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"Staying inside the herpes dating pool"

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I want to go out on a limb here and be vulnerable to the community. I know most of you will take this in and handle my authentic heart with care.


I was advised many times in the first weeks/couple months of my diagnosis to "not limit dating options in the future to only H+ partners". The concern, of course, is that we actually enable ourselves to mask the reality of shame, selling ourselves short yet again, and risking not finding genuine compatible love because we're not willing to consider that it could be found outside the H pool.


This makes perfect sense to me. But I want to share genuinely from my heart this latest part of my journey. I decided to begin chatting and getting to know people through a popular STD+ online dating site. At first, I admit, I was engaging in this out of the fear that I would never be able to guarantee a partner that he wouldn't get H from me. By the time I was finding truth and allowing myself to be free of the stigma, I had discovered at least one man who wasn't on the site out of shame OR fear, and I was intrigued.


We started getting to know each other and...well...it's unfolding beautifully! I don't know how to describe what it's becoming yet...Suffice to say that mutual respect, mutual adoration, and shared common goals are laying a foundation for something I believe could be VERY beautiful! So far, we are thoroughly enjoying getting to know each other, and even learning more about H as we journey together. We are feeling VERY blessed that we get this chance to be together. While it's clear we are both looking forward to the possibilities of a future, we also respect each other's independence and goals enough to take it slow and look for the blending of our lives to unfold naturally. We're even learning more about H and the latest research together.


I would NEVER have wanted to stay in the fear or the shame of the stigma. But I have to tell you...it wasn't shame that led me to this amazing man, nor was it shame that led him to me. It was simply an "opportunity" that H provided us. I don't think we would have met were it not for H. The perspective on it we share is that there are many others like us out there...overcoming the stigma to find that we are really strong, amazing individuals with hearts that are fully connected.


I'm thankful for the relationship that is unfolding with this H+ man, and I'm REALLY glad that we met exactly the way we did!


Just thought I'd share that, at least for me, choosing this path has nothing to do with shame...it's simply been the unfolding of what is wonderfully mine...it's my heart! And I'm getting to share it in the most authentic way I know how with a man who feels as lucky to know me as I do to know him!

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That is SUCH good news! And there is nothing wrong with staying inside the pool... for me, I'm on a STD site AND 2 regular sites because I'm ok with a H+ OR H- partner and I feel the STD site gives me more opportunities to meet someone. I met one nice guy on the site but he wasn't in any hurry to get out on a date... even tho he called me months later to tell me his son was nagging him to ask me out...LOL


Anyhow, wherever you find love, it's a beautiful thing. I'll be cheering you on that this is the relationship that you have been looking for :)

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It sounds beautiful to me, Aerial. Tender. Gorgeous. I find my heart going all aflutter as you describe it. ;)


Of course there's nothing inherently bad about going on STD sites! It's really all up to each person's comfort zone and what each of us is ready for when it comes to dating. What are we wanting to open ourselves up to? Dating and seeking relationship is vulnerable enough to begin with! It's good to have options on what temperature pool we're feeling ready to dip ourselves into. ;)


The only reason it may feel like there's such strong (loving) advice/preference in our community toward expanding the pool is because the CHANCES of finding love when the size of the pool is 3% (if everyone who knew they had herpes were on dating sites) vs. 100% is much slimmer. And I would never want someone to feel like they absolutely HAD to self-segregate like that. That hurts my heart, for sure. I self-segregated for years. Then I looked back and realized it was part my own healing process and another part keeping myself wrapped up in shame. Dating in the STD pool can be a very healthy thing to do. If we aren't ready for the big world of dating, it can be a healthy way to get us out there and opening ourselves up to relationship, to feel love and openness again. And it sounds like your experience has been one of healing and taking care of your heart, for sure. :) I'm happy for you, Aerial. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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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Thanks for the encouraging story! I am actually on PS (and MPWH when it existed) but I don't "segregate" myself to that site. I am on two other "mainstream" site as well including POF which is usually just a good source of laughs. ;) I have actually met some really interesting men on PS who are HSV2+ but live far away and I am not interested in a LDR. The pool is indeed shallow locally and honestly most of the guys who are local for me are not compatible.


Sadly, though, I notice plenty of users on PS who spend a LOT of time on that site , posting on their forum, which is not the best use of your time if you are trying to actually date real, local human beings.


My advice is to use positive sites as just one tool for meeting people.

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