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I have herpes. So why would a man choose me?

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when there are so many other willing women who are likely not riddled with herpes? I can't even begin to imagine the throught process that leads someone to say OK I am willing to risk getting a incurable infection that will cause me shame and pain and I have to tell anyone in the future I want to trust and love.


Is that information anywhere? Has anyone asked what they say to themselves?


There is nothing special enough about me for me to ask anyone to take that risk. I am not special enough. Is anybody special enough?

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You ARE special enough!!!! You are giving into some pretty dark thoughts, and they are NOT TRUE.


A man would choose you because he likes you. Because herpes doesn't have to be that big of a deal. Because your other traits far out weight an annoying virus that very VERY rarely develops into anything worse that an annoying skin condtion.


I think about this sometimes, and I immediately force myself to think of reasons I am good. I've even made a short list.


1. I am compassionate

2. I am a total nerd - comic books, Dungeons and Dragons, you name it!

3. I'm driven - done with my undergrad, working in my field, and planning on getting a masters

4. I am easy going

5. I am pretty cute (dat booty!)

6. I have been through some shit (just like everyone else) and have largely become stronger because of it


I want you to respond with 5 things that you like about yourself, or 5 things that you are good at. And none of this "I can't think of any."


One thing that really helps me when I have negative thoughts is to do a thought record. Here is a pretty good example of what one is. http://teenagestressprevention.blogspot.com/2012/03/thought-record-sheet.html I know the site is for teenagers, but writing one of these out is really, REALLY helpful.

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But none of those women are YOU. And YOU are worthy of love and affection, and capable of love and affection. And there are men out there who will see and recognize that as being way more important and valuable than herpes! Honestly, I made this argument to myself a lot BEFORE I knew I had herpes. "I am so average - why would anyone choose me?" And the reason is because everyone has different good characteristics and personality traits, and someone out there will think your combination of those is great and worth celebrating. Regardless of herpes.

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Do not be so hard on yourself. I've asked myself the same question many many times over the last couple years since I've been divorced ... except remove the word herpes and put the word fat. For example:


"Why would a man choose me? when there are so many other willing women who are likely not fat? "


Why??? Because I am f'ing awesome .... and so are YOU!!! In our own ways. Sure, we all may have physical qualities just like the other millions out there - but there is that one "thing" or that way you "smirk" or the way you "look at him" or that "feisty sparkle in your eye" that makes you different than the rest. It's your "way about you" that makes You worth choosing.


Chin up sweetie - please don't let a not-so-great relationship or a herpes diagnosis make you feel unworthy for someone else's love and affection.


You know. The boyfriend that recently dumped me used to tell me something every day that just warmed my heart. It may sound cheesy, but I'd melt every time:


"Has Anyone Told You How Wonderful You Are Today? No? Well, I think you are pretty wonderful"


Don't ever forget you are wonderful, for nothing more than just being you.



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@Anonemess this post hurt my heart to read. No one is perfect. We ALL have flaws. You might think there is nothing special about you but guess what....you're wrong. Just because you have Herpes does NOT mean you are more flawed than someone who doesn't have Herpes. A man will choose you because you will be perfect for HIM. He won't care that you have Herpes. My boyfriend is an amazing person. He tells me all the time there is no one that he would rather be with. He loves me for the person I am. Believe me when I tell you that he could have any woman that he wants. He is brilliant, successful and very handsome. I notice the women looking at him when we go out and in the past it would make me depressed because I thought he would be better off with someone who didn't have this one flaw but then I realized that every single day -he comes home to me. I'm his best friend, the one he trusts, the one he loves and no other woman could possible appreciate and love him the way I do.


My point is: when it's the right ONE he will not care about Herpes.


Please use this forum to the fullest capacity - everyone here is at a different point in their journey with Herpes and we all need the support.


Just a thought but the one thing I believe a man would have a harder time accepting is a woman with low or no self confidence. Be confident in the person you are. You are incredibly brave to even have joined this forum. Start there and little by little you won't even recognize yourself and it will be amazing. You will be stronger, happier, more confident and Herpes won't rule over your life. It's a process. It will take time.


I'm here if you ever need guidance. Take care.

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Everyone has posted some awesome points here. As someone who has struggled with self-esteem issues all her life, I feel I can contribute a bit here too.


It is amazing how accomplishments, both big and small, can boost your self esteem. And, the better you feel about yourself, the less you will worry about someone else wanting you.


There are small things you can do that take little effort, depending upon your personality and present habits. For me, it is keeping my house cleaner (seeing my bed made before I do anything else just makes me feel GOOD), learning to cook different dishes, learn a little about history, etc. These little things make me feel more in control, smarter, more competent, etc.


Also, there are big things you can do that may take a real investment of your time and energy, but once you accomplish them, you'll feel like you can tackle anything. Maybe learn a foreign language, play guitar, get into community theatre, etc.


For me, it was getting fit. After 25 years of no exercise and gaining 100 pounds, at the age of 47, I decided to start running. Crazy, I know! My first goal was to run a 5K. 6 months into the training, I ran and finished a half marathon. Me, who for years was always the fattest girl in the room! I'm not telling you to brag (I was one of sloooooowest), but to let you know how good this made me feel about myself. I felt like hot stuff! LOL Seriously, I felt like I could conquer the world! I didn't have to convince myself, my new sassy attitude came naturally, because I knew that if I could do that, I could do anything I wanted. A girl with that kind of attitude exudes confidence, which is attractive to any man. If you can get to this place, you won't worry about finding a man, because they will just find you.


You sound like a sweet girl that does have a lot to offer. A good man appreciates a good girl, so give yourself some credit. Try to take a deep breath, and just focus on yourself for awhile; your dreams, goals, etc, start working at what makes you feel good. Tke care of your body, take recommended medicine and supplements to cut back on OBs. And before you know it, you will feel better, more confident, and less fear about your romantic future.


xoxoxoxo kimmie

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First, I agree 100% with all the above. And I'll get to that in a moment, but first, this caught my eye:


when there are so many other willing women who are likely not riddled with herpes


Honey.. we are NOT "riddled' with Herpes. To be "riddled" with something is "to fill or pervade" it ... and we are not "full" of Herpes. The vast majority of us have it in a very, very small percentage of our total skin area ... unfortunately its in a pretty inconvenient place, that's all ;)


So - regarding the replies:


Friend, I'm guessing you already didn't believe in yourself before Herpes and now you are buying into the belief that it's the nail in the coffin of all the things you believe to be negative about yourself. A little word of advice here: DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK! ;) Because your brain is having a field day with you and it's winning!


So you said you can think of 10 good things about yourself. So - out with it! What are they?


107+ (there are many discussions that turned into Success Stories that have not been re-categorized!) Success Stories can't be completely wrong!!! There are men out there who are looking for the 10 things you are going to list about yourself who just can't find the woman with THOSE 10 things ... and when HE finds you, there's a good chance he won't let you go.


Make that list. *I* want to see it :)



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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had thoughts that I will probably have to settle for whoever will take me....I can't imagine putting myself at risk unless I thought they were the one if I were h-! But I have a guy friend with hsv2 and he somehow discloses and convinces girls he is only casually dating to still sleep with him! Like all the time! So it makes me wonder whether guys or girls are more understanding of this lol

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I have had thoughts that I will probably have to settle for whoever will take me....


I have found that by raising my standards of whom I date to someone who is emotionally mature, emotionally available and kind I have found a wonderful man I disclosed to recently. His response to me was beautiful. As long as I was settling for men I thought would take me, I was making very poor choices in potential partners.

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@Anonemess, please don't sell yourself short. I have just realized what I truely wonderful man I have in my life for the past year and a half. I just found out I tested positive for type 1 and 2; he was tested and we just found out that he's negative for type 2. We had a long talk about all this and his attitude is we'll stay together. He made it clear that he's not going anywhere. Since my score was low, there's a chance I might have a false positive and I want to be re-tested with the blot test to be sure. He said he doesn't see the reason; nothing will change between us. Let's just get on with our life together. Plus this man was with me when I got my breast cancer diagnosis a few months back. He's really been my rock, although I didn't realize how much until now. I don't think there's anything special about me; except I'm me and that's one-of-a-kind. We're all special in our own way; sometimes it just takes someone else to see it and love us for it. There are good men out there. You'll find the one perfect for you.

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Hi, this post really strikes a nerve in me as I have been trying to overcome the "why would any guy want to be with me if I have an STD" I am still looking for that special guy-but he remains elusive... I totally understand why we think this way. How long does it take to find one decent guy? I am losing hope and sometimes go into my dark place. Overcoming obstacles is the key but I sometimes wonder is it all worth it?

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@Cynthia hit the ball out of the park!!!! Love that reply!!!




How long does it take to find one decent guy?


As long as it takes. And honey, I'm with you here because I'm tired of being alone. But I'd rather be alone and happy than with someone and lonely.... and THAT is where many people on this board have found themselves in the past, because they accepted whoever would accept them WITHOUT herpes!


Go and read the 100+ success stories on here. Pretty much every one says somewhere that because they had to learn to slow down, get to KNOW someone, get to believe that they DESERVED to see them at their most vulnerable, they have found love that they would never have imagined. I'll give you a couple links to start with, but I really suggest that you read as many of their journeys as you can, because the vast majority believed what you do when they came on here. ;)



http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3439/tonight-is-my-night NSgreenville

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3453/proper-vocabulary-i-have-herpes-vs-im-a-carrier-of-hsv blueeyes


And BTW, I'm talking to a H- guy right now that I met online (not sure we will be compatible but this is a relevant conversation nonetheless) ... I have my actual status right on ALL my profiles and I still get plenty of hits from guys btw. Anyway, he said he dated a woman for awhile, and they split for a short while and she got H in the interim .. and he took her back anyway. We talked about it like it was nothing ... just shared experiences like we adults *should* be able to do anyway. THAT is the kind of guy I want in my life .... one who accepts me "warts (or in my case, lesions!) and all. And there are plenty of people out there who are tired of the games, the players, and the jerks and who have realized that if the "perfect" person actually has a few minor imperfections they can live with them, and THAT is the person we want to find.


I am finding more and more that people would be surprised how many people don't even BLINK when I bring up Herpes (either discussing it with potential dates, or talking to people about my Advocacy with herpes, and all kinds of random discussions. In fact, most are GLAD that we talked because most actually realize that they are VERY ignorant about STD facts ;)


The fear, friends, is in YOUR HEADS ... promise. I wish I could find a way to help people to really *get* that. :(

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hi everyone... i understand u a lot @anonemees i think the same all the time.. i dont know i try to think if i am the person without H what ll i do.. and i dont know i think is difficult, very difficult to take the decision, cuz have to think about your health... and OMG is very difficult find the ONE.. probabbly we never find the one cuz we are only think the way to say I HAVE H. maybe only we have to find in people with H.. what is the probabbly to find the ONE in our kind of people with H.. i think is SO HARD think in a couple without H.. i cant imagine the moment that i have to say hey i have H.. i think before i ll have an heartattack

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This is long and anecdotal, but I think it gives a little bit of an idea of what goes through some peoples' heads...


When I was 21 I worked in a health clinic for a little while after college. This was a pretty high end clinic in a very wealthy area (not a free clinic). We saw A LOT of genital herpes. At least a few cases per day. As a H-negative 21 year old who had been with one person (long term relationship) and never even thought about STDs, that was really eye opening. But, I remember telling people that herpes wasn't as big a deal as I thought it was and it wouldn't stop me from dating someone because so many people have it. I also would tell people to shush when they made herpes jokes because it was so common and they never knew whose feelings they could be hurting (in hindsight, maybe they thought I had herpes already back then because I was so outspoken about it...I am not outspoken anymore because having it has made me way less secure).


My friend told me the same thing (that she would date someone with herpes) after she started doing her rotations in medical school and saw how common (AND minor) it was.


Now, I have it, and I feel all the fear everyone else does. I have had (and am still having) a hard time accepting it as part of my life. A lot of this stems from the social stigma but also (and probably more so) from the fact that I didn't have any say whatsoever in whether or not I got it. I was responsible and committed to someone, but he cheated relentlessly and I wound up with this. That sucks, because that's a relationship that did a lot of damage to me emotionally, and I wish I had never had it...not because of the herpes, but because of the guy who treated me badly.


In any case, my point is that as a pretty naive 21 year old, I was able to be open minded about herpes once I saw it in real life and understood what it was. I think that's the point: once people understand what it is, if they care about you as a person and accept you for who they are, they'll consider it as another minor risk that comes with a relationship.


NO relationship comes without risks: heartbreak, betrayal, (unwanted) pregnancy, abuse, mental illness, loss (cancer, accidents, other diseases, etc.) You can do your best to prevent yourself from some of these things, but there's never a 100% chance that none of them will happen, and being in love requires being open to being vulnerable. And love doesn't come around every day, so when it does...isn't that worth the risk?


I don't know how much you've dated but I have dated a lot. I've dated guys who seemed great who turned out to be jerks. I've dated guys who WERE great, who just turned out to be not for me.


I have felt a real, serious, meaningful connection with very few guys (two) and I can tell you that I would have stayed with either of them no matter what they threw at me. One of them was a smoker (life long, had tried to quit many times, never successful) and smoking has always been a way bigger deal breaker for me than herpes ever was. It's not about the herpes, it's about the person.


My last boyfriend (who was one of the two I felt really deeply for) was really uneducated about herpes and made some insensitive jokes before I told him I had it. It was REALLY hard for me to tell him because I already had an idea of his negative feelings toward it. When I did tell him (because I was so crazy about him I had to take the chance) all he felt was sad for me for having gone through that and that it didn't stop him from wanting me (we actually had sex like an hour after I disclosed...and I disclosed in a public place far away from either of our homes to keep things as non-sexual as possible).


Damn...now I'm really missing him :(


Anyway, my point with that story is: he had negative feelings towards herpes (and all STDs), but because of me - the person he was with - he was willing to consider the risk (and I explained everything and answered a lot of questions before we had sex...but the questions came after the initial reaction, which was just to hold me, kiss my head, and reassure me that this would be okay).


Oh, by the way, none of this means that it is easy for me to cope with herpes, to deal with the stigma, or to disclose to anyone that I have it (actually, I am working on this specific issue at the moment). It's hard. Herpes makes things harder and I don't want to pretend it doesn't...but negative self talk and assuming no one will love you because of it is not going to make it easier.

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I am a strong believer that what we feel about ourselves is often reflected in the people we attract into our lives. Your thoughts are powerful and if you allow yourself to believe 'why would anyone choose me' then you are telling yourself that you are not worthy of a loving, great guy... and you might just draw people into your life that confirm everything you already feel inside. This is an opportunity to work through self-limiting beliefs, find love for yourself from the depth of your being and start believing that you are a great catch with so many wonderful qualities to offer, and worthy of great love and an equally amazing partner. No one in the world is exactly like you, there is always something special that you have that no one else can offer. The right guy will recognize and want all of your awesomeness, regardless of any faults or imperfections. Love yourself first, work on changing your thoughts in each moment when negativity creeps in, and soon, day by day, you will come to believe that you are special and worthy of the most wonderful man. Few quotes to add:


'If we want to be able to move through the difficult disappointments, the hurt feelings, and the heartbreaks that are inevitable in a fully lived life, we can't equate defeat with being unworthy of love, life and joy.' Brene Brown.


'Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.' Saint Augustine.


"As you peel it back, in the heart of nothing, that is love. You are what you are seeking. Life is a set up so that each of us can actually see in ourselves the truth for ourselves. What gets taken away are all the exterior means we thought we wanted love to come to us. You have the choice to notice the perfect set up to see love is exactly what you are." Adyashanti

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I know these feelings you speak of, I feel them too! You are certainly not alone in that. I feel like I started off super positive after my diagnosis.. I made a pact with myself to not let this rule my life.. And 3 months and 3 OBs later, I seem to have lost that resolution and I just feel lost, scared, confused and alone. I fear that I will suffer from terrible OBs constantly and that I will be alone forever. Like you said, why in the world would anyone want to be with me when they can have someone that doesn't have H?? The future is scary and I do not feel excited about life like I used to be. I've always been a pretty positive person and this has certainly affected me in that department. Even though I know i have so much to be thankful for, and that things could really be so much worse, I still struggle getting out of bed some days. All we can do is take this thing day by day and try to remain thankful for the many positive things we have in our lives: children, family, friends, jobs, etc. If you haven't yet, watch the videos dancer posted! They are wonderful and brought tears to my eyes. The advice on this forum is great! I agree with everyone else and am trying to take to heart all of the advice myself! Some days are easier than others, but I am trying to remain hopeful that it does get better as time goes on!

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That was a beautiful post @sickoflifelessons. Thank you for taking the time to share all that. I think you hit the nail on the head with


Now, I have it, and I feel all the fear everyone else does. I have had (and am still having) a hard time accepting it as part of my life. A lot of this stems from the social stigma but also (and probably more so) from the fact that I didn't have any say whatsoever in whether or not I got it. I was responsible and committed to someone, but he cheated relentlessly and I wound up with this. That sucks, because that's a relationship that did a lot of damage to me emotionally, and I wish I had never had it...not because of the herpes, but because of the guy who treated me badly.


You need to post the story of your disclosure followed by sex one hour later in the success stories section, I love that! I know you're in a dark place now but I hope you'll treat yourself with as much open-minded loving compassion as your treated your patients at the clinic!

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Hi, great discussions on this topic! I hear what everyone is saying but I'm still stuck in my dark space... it's tough to still be alone and wanting more. I wonder when will this end and when will I feel really happy again? I'm losing hope every day -:)

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