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How/when did you start dating again after your diagnosis?

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First off, I should add that 2 years after a possible exposure I remain negative via every test I’ve ever taken. However if I tested positive it would explain a lot of what’s going on with me. 

I'm 37 and I have been wondering if/when I’ll ever be able to date again. I’m paranoid about my neurological discomfort, things like burning lips and achy groins etc. It’s not like that all the time, but when it flares up it’s very worrying. 

I have been scared that this person took from me my option to settle down and have kids. Those who were in a a similar boat, how did you climb out, assuming you did?

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Hey there, @NerdP423

First off, it's great to hear you've tested negative so far. But I understand the worry with your symptoms. Have you taken the Western Blot test? It's the gold standard for herpes blood tests and might give you more clarity. Over time, neurological symptoms like that do tend to die down as your body gets more and more of a handle on the virus. 

As for dating, I totally get the fear! On one level it's completely unnecessary because this is just a simple skin condition after all, while on the other hand, it's completely understandable thanks to this wicket stigma that's floating out there. I actually went through a phase where I thought I’d never date again; I even got suicidal about it! But thankfully I shook myself free of that mindset over time, thanks to great family, friends, a great support group, practicing a positive mindset, and enacting that mindset in reality so I could prove to myself that the stigma is unfounded if I don't believe the hype myself. And asking about a timeline can be deceiving — it can happen quicker than you think, sometimes just with a shift in perspective. In a moment.

Feeling like someone robbed you of your future just isn’t true. Dating with herpes can actually be a great way to filter out the shallow connections and find someone truly authentic. It forces honesty and vulnerability from the start, which can build a stronger foundation.

How have you been coping so far? Have you found anything that helps ease your symptoms or worry?

Sending you oodles o' positive vibes!

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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Hey man, thanks for the response. Your experience has been echoing mine for sure. I can tell you that I definitely feel better than I did even a year ago, although I am still not in a great spot. 

I’ve actually taken the Blot twice, negative for both strains both times I took it. This all started in 2022, and I took both blots in 2022. I was thinking of taking a third one this year now that it’s been two years. 

My mental issues stem from the physical ones - every time I feel a weird neurological feeling (like a chill, burn, or something like that) my anxiety shoots up. I am seeing a neurologist about it and she has asked me to take gabapentin consistently and see how I feel after a month.

The funny thing is, I had a pretty good awareness of how common HSV is before any of this ever happened to me. I’d once heard that 80% of American adults have it, so I assumed I did. (There’s a lot more to those numbers of course - strain, location, etc.)

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