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Dating After a Break Up and Diagnosis

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Hi all,


I was diagnosed a few months back after a annual physical with my doctor and have since had one OB following that initial diagnosis. I’ve managed to get things under control, take medication, eat healthier, etc since then. My gf was very supportive and caring during this time and did not mind my diagnosis despite my feelings and concerns.


Unfortunately she ended things recently for reasons outside the diagnosis. I’m trying to cope with dating again and the stress of disclosure to new partners. I’d love to hear any suggestions or any general notes of positivity from anyone who has experienced a similar situation.



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Tough deal, sorry to hear things didn't work.

I might not be in the same position, but I have had a few breakups. It can really put a lot of doubt on a person because it tends to occupy your mind for a while. You might fall into that well of self doubt and it might even lead to feeling regret or remorse.

Personally, I don't see herpes as a barrier to moving on and resuming dating but I understand a lot of people do. I can see why, havong to explain something about yourself that most people wouldn't be thrilled about.

But that's not the only thing, if we are 100% honest with ourselves. We all have plenty of weirdness and shortcomings.

There is a lot of pressure to seem perfect for the first few weeks or months in a new relationship. The problem with trying to fit yourself into that neat little box is that you end up supressing a lot of qualities that could provide insight and comfort that someone who is actually right for you would really appreciate.

Fear of disagreeing on politics could cause you to avoid the topic entirely for months, only to find out discussing it allows the other person to see that you don't just blindly drink the kool-aid. You'd miss an opportunity to demonstrate that you are able to value the other person's beliefs, even when they are different from your own. As far as I'm concerned, that's a priority in an ideal match.

Likewise, disclosure gives us the opportunity to demonstrate that we are honest, courageous, care about that person's health, and care about their right to consent. Super important stuff right there.


The bottom line is that you will probably deal with rejection. Fearing it is kind of nieve, it's just a thing that happens.

I dealt with tons of rejection before my diagnosis. It helped me to understand what it was I was looking for in a relationship.

It's better to be straight forward with dating than to try to cram yourself into a neat little socially acceptable package. I know I was looking for someone who had the courage to let somebof their weirdness show right away, and I knew the right person for me would want the same. Because it's the weird stuff that makes being together feel natural, and it's the honesty to show it that makes deciding to date meaningful.

Otherwise, your just wasting each other's time, trying to hide all the great stuff that someone who is good for you would appreciate.

Herpes included. And that's not something to fear, it's something to search for.

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@regularguy I really appreciate the quick and detailed response. A few things stuck out to me so thank you.


As you mentioned, most of us (myself included) have been rejected many times before for reasons outside of herpes. In a way, it can be kind of empowering to have the choice as to when and how you want to share this information. Like you said, some may not be cool with it, while others will see through the stigma and understand that it is not a big deal. That acceptance and rejection is all part of dating regardless of having this diagnosis or not.


In the end, sharing this information before we become intimate with someone whether it is something casual or something more serious is an honest, healthy, and mature thing to do. And while it can be uncomfortable, I hope (any one feel free to reassure me!) that talking about this becomes easier over time. I feel like these types of things are all about the lens in which you view it. We can choose to be sad and alone and not be open about how we feel, or we can try to view it as a positive, and realize that being forced to have these type of intimate conversations, regardless of context, can make you closer with someone.


I'm at a point where I'm scared about rejection but also know I just need to go out there and try to live my life. I don't feel that this is going to be holding be back as I reenter the dating world and have actually gone on a date already and downloaded Bumble and have had some mild success (although not at a point where i need to disclose). My roommate and good friend knows about my breakup and diagnosis and is pretty supportive with things. I feel like having that safety net of knowing i have someone to talk to right after a positive or negative disclosure goes down is comforting.


As I know from reading many posts and my other many life experiences. Things are going to be okay. I think I just have to remind myself this from time to time.


Thanks again for your supportive words and looking forward to getting through this and living our best lives.


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Right on dude.

It sounds to me like you have a good mindset for recovery. It will involve some back and forth as far as your outlook and your mood, but it'll get easier.


As you start dating, try talking to a few people at the same time. It helps to lessen the hit to ego when someone ghosts or rejects. I had to do that when I was dating and it helped a ton.

I didn't sleep with a bunch of people, just talked and set up first dates. It especially helped stop me from wasting my time with indecisive flakes.

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I appreciate that. I’m taking things one day at a time and allowing myself to had good days and bad days.


That’s a good idea in terms of talking to multiple people instead of putting all my eggs in one basket. When you’ve disclosed do you do it before a first date or after a date or two once there seems to be some type of connection (thus potential decreasing chance of rejection?).

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I actually was diagnosed while in a relationship. I did disclose everything as it happened to her, but we've been together since. So, I don't have any experience with disclosure in terms of dating someone new.


But I did have a rule about having the STD talk before getting physical. It's a very case by case thing. Some people are more reserved and you naturally date for a couple weks before sex is even considered. Some people are more outgoing and sex is a more imminent desire. In the normal back and forth of the proverbial game is a point where you each feel out the other's level of attraction and desire. The chemicals start doing thier job pretty quick, and that's what leads to risky behavior.

I'd recommend that when you see conversation turning more intimate, go ahead and pump the brakes. It won't ruin things, but having an STD talk is always very clinical and tends to throw in a rational tangent to all the excitement.

The good thing about it is that gives you an opportunity to disclose to someone you already know is attracted. It also opens an opportunity to demonstrate that you value their right to consent, a major check mark for a lot of people.

On the one hand, they may have a few questions but decide that condoms are protection enough. On the other, they may flip out. Chances are if they flip out, they are not planning on sticking around long anyway.

Don't worry, the STD talk can be uncomfortable, but the exciting romantic stuff is already queued up. If they accept it, the short interruption on the attraction will probably be a small hiccup.

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