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Rere-entering dating world

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So I’m on the second round of a dating wave since being diagnosed. The first wave I met ppl who seemed to be ok with my status but eventually ended things. Nothing was ever serious but it felt like my status was the nail in the coffin. My nail in my coffin to stop dating was disclosing to someone TOO soon. I entered a deep depression and isolated and contemplated suicide for the second time since being diagnosed because that rejection just felt like it was my endless fate in dating. I slowly came out of that and started working on myself and felt ok to get back out into dating ironically as a way to distract myself from being hurt by past rejections. So that leads me to where I’m at now which is I have a date next week and I’ve turned from anxious to avoidant because of my fear and anxiety. My trauma brain is fighting my logical brain. This guy isn’t my usual type as my usual type (even tho I don’t have one really but they all had an “a-hole hot” look to them and this new guy looks like a Ken doll and like he’s had the perfect life. Previous guys tended to be guys who had some sort of ‘darkness’ to them too since I’m that way too especially with my own trauma. I’m afraid I’m too dark for this new guy and that he doesn’t have enough pain for me to relate to. I might be mentally rejecting him already to self sabotage and save myself from future pain. And maybe I was attracted to guys who weren’t good for me because they were familiar. They were unavailable in one way or another and that chase felt more thrilling because it activated my trauma. But this new guy is the opposite of previous guys because he’s so available and communicative. So someone who comes across as “safe” is scary. So I’m just scared. I’ve told myself to use dating right now as practice to go slow but I’m getting frozen instead. Reading some of these posts have made me cry because it reminds me of the pain we’ve all felt/maybe some still feel. And it makes me want to curl up into a depression ball all over again instead of facing the big scary dating world which has been made scarier because of this diagnosis. 
Some people have said to find someone else who has this diagnosis to make things easier but how does one even figure that out? aside from the anonymous single folk here. 
The dating world these days is so hard to navigate and kudos to your veterans who are in relationships/married. 
Finding someone to date is hard enough and to accept this diagnosis feels like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

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Hey @Missannthrope45,

Congrats on re-re-entering the dating world! And getting back into dating after being diagnosed can feel super scary. I hear you. It’s like you’re stepping back into the ring after being knocked down! But here’s the thing: Having herpes doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards. Actually, it means you get to RAISE them. Because now, you're looking for something real. A person who can’t handle your diagnosis isn’t someone you'd want long-term anyway. It’s like a filter and a chastity belt wrapped into one; it can help in finding genuine connections that you can trust (since you only disclose and want to have sex with people you can trust with your vulnerability).

And yeah, the idea of finding someone else with herpes might seem like it’d make things easier, but really, it’s all about finding someone who gets you — virus or not. In fact, herpes-only dating is pre-rejecting yourself and makes your dating pool much, much smaller than you could ever imagine. Read this article for more on that (specifically this part on pre-rejection): https://www.herpesopportunity.com/post/herpes-dating-sites#:~:text=Herpes-only dating as pre-rejection

So yes, the whole dating game is tough, no doubt. But having herpes doesn't necessarily make it harder or easier. It just tends to bring more authenticity and realness into the preliminary conversations. It can actually be a great magnet in both directions: Magnetizing authentic and real connections, and repelling those who truly aren't meant for you. Keep your chin up, don't take it personally (easier said than done, I get it), take it slow, and remember: You’re looking for that needle in the haystack that makes all this worth it.

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This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Curious, when did you disclose? I’m learning all I can before getting back out there myself.

As far as dating someone with herpes, I was quite shocked by my experience at an HSV dating site. I have never been treated so callously, so rudely, by straight up predators and basically sewer rats in my life. To look me in the eyes and lie to my face “Oh yeah, I’m looking for a relationship!” And then ghost me when I won’t sleep with someone on a second date, or cancel my membership because we’ve texted for 2 weeks now, etc. There’s so few people on there, coupled with the damaged mindset of some of us entering there, they can practically get away with ANYTHING. Please get your mindset right before going there.

I saw the light when a good friend who knows about my HSV2 and my recent dating disasters drug me to a biker rally. My friend was pointing out the scads of men falling all over themselves talking to me. And they were polite! It renewed my self worth, and I tried looking at herpes only dating again but the rose tinted glasses were gone…those people were treating me like I was a second class citizen when in fact they were beneath me.

As scary as disclosure is, I’ve done it twice since my diagnosis and had positive results. Neither guy is a long term fit, but both still contact me and we’re on good terms whenever I’m in the area. So, I feel some hope for the future.

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Hey @Missannthrope45, I totally hear you on the HSV dating site experience; that sounds super icky. It's so important to approach any dating scene with a solid mindset and expectations. To answer your question about disclosing, I waited a few dates or about a month before I disclosed to the woman who is now my wife and the mother of our 7-year-old boy. It gave us time to connect and build a level of trust and understanding before having that conversation. (But she had already googled my name and found H Opp, so turns out she already knew, and was curious about how I would disclose!) 😝 It was an amazing, beautiful day, and it opened our relationship up to a deeper level. Your experiences with disclosing and getting positive responses are really encouraging! It shows that there are absolutely plenty of understanding people out there who value honesty and connection over a diagnosis. Thanks for sharing your perspective and experiences; it adds so much value to this community.

This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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