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How do you deal with herpes rejection and a broken heart?

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I found out I had herpes on Oct 8th of this year. I had been dating a really amazing guy at the time. He is intelligent, good looking, has a great sense of humor, and is the best cook I've ever met. We were having so much fun and then this happened. I don't know if it would have lasted long term, but to end this abruptly and the way it did really hurt. I had fallen in love with him.


I had to tell him about the diagnosis because it was the responsible thing to do and I was kind of confused as to where I got it. At first, I thought I had got it from him, because I never noticed symptoms before. I may have had other symptoms, but I never thought it was herpes.


He and my last partner were negative for herpes, so I must have had it for a while unknowingly. Anyway, when I told him he was shocked and then said that we would talk soon after telling him and a short conversation. He said at first that other couples found ways to deal with herpes. He said that he didn't regret being with me. Then he sends me a one sentence email a week later that he tested negative. And that was it.


I emailed him and said I understood if he didn't want to talk to me anymore (which I really didn't). He said he did want to talk to me again, but needed time. He has never contacted me and it has been almost 2 months. He is really busy with grad school and stuff, but still. I guess what hurt most is the cold way this ended. I wouldn't have totally rejected someone that way. Even if I didn't want a physical relationship, I would have still tried to be friends. And if I was falling in love with someone (like he said he was with me), I would have learned about it and tried to continue a relationship.


Thinking back on it, he was always prioritizing school over me, but that was something I was willing to deal with to be with him. We could have many more good times. He even said that to me, that he wants many more good times with me. It's been too months and I want to cry every day when I get reminders of him. It's sometimes even hard to concentrate at work. I don't think it's good if I contact him again because if he were interested, he would have called or emailed me by now. I have never chased anyone if they aren't interested.


Are there any things I can do to get over this? What are they? Should I get rid of all the reminders? When he moved for school, I got some of his furniture for my apartment. I don't want to get rid of it because I actually need it. I'm trying to save money and am going to be moving in 10 months to a new state. I just want my heart to heal and I don't ever want this to happen again. This has been one of the most painful experiences in my whole life.

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Heya Joyus,


Big hug going out to your hurting heart. Maybe it doesn't help for you to see yourself as being rejected? I don't personally like to use the word rejection because it automatically smacks of something in me being inadequate and wrong. It sounds like he's drifting away from you. This doesn't make you bad, unwanted, unlovable. You may get that on a conscious level, but I also want your unconscious/subconscious to hear that, too. You are still all of those wonderful things that you know yourself to be. I get that it hurts, but notice if you're making his lack of contact totally about you. I get that you care about him. I feel that well-known ache of missing and melancholy when I read what you write about how you feel about this man. What would have you not reach out one last time — without being attached to the result — to tell him how you feel about him and what you want? Worst case scenario he says straight up that it's not something he wants to pursue with you. Best case scenario he's reminded of all those feelings deep down that he does have for you. Either you get closure and are able to move on with that chapter closed or you get a new openness with bringing your heart and what you want. And it's risky. But I personally prefer to have a cut and dry experience vs. hanging in the murky grey zone. It sounds like it's more painful for you to be hanging out in this no-man's-land.


P.S. And the short answer on how to get over this and make it through it? Love yourself. Accept yourself. Practice this daily. Moment by moment. That's what it's all about.


... and here's a conversation I had with a few other community members here about rejection. Give it a listen!


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My heart goes out to you. Rejection is painful no matter what the circumstances.


But luckily in this case, you are the one who needs to do the rejecting.. cos' this guy is definitely not worth your time or thoughts. The people who are worth keeping around are those that help you get your ass up from the floor when life kicks your butt....not just get up but also help you show life who's boss and throw in a few punches for you. Any partner who does not have the heart and time to support you when you really need it is a selfish douche. So he is not worth it...and you need to dump this man. Pronto!


And you are already moving in the right direction. To recognize that you want things to change is the first step and you have already taken it.


The thing that always helps me is to observe myself whenever I have a negative thought and to snap out of it immediately. I have always been pretty positive but before cultivating this habit I would often enjoy going down a negative spiral (I still do occasionally)...there is much pleasure to be had from doomsday scenarios...complete chaos were everything goes wrong...cancer, AIDS, herpes, wrongful imprisonment (this for some reason is a favorite of mine), a life without love or sex...rejection..nobody loves me...I am not good enough..aaah the glorious possibilities of a negative spiral...


But the truth is that while its ok to indulge in these dark fantasies once in a while..none of it is true.. The only truth is that you have herpes. The rest is all under your control. You CAN choose to be whoever, whatever, wherever you want to be. You CAN choose how you want to feel...even on the shittiest of days. And being positive is just a habit you need to cultivate, one thought at a time. I know its easy to write this but hard to practice, but trust me..it will get better with time. And it all starts from a place of loving yourself. You are a beautiful, wonderful and complete human being.


So I have three words for you... Treat Yo Self.


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Remember, even people without Herpes have to deal with rejection. H+ just did you a favor and showed you this guys true colors. Be thankful. It sounds like you were already to a point where some kind of connection was established. It's not like you were in the first few weeks and he had no real attachment to you yet. So if he walked that easily, I'd question if he would be there during other difficult times.


There are some really good studies on Rejection that might help you understand your pain. (See below). Rejection causes a real PHYSICAL response - interestingly, you will remember (and actually FEEL) the pain of past rejections better than you will remember and "feel" the pain of things like childbirth or major surgery years after the events.




There are also really great articles online about dealing with rejection/moving on. Some people create a "ceremony" where they celebrate moving on (you can burn his photo as part of that if it helps...LOL!), some take on a new hobby, others get right back in the dating scene (NOT recommended but pretty normal). You have to find your path.


"I just want my heart to heal and I don't ever want this to happen again. This has been one of the most painful experiences in my whole life."


Hate to say it but every time we start a new relationship, we risk rejection and the subsequent pain that goes with that. For me, it got easier after my first real crushing break-up ... because I knew I survived that and so anything else would be a cake walk (well, it's not been THAT easy, but it HAS been easier!) ...


Be gentle with yourself. Take long bubble baths (put on UPLIFTING music - not love songs!), get together with friends, volunteer at an animal shelter. Just be good to you and keep busy. I promise it WILL get better :)



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