Many people who discover they have genital herpes feel as if their love lives are over – and this is just not so!
Herpes is just something people *have* – it’s not who they *are* as people. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, the stigma associated with Oral Herpes is nowhere near that of Genital Herpes, and yet the symptoms are the same – it’s basically a difference in location only! Statistics show that between 50 and 80% of adults have Oral Herpes (aka “cold sores” or “fever blisters”), and we don’t see them giving up on relationships! Genital Herpes is not the end of love, sex, or the world!
Relationships are essential to people – we all enjoy the connection we feel with others, especially a romantic partner. It’s a need we all have. Relationships can bring us our greatest joys in life. And having a virus does not eliminate this need, nor should it eliminate this important element from our lives.
If You Have Herpes and Are In A Relationship…
If you’re in a relationship, you’ll be working on this together. Communication is essential. Openness and honesty are the key to keeping any relationship healthy and happy. When one partner has Herpes, it’s important that the partners work together. If the partner with Herpes is aware of their prodrome signs, and if they use barrier protection, there is a better chance that the uninfected partner will remain that way.
A new diagnosis of Herpes can be a shock… and with it there may be feelings of anger, fear, betrayal. If your committed partner gave you Herpes, it’s essential that you talk openly about it. Do not just assume they did it on purpose. Sometimes, people withhold their Genital HSV status for various reasons – embarrassment, fear of rejection, ignorance. Many times, people don’t even know they have HSV. Or if they do know, they may not know the signs of impending outbreak, or they may mistakenly believe that they cannot transmit it when there are no symptoms. (For more information on transmission & the risks, go to the Transmission Page of HerpeSite.)
If you have Herpes, talk to your partner. If your partner gave you Herpes, talk to them. Communication is vital to any relationship, and moreso when managing Herpes within the relationship. It’s certainly not the end of the world or the relationship! There are ways to minimize the risk of transmission – including learning to manage outbreaks, knowing your body and the signs of prodrome and impending outbreaks, and taking anti-viral medications to reduce outbreaks and asymptomatic shedding of HSV. Studies have shown the risk of transmission is about 10% when abstaining during outbreaks and using condoms at other times.
If you Have Herpes and Are Not In A Relationship…
If you’re not in a committed relationship, or just recently broken up, you’ll be working on this yourself, and it becomes even more important to surround yourself with others who support and care for you. Once you’ve come to terms with the infection and learned to manage both the physical and the emotional aspects, you may be thinking about getting back into a relationship, if you’re not already in one. This can be a tricky and vulnerable time, as you open your heart to another person and face the inevitable “conversation” about HSV
This is a time to be true to who you are, continue to maintain your self-esteem through personal development, and stay on track with your health and energy practices. Remember that Love is not determined by a virus that someone has! Living with Herpes is not as difficult as many people think. There are many millions of people and couples who’ve dealt with this situation successfully. Often, the most challenging aspect is overcoming the social beliefs and stigma perpetuated by the media.
Getting Back to Dating
There are many options to meet new people. There are local social groups, church groups, meetup groups, singles parties, interest and hobby clubs, internet hobby discussion groups, even reconnecting with old friends on facebook. There are many Online Dating websites, there are also Herpes and STD specific dating websites, as well as local live STD singles groups. Many people prefer to date others who already have Herpes in order to avoid having “the conversation.” And it can be emotionally easier to get back into relationship mode without fear of rejection for having HSV.
A great way to get back in the swing of things is to try Online Dating. Internet Dating has become a part of everyday life for many people – and thousands of happy successful couples have met online. There are even sites specifically designed for people with Herpes. Go to HerpeSite’s Dating Page for information, tips, and links to dating sites.
There are chatrooms and others to talk about Herpes and Relationships on Positive Singles. Free to join & get started, anonymous, easy, and a great place to meet others for friendship, camaraderie, and support.
PositiveSingles.com – the best, most trusted and largest anonymous STD dating site!