on the table to weed out prospects. Other’s want to take there time and see if they really like them and see if they want to do with the relationship. It’s totally up to you and there is no time limit on when you have to tell them. However, you do have to tell them if you are going to expose them to it. If you are ready to take your relationship to the next level then yes, you absolutely need to tell them.
5. It’s 100% up to you to decide when you want to have sex.
Similar to it’s up to you when you want to tell them and up to you if you want to sleep with them but most importantly it’s up to you to decide when. There is no set time frame for when you should be sleeping together. Forget the old “3 date rule” or we have to say the “I love you’s.” None of this matters. You and your partner can decide when the relationship can go to the next level. There is no reason to feel pressured and if you do then perhaps you need to reassess the relationship.
6. Understand your worth.
Don’t settle for any reason but especially because you have herpes. Herpes has zero reason for you to lower your standards, desires or dreams. DOn’t let someone tell you otherwise or make you feel less of a person because you have herpes. You are in no way a second-class citizen.
7. Just because you have herpes does not mean your partner will get it too.
The good news is that just because you have herpes doesn’t mean your partner will get it. There are other episodes (here & here) on this if you want to dive deeper but by communicating and using precautionary methods you can really lower the risk of transmitting it. When using condoms and antivirals you can really cut down the chance of transmission. So make sure you let your partner know that it is not a for sure thing but they need to be aware of the risk.