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Having a relationship with yourself first

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I was reading someone else's post that said that you need to have a relationship with yourself first before you can have a healthy relationship and be ready to be with someone else. I don't really know how to form this particular discussion but I guess I'm wondering how do YOU have a relationship with yourself? What kinda things do you do to make yourself feel special and happy? For me, I suppose one thing to work on would be to be more comfortable with my independence. What about you guys?

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I just got off Skype with someone about this just a few minutes ago. Fascinating. :)


Noticing how I treat myself moment to moment has had a tremendous effect on my own relationship to myself. Noticing that little (sometimes big) judgmental voice that says those things throughout my day and then shifting how I treat myself to something better. A few weeks ago was a huge shift around this for me ... I was having a rough couple of weeks and crying here and there (which has been a new shift all on its own — a guy crying is not acceptable in our culture!) And as I was shuffling around my house, allowing myself to cry and let my emotions move where they wanted to, I poured myself a cup of coffee, then creamer (I like my coffee SWEET). And I heard a soft voice in my head, almost like the voice of my mom when I had a fever as a kid "Yeah, I know you like it sweet. We're going to make it just how you like it." It was comforting, nurturing. Quite the opposite of how I used to treat myself day in, day out. It was a profound shift for me in that moment. PROFOUND. A simple moment can change a lot. And just like any relationship, my relationship with myself will have its ups and downs, but I'm dedicated to staying in connection with myself and nurturing myself. The more I'm able to nurture myself and treat myself kindly, the more I'm able to reflect that out to others, too.

Note: This 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 Adrial! :)


I suppose cleaning up my diet and then treating myself to things, even sitting down for a nice cup of coffee, could be a start for me! I like my coffee sweet too ;) I don't think I'll ever be able to drink it black! I've been moping around on my computer a lot lately. I used to be the planner in my group of friends but ever since all this happened, I haven't been making plans. I still go out when invited, but I've become much more lazy with my activities. It's just hard because whenever I go out, no matter what i'm doing, the H word pops up in my head and instead of listening to my friends, I'm getting side tracked by my bummed out thoughts...


I was watching your preview video for the seminar and you talked about stepping outside of the comfort zone. I guess that stepping out of my very small comfort zone could be a date with myself. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin and doing stuff on my own, instead of needing a buddy with me wherever I go can be a start. Going in to schedule that therapy session and to stop second guessing myself about getting more help could be another step :/

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Yes, exactly! Dating yourself is a good way to think about it. Get reacquainted with yourself: what you like, what you don't like, what inspires you, what hobbies you want to learn or pick back up, etc. How to realize how minuscule herpes really is? Love your life. Live your life fully. That's when all those foul thoughts about herpes naturally fade into the background because herpes can't compete with all the good things that life has to offer. It's also a decision of where to put your attention. If you are always focusing on herpes, your mind will focus on all the reasons why it sucks. If you start focusing on other things, your mind will focus on that.


You're in Canada? 2 people are coming from Canada to the seminar! Brenda and Beckie are both Canadians. Brenda is staffing and Beckie is participating.


I also do private one-on-one skype coaching sessions if you're interested in that. If so, private message me and I'll send you details.

Note: This 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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Aahhh yes. I just love this conversation.

I'm taking it in a little bit different of a direction, but only because this reminds me of an article that my friend, Dave wrote.

The article is entitled "Why finding the right man isn't working"

Some key things he writes that really spoke to me were:


"We don’t date whom we want, we date a mirror reflection of ourselves."

" Our “choice” is mostly an illusion, a cosmic joke played on us to think we are in total control of our lives. Dating isn’t about selection, it’s about resonation."

"To find the man of your dreams your job is not to search out where he’s hiding, it’s to become the woman of his dreams. Men want a woman who loves herself, loves everyone in her life and doesn’t hold herself back sexually (among many other things)."

"You are attracting you. When you improve you, guess who shows up? Men who are more conscious, men who are confident, men who are sensitive to your needs, men who are more of what you want. Why? You have become more of the woman men want."


Basically, it really hit me that we like to date mirrors of ourselves, and before we can be in a loving relationship with anyone else, we need to be in love with ourselves first.


here's a link to the whole article if you want to read it


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Wow! Thank you Cedar. I have goosebumps. Literally. I am going to read Dave's article, but that really resonated with me - we date mirrors of ourselves. I think I dated mirrors of what I thought about myself. Who I thought I was and what I "deserved". It is so true that once we work on us and improve how we see ourselves, learn to be loving and kind and accepting of ourselves, then we attract people into our lives who do the same. And when those old mirrors come in to our lives, we can also start to recognize them and say "hey, not this time". The awareness, for me is HUGE.


I love the idea of dating myself. I think many of us don't even know who we are or what we like, what lights us up, what our interests are. I have been a mom for 19 years and so I was "Joel's Mom". Now he is off on his own and I am divorced and I look in the mirror and I don't even know that person staring back at me. I am getting to know her, but it is a process. I think it is being kind to yourself as Adrial is doing, listening to your inner "Mom" who loves and nurtures you, and really being your own champion and cheerleader. Why is it so easy to turn on the judgmental, condemning voice and yet finding that kind, loving, gentle voice is so hard? I think some of us feel guilty when we're being kind to ourselves and feel like we just need to "suck it up". I know for myself, I need to be as kind and loving to myself as I am to my friends. I have started to ask myself in my times of insecurity or anxiety what I need. I talk to myself more as I would to a scared child and try to soothe myself instead of just screaming and condemning and judging and finding ways to make myself wrong and less than. It's a process and I am so happy to have so many of you to help me along my journey. I love this community where we can both support each other and demonstrate the sort of love we need to show for ourselves.

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Katie, that was a great article :) Some parts really spoke to me. There are definitely some things I need to work on such as eating more healthy (I have a MAJOR sweet tooth), exercising, getting outside more, becoming more independent and more comfortable with independence, and just being more okay with myself and to not care what people think of the things I do. So at the end of the day, I need to be able to truly love myself. I don't know if you guys have seen "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" or if you've heard this quote anywhere but another thing to think about is that "we accept the love we think we deserve."


WhoopsiDaysi, thank you so much for your opinion. I guess I was looking to see what other people thought of "dating" themselves and wasn't really sure how to think of it but you explained it in a way that makes so much sense to me. I journal often and I have been writing a lot about H since I got it and that has helped me a lot. I think a new journal topic for me is to write about what you said!-write about the things I love, what makes me tick, that kinda stuff. Even to write about my insecurities and how to become more comfortable with them.


Thanks so much guys! :)

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"I think some of us feel guilty when we're being kind to ourselves and feel like we just need to "suck it up". I know for myself, I need to be as kind and loving to myself as I am to my friends."

yes! yes, yes, yes. You're so right. It can be really difficult to give ourselves the kindness. I really struggled with it for a long time until I became really conscious of it. I taking on pain that I thought I deserved. I wouldn't wish it for anyone, so why administer upon myself? I started to treat myself as I would someone else, and the compassion and love came out full force. It's quite beautiful. I like this way of relating with myself.

I love your awareness, and I love your capacity of love and support.

You mentioned in another post "If it is herpes, then we are here to hold your hand, love and support you and get you through to the other side where you see the blessings."

I just love that.



great quote. "we accept the love we think we deserve" So true.

And we have the power to give any amount of love to ourselves and others. Sometimes we have the capacity to love others more than ourselves, but then we're not being fair to ourselves. Why don't we give ourselves the love that we give others. We deserve our love too! Learning to love ourselves is one of the most beautiful things we can do :)

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Hey Cedar and sjj,


I am so lucky to have people like you in this community to love and support me and also to be able to share our collective experience and wisdom with. None of us have everything figured out in life, but how wonderful it is to be in community and to be able to share, commune and love both each other and ourselves. I learn so much and am constantly inspired by what others post. Thank you so much for being willing to be vulnerable and open with your feelings and for being the amazing women that you are.


Much love!


Brenda xoxo

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Hi guys


Thanks for sharing...I'm in a slump but this article says a lot. I'm still going through my issues with h/ other medical issue that I'm hoping isn't anything serious and worse of all after 5 months of having been broken up with my ex the last three months have been horrible. I feel like that annoying ex girlfriend. I didn't think I would be like this. The last few days I feel sooo depressed, scared, lost and hopeless. I feel as though nothing good will come my way. I know I need start making changes and start loving myself all the time. But it's a work in process.

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Hey Max,


I'm sorry that you have been feeling depressed, scared, lost and hopeless. That makes me feel sad to think you're going through that. You are right that loving ourselves is a work in progress. It's a daily practice. Have you ever thought about journaling?

That's one thing that makes me feel more connected with myself. When I write out my thoughts, I feel a huge relief.

You are the author of your life and you can create whatever you want. I just don't want you to feel hopeless, feeling like nothing good will come your way. Not true; because you have the power to create whatever you want for yourself. You can get involved in whatever your likes/interests are and create some happy vibes. Don't wait around for things to happen. Hop in the drivers seat and steer your life in the direction you want to go! <3

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Max_G, I am also sorry to hear how you are feeling, but might I suggest this - listen to that scared, lost, hopeless part of you. Ask that scared part what she needs you to hear. What is she trying to tell you? It's okay to be scared, it's okay to feel how you feel. I find when I take the time to listen to what my feelings are trying to tell me, love that part of me that is scared and needing love instead of trying to run, hide, ignore, then that part that needs to be heard can start to heal. Take some time for some self care, self love and just being gentle with yourself. It's okay not to be strong all the time. Do as you would with a good friend who is going through a rough patch. You would be there to love her, listen to her, support her and maybe even do nice things for her to surprise her or cheer her up. You can do that for you as well sweetie. And when you're stronger, then you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, put your shoulders back and a smile on your face and figure out what to do from here. You are already doing something for yourself - reaching out to us - and I honor you for your courage in doing that. You know in your heart what you need to do. You are wiser than you give yourself credit for darlin. You've got this. :) And you've got us to love you, support you, hold your hand when you need and dry your tears. We are also here to cheer you on and encourage you when you're ready. You don't need to make grand gestures. Just small baby steps to start.


Lots of hugs and love,


Brenda xoxo

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  • 4 weeks later...

This forum is a god-send. Thank you. I've had herpes for just under 3 years and it seems I still can't get a handle on it... are my symptoms really prodrome? Are they a UTI? Is it an outbreak? Aaaaaargh!


I have met a wonderful guy who is aware of my status...hard to disclose as we were intimate first but he took it SOOOOO well ("is that all it is?" was his response). We decided to take the risk recently by not using a condom (I'm on suppressive therapy and he finds it difficult to orgasm using condoms) ... I got prodrome symptoms (maybe?) almost straight after. I wish we hadn't and have since told him that the fear and guilt I am holding now is not worth the risk - he agrees. Now, I'm almost waiting for him to call me to tell me he has it (we are long distance). I think I am now having an outbreak on my urethra as I have no other blisters ANYWHERE but feel itchy inside ... another new sensation and believe I could have been experiencing prodrome when we had the risky sex. I'm not sure though.


It seems I've started to hate myself for having this now that I've found someone. I wish I didn't have it .. I keep thinking that our relationship could be perfect if it wasn't for me having herpes and now I'm waiting daily for the dreaded phone call that he has it (why didn't I say no??) I'm trying to rationalise things but can't. I spend hours a day on different forums, researching etc and think I've just confused myself and wound myself in knots.


So yes, how do you have a relationship with yourself with this? Especially when the fear is now greater having met someone. I'm so scared he's going to either get it - and resent me for it. He's going to get frustrated (because we have to have to be so careful all the time). Or it's just a matter of time before he really thinks about it and decides he doesn't want to be with me because of it. I am so ashamed. I know these are all ridiculous thoughts but why can't I truly believe that "this is only herpes" ... I say it but genuinely don't believe it. I wish I didn't have it and the self-loathing I have gets greater every day. A wonderful guy in this case, has brought out the insecurities in me about herpes. Help please?

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Hey C!


Hope you got my response to your private message. In addition to that, one of the big things that I hear going on for you is that you're taking on more than your share of the responsibility for your partner getting H (which I can completely relate to). You stated that "we" decided to take the risk recently by not using a condom. If there was mutual consent to that, then your partner is making a free will choice to take that risk of possibly getting H. And if you're on suppressive meds, that's only a 2% risk of transmission (and that's without a condom....with a condom too it's only a 1% chance). This awesome handout gives a bunch of other great stats and info:




I empathize with the torturous thoughts that you're thinking right now....you can only see negative outcomes because of this. The problem is that whole thing about self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that he's going to be frustrated about the sex, you're contributing to the energy of that situation playing out. Similarly, if you think it's just a matter of time before he decides to leave you, you're also contributing energy to that play-out. You've found a really wonderful resource here to help you change your thoughts about this whole thing. H doesn't have to lead to all these painful outcomes we tell ourselves are inevitable. Ironically, this guy being so wonderful and loving to you has brought up all the unworthiness that's within you....all those parts of you that don't believe you deserve unconditional love. This really is an opportunity to annihilate those records that have been playing in your head (on some unconscious level) and holding you back in ways you never even realized. Regardless of what happens with this guy, this is a really amazing opportunity for you to tap into the awesome self-love that is your birthright.


Sending you love and big hugs, Beckie



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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Beckie for your kind words ... here is my update!!


I have realised that I have been in denial.. I wished that I didn't have herpes .. so much... and I've been living in fear of humiliation and rejection. As I mentioned previously, all of these feelings were brought up recently by having met someone wonderful. At first I didn't disclose but did before we met up a second time. To anyone reading this - just do it. I chickened out and emailed (the fear of face-to-face rejection was too overwhelming and we have a long distance relationship) .. I was petrified of his response - he said "is that all?" when i told him. (with a follow-up "I thought it was going to be really bad".)


Recently as we've been getting closer, all of the feelings I've had about myself (what I thought were long buried self-esteem issues) have raised their ugly heads. And with them.. this paranoia. That every single twitch, itch, scratch, tingle is herpes ... OR WAIT - something worse because if I was stupid enough to get herpes in the first place, I could get anything else!!! [HOW TO QUIETEN THIS DESTRUCTIVE MIND????]


Anyway, I would jump on google and "research" for hours what herpes is, symptoms, transmission rates, can I get it ALL OVER?, is this bump on my face, eye, leg a OB - going over the same information over and over again .. then jump to the "maybe I have another STI?" thought and then research that. I mean, I have been literally driving myself crazy!!!! And my body has reacted - why do I feel like I have constant prodromes despite being on suppressive therapy? Maybe because my body is so stressed from my constant mind tricks... like literally every muscle is tense with fear from the belief that I will ultimately be rejected for having herpes and with fear of people finding out and jumping to conclusions about me. [HOW EXHAUSTING!!!!]


After a great first session with Adrial, and a heart-to-heart with my boyfriend about my fear of rejection from him specifically (his response "why on earth would you think that?") - I have realised that my mind is my worst enemy with herpes. Sure, there'll still be people out there that don't know anything... that will make a joke about having herpes, abuse people in forums when they don't really know or get it, maybe if my bf and I don't work out I will meet someone who will reject the herpes too etcetc... I can't control that or them. But I can control my reaction...


So from a dark dark place that I was in 2 weeks ago, I'm coming back out. I couldn't even say the word "herpes" aloud I was so disgusted with myself...!! Now? Well, I'm posting this.. I've used the word herpes with my boyfriend in conversation [uM, BECAUSE THATS WHAT IT IS AND THERE'S NO DENYING THAT!!] And l just wanted to share that I think, after 3 years of initial diagnosis, I have only just started my H journey. I feel that herpes has been this heavy backpack I've been carrying around for years - praying and wishing I didn't have it. Well its time to lighten the load. I've got a bit to go but I'm going to take that magnifying glass and focus it on the great things about me ... and that might just happen to be that I got herpes in the first place to FINALLY shake this mental battle.


Stay tuned for updates (or rambles...)!! LOL. And this forum is amazing :)

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