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Dating and disclosing with Herpes

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I know many people have touched on this topic but I just wanted to share my experience in hopes of helping someone recently diagnosed that may feel they will never be able to date again. There is hope :)


I contracted herpes in November, and since then my life has been a complete rollercoaster. Some days I feel like I have it all together and other days I feel like I will never be able to shake this, but that's life and we all have our good and bad days. It just seems magnified when you have H lol. My love life was abit on the hectic side, my feelings still swayed towards my giver, but I was in the process of trying to rediscover who I am, so I didn't really expect things between us to work out, and for good reason cause it didn't.


I had always kept online dating profiles active, just in case I ever get bored and curious as to what's around me, so I logged back in to check out the fresh meat and hopefully find someone with good conversation. I was overwhelmed by all the messages I got, many of them handsome, successful, ambitious and in good health. I started to feel that sense of fear as the messages became more personal and detailed. I knew at some point I would have to disclose, because I had 4 men who were eager to meet me and take me on dates.


Instead of freaking out about their reactions, I came out about it as honest and humbled as I possibly could. I wish I could post the screenshot from one of the messages, where a guy asked for my number and before we passed that threshold I told him that I have HSV2. His exact response was "that's okay, things happen!". I figured because he is a medic it doesn't phase him. So far, every man I have disclosed to, with the exception of maybe 5, have been total gentlemen about the whole thing. Many of them ask me questions about how I cope with it and what are the signs to look out for. Of course their main concern is if we ever have sex what would be their chances of contracting it and I send them here lol!


I have had a couple of dinners with men who also have Herpes. One guy I didn't even know had it until I used his restroom and saw a big thing of Acyclovir on his sink. He and I are still talking but its strictly platonic. The last date was a guy who is H- and he kissed me, I made a joke telling him I'm a zombie and just infected him, he goes "I'm a big boy, I can handle it".


Overall, my dating life has not changed a bit. Actually, I guess in many ways it has changed for the better. I have met wonderful sincere and genuine individuals and it makes me appreciate this experience even more.


So let go of the fear and shame you have! Its really all in your head. You are doing nothing but holding yourself back from finding that someone you truly deserve. We all have soul mates out there waiting for their chance, and even if you're not looking for anything too serious, you can enjoy your life but just make sure to tell people before you do so they can have a choice. Often times than not, they will be grateful of your honesty and will probably go forward with you based off of you being real and open with them.

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Hi @JessikaRabbit89, thanks for sharing such an uplifting perspective about dating with us! It's so easy to assume how people will react and feed into the terrible stigma, but there are so many people out there who know a good person when they see one, and don't care about a pesky little virus. Obviously, everyone is different, and everyone has a choice to make, but we can't take it personally if they choose to walk away. It's always refreshing to meet people who are open-minded and compassionate, and really, those are qualities that I looked for in someone before I even had H. Now, it's just magnified even more, which serves my own best interest. I have not had to disclose to anyone yet... but have been dating.


To add to your experiences, I had actually met a guy I really liked, we had been talking for a little over a month or so, and spent some time together, but I made it clear I didn't want to rush the physical side.... time went on and the real in the back of mind starting playing... I'm going to have to tell him soon... but I was enjoying the slower process of getting to know him, and waiting it out to see if he was someone I wanted to share that with... one day, messages from him slowed down until they stopped completely. I hadn't even told him yet!! Based on what I did know about him, there was a lot going with his work and I honestly don't think he knew what he wanted relationship-wise. It was hurtful, but I knew it had nothing to do with me, so I let it go and moved on. But man, all I kept thinking was "thank you herpes!"... Had it been the old me, I probably would have slept with him... (the physical attraction was definitely there!) and it would have been far more disappointing and painful when he stopped showing interest.


No one wants to have herpes, but I am grateful for what I have learned and how it has forced me to slow down and really think about the person I am getting to know... in a way, herpes is doing a great job of protecting my heart. :)

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@ Jessika and @Beautiful


<3 you ladies! Thank you for sharing ... especially Beautiful's addition of how H helped her to slow down and see that the guy she would have normally had sex with was not ready for what she was looking for... that is one of the "opportunities" of herpes ... that we slow down and let the other person show us who they really are...



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@positivelybeautiful, I agree with @WCSdancer, that's wonderful and I'm happy to hear that it makes you stop and think before you go too far and do something you could later regret. I unfortunately slipped back into my old ways after symptoms of my first outbreak started to clear up. I began dating someone new and we rushed things (I was vulnerable and automatically assumed since he had herpes that we would stick together sort of thing), but after we got physical and the more we hung out I realized he wasn't for me and broke it off. I told myself I would stay single and learn to love myself, thats when my giver came back into the picture and I was torn. I thought that we could somehow help eachother heal and pick up where we left off...but I noticed his personality towards me wasn't the same. He would tell me he missed me and loved me, but his actions were total opposite. I decided to let him go as well, and the heartache from that along with stress of everything caused another ob.


As of now I am not looking for anything more than a good male companion at this point. Someone I can talk to and spend time going out doing things together. Its a shame that guys now days always expect sex to be part of being in a female's presence.

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Its a shame that guys now days always expect sex to be part of being in a female's presence.


Well, I've watched a LOT of Steve Harvey, Ilyana Vanzant, and a few other relationship experts ... and they ALL say that you TEACH people how to treat you. And one way to get respect from a man (as a woman) is to not put out too quickly. Steve Harvey even interviewed guys and they said that when they date, they put women into 2 categories ... those you f*ck, and those you marry ... and the ones in the first category are the ones that put out early on. That was quite the revelation for me. I have gotten lucky and had 2 relationships that started with early sexual contact ... yet looking back, there were definite things that I ignored as soon as we got physical that contributed to the later break-ups... so it still goes with the premise of slowing things down making for better odds for success :p


Steve claims we should have a 90 day period before having sex. He says to not give up "the cookie" until the man EARNS it. I have to say, I've dodged several bullets since I started this practice ... yes, I've been single awhile now ... but I am HAPPY because I'm not dealing with the hormones that seem to go with having sex too early ..... and although my body gets frustrated at times, I am generally happier than I've ever been :)


Coincidentally, Herpes seems to make a lot of people on here slow down for at least a couple months ... and gosh darn it, most of them have the best Success Stories on here!!! So there has to be something to all this, don'tcha think????




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Thanks @Dancer and @Jessika! You know, that guy was never pushy and never expected anything from me. He was very respectful when I told him I didn't want to rush, but of course, had I been game, he likely would have jumped at the opportunity... we are all sexual beings, and sex is fun, exciting and of course, feels amazing, so when you are hitting it off with someone, it's hard not to want to go there. I think while some men may expect it, most often it's just a natural part of getting to know someone. I think if you are clear upfront that you don't want to go there, and hold to that, it won't take long to find out their true motivations. And if they stick around, taking the time to get to know them will add another level of 'screening'... lol.


I never asked why he was quieting down, or why he stopped communicating, because it didn't matter. When someone is really interested, it shows. I respect myself enough to know how I deserve to be treated, and happy that I didn't put myself in a position to diminish my self-worth. The rest if out of my control. :)


@Jessika, I think taking the time for you is the best idea ever. I was listening to an interview the other day and person being interviewed said, we allow other people to become thieves when we give away what we already don't have to give... fill yourself up to the fullest, love yourself inside and out, completely, put yourself first in every situation, take the time to be alone... when you meet a good guy in that frame of being, he'll reciprocate everything you already feel for yourself inside, and you'll have plenty to offer him in return without sacrificing the parts of you that you need to still feel whole.

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You're so right @WCSdancer and @PositivelyBeautiful, my mistake were always jumping into bed with a guy and hoping a relationship would follow. I didn't feel love at home so I was seeking it in guys instead I was doing everything totally backwards. I never found love because of it. Herpes has definitely made me realize this and so in the future I won't make those mistakes again. There are lessons in everything we go through in our lives, this was a huge one to learn from.



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@jessicarabbit89 Thank you for this post, it is a positive one and I have not read a positive post in a long time and it has made me feel better. I love that that guy still kissed you and made a joke about it. Sounds like there are still some good men out there who can be mature about this. Love your attitude and how you keep moving fwd. I need to start dating and disclosing and showing what I have to offer. :)

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Just want to share my story. I am together with a girl who has genital HSV2. As far as I know I dont have the virus. To me, it honestly doesn't change anything. She disclosed it, after 5-6 weeks dating when we made the relationship official. We had protected sex before she told me that. I was really cool and just said that's okay and we went on. Then 3 weeks after I freaked out about it because I read some more about it and started to do some research. I spoke to my Dr. twice and also with my parents. And now, I can say I am 100% cool about it. She will ever be the person that conquered my heart, wheather having HSV or not. To all of you Women out there, being afraid of disclosing it - just don't be afraid. Herpes is one of the milder diseases that you can get. If someone sees that as a reason, not being together with you or dating you. Then he's clearly not worth it. Just think of really bad diseases for example cancer. If he runs away from you because of herpes, imagine what he will do when you have cancer. You should probably thank him to show his clear face.


And I wouldn't say it straight away. I would say it if I see that the "relationship" is getting serious, but not before.

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@parbla, thank you for your story, and I love that you didn't judge her based off of her status, shows how mature you are to handle this situation like an adult should. Of course if someone doesn't feel comfortable they shouldn't disclose, Especially if they don't see any relationship potential and they never get physical. I just personally don't see it as a big deal anymore, so I don't see any harm in telling someone while the conversation is in that direction (sex, dating, etc). For me, its more of educational purpose to disclose, because so many people have no idea what herpes really is. I had a 30 year old guy tell me he thought herpes was genital warts. So, you see why I try to get the awareness out there, because I can't tell you how many men admit to me they love sex without condoms, not knowing the risks involved with it.


and @vanessayee, yes there are indeed good men out there! I learned if I just take the time to get to know someone on a more personal mentally, everything else falls into place. This post was intended to let people know they can still have an enjoyable dating experience with herpes. They shouldn't feel like they have to shut themselves off from the rest of the world, because they probably either know someone who has it, live next to or work with someone who has it, you just never know. Herpes is an exclusive club, but it has quite a lot of members. That's what I express to the men I talk to, it opened their minds to accepting someone H+ and made them think more about protecting themselves.

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@parbla42 Your sentence about someone who sees H as a reason to not be with someone is an "ignorant fool" is exactly what I heard from a girl (no sexual relation going on) who I told about my diagnose. I have lots to offer, I am aware of that, but it I must admit it was nice to actually hear that straight from a woman.


I know that your post will mean the world to many of the girls/women who are here and who feel they are not worth dating and unsure if any guy will ever love them. For that I thank you.

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@parbla42, thank you for taking the time to join the forum and to write those words. It's a small gesture that will likely have a huge impact on a lot of women here, as well as all of those (men, women, straight or gay) who fear they will never meet someone that will accept them completely. I always love hearing from H- people on the forum because it brings a whole other perspective that is equally valuable. As @ihaveittoo1975 said, thank you.

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As a veteran of HSV2, I can tell you..... there are MANY good, smart, amazing men out there who can see past the inconvenience of the virus. My man has actually wanted to get it just so it wasn't an issue for ME. THAT is an incredible gesture of love. I have done everything in my power to prevent that from happening but it does make life far less stressful and far more liberating to know that the person you love accepts you and accepts the risk. I would venture to guess there a a lot of men and women out there who have open hearts and open minds, you just have open yours and you will find them :)

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  • 3 months later...

Hi @jessikaRabbit89 , @fitgirl thank you so much for sharing your stories , I've just been recently diagnosed with HSV2 less than a month ago, I had my first breakout and it was the worst pain I ever expericed in my life . But it healed and I'm fine now , besides a bit of tingling sometimes I'm fine. But it's only been a few weeks . I just turned 20 a month ago and it's very scary thinking about life in the future. But I'm trying to be as optimistic as I can but all of this and the fear of dating and being in constant fear of an outbreak scares me. But reading your conversation really gave me some comfort. Thank you so much for sharing it really means a lot hearing how people that have it are living normal lifes!

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Honey - I got GHSV2 at 17 ... and have had OHSV1 since I was 4 (60% of kids have it by the time they are young adults though most are asymptomatic). I got it about the time that H was developing the stigma (late 70's/early 80's) and I still had a pretty darned normal life with the odd speed bump when dating post-divorce and an unnecessary cesarean thanks to the ignorance of my then OBGYN ... beyond that, I just dealt with OB's as they came (and we didn't have Valtrex back then... just a topical Zovirax cream that did help some) and got on with my life.


And I can tell you, yes, while OB's can be EXTREMELY painful, there IS equal/worse pain out there (I had an ectopic pregnancy and a slipped disc - all 3 vie for "worst pain ever" category!).


Keep hanging on here ... and take it from an old fart who has had this for 35 years ... it's up to YOU whether you buy into the stigma ... and one of the biggest lessons you can get from this: You teach people how to treat you. Own your beauty and what makes you special and Herpes will take the back seat... ;)





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