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Date yourself... For now.

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At 30 years old, I think I was actually in love only once. I never told her how I felt, and yet I made it my life's work to make her smile everyday (we worked together). I call it love, because it brought me more joy to make her smile than I have ever felt in my entire life. I thought about her all the time, and even often dreamt about her. I can close my eyes even now and picture her smiling face, and that makes me smile, even now.

BUT since we worked together, I didn't want to tell her how I felt. Not until I was sure that she would understand my feelings. So in the mean time, I sought out other sexual partners, but my heart always belonged to her. I think anyone reading this knows what ended up happening next. I blame my "giver" for this, because she didn't tell me, but I also blame myself. As a wartime veteran, and someone who has had to say good bye way too many times, I just can not forgive myself for letting this happen. I have life because of my brothers in arms; I was given a chance to be happy because of their sacrifice, and I screwed it all to hell.

I thought I had lost happiness after I lost her. Not that I ever had her, but I thought maybe I could still find a way to be happy. Well, that's not entirely true, I'm not sure if I will ever be happy again.

AND with that said, I wanted to share with you all something that I found a while ago, and yet, it's probably something that at least one person here on this site needs to see. And if I can make at least one person on this site smile, then maybe I can find a way back to being myself.

Our featured presentation my friends is none other than Keanu Reeves *insert applause here*. This comes from the fact that so many people seem anxious about getting back into the dating scene after our initial diagnosis. The truth is, we first need to accept ourselves and our situation well before we can think about a meaningful relationship. And for the first time on this site, I'm not talking about our herpes situation, but rather about our lives (with or without herpes).

Mr. Reeves was once approached and asked about why he has remained single for as long as he had. His response was this:

"Someone told me the other day that he felt bad for single people because they are lonely all the time. I told him that's not true, I'm single and I don't feel lonely. I take myself out to eat, I buy myself clothes, I have great times by myself. Once you know how to take care of yourself, company becomes an option and not a necessity."

He would also be quoted by saying:

"Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things..."

If we can not love ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are, how can we possibly expect someone else to accept us. Rejection hurts, I am not disputing that fact, but if you are being rejected for what you have, rather than for who you are, then you really need to evaluate the people you are seeing.

So date yourself. Break the rules and go see a movie by yourself. Take yourself out for a walk on the beach and buy yourself a new hat, and a cookie. And some ice cream. We only get one life in this world, and despite the fact that we have all been dealt a shitty hand, the game is not over.

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Reading this really helped me, I am in my early twenties and have always either been in a relationship or seeing/speaking to someone as a way of validating myself. When I was feeling lonely on a weekend I would arrange a date through a hook up app, even if the girl wasn't my type I would still go and even spend the night with her just for company. I even found myself in relationships with people I didn't particularly click with because it felt good to have someone.

Like @Victory_in_Defeat I found myself drawn to someone, a new housemate who I instantly knew I liked as soon as she first walked through the door. I enjoyed spending time with her and felt a connection but I was never sure if the feelings were reciprocated so I kept my distance and told myself "when the time was right". But after a drunken night I made a big mistake and slept with her friend in some weird act of jealously. I felt terrible the next day but surprisingly it lead to her admitting she liked me back. Hearing those words felt amazing and everything had finally come together. This was until the symptoms began...

Red spots, rashes, warts and even an ulcer. I freaked out but I knew I had brought it on myself but had to deal with the consequences so after a week of panicking I went to the sexual health clinic. I have genital warts which will need to be frozen and I'm seeking a blood test for herpes which I believe I may have already carried due to previous misdiagnosed symptoms. Due to all of this I feel it is not right to pursue anything further with her, I had my chance before that night and wasted it. She's a great girl who deserves all the happiness in the world without someone carrying STIs. Of course I still live with her but I hope we can still share a great friendship and I can be happy for her when she meets someone else.

For now I will take the advice of Keanu Reeves and take care of myself. There is more to life than sex and I only need to find one person out of all those billions to fall in love and share a family with. The time will come but for now it's all about focusing on myself.


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