Once my boyfriend and I had established I had herpes and that he was still interested in dating me, tons of relief came. But as the weeks went on, and the sexual tension grew, a new frustration also grew. If my boyfriend was so fine with my situation, then why aren’t we having sex like ‘normal’ couples? Well he had no prior experience with herpes, and just because he was still interested in dating me didn’t mean everything was suddenly perfect.

We successfully dated and spent the night with each other on many occasions without becoming very intimate. However eventually a night arose where I was so sexually frustrated that while kissing him I screamed, “Are you ever going to have sex with me or not?” in his face, to which he nervously responded, “I don’t know!”. That was when I realized there was potential that he was fine with my herpes but may never be fine enough with it to become intimate with me. I never saw the possibility that you could have one without the other and saw an entire new set of challenges before us. I also learned demanding sex by yelling at your partner is a surefire way to get them to shut down and definitely want anything but to sleep with you. Not attractive.

He explained to me that he thought this was something he would be fine with in the future but that he was definitely not ready to have sex with me. He had no idea when he would be ready and I would have to understand that he may change his mind and never be okay with it down the road. I knew most of why he was being so vague about his idea of our future together was due to this being a really scary new situation for him, so I tried not to take it personally and agreed to give him all the time he needed.

This is much easier said than done though, and not knowing when your partner will feel comfortable enough to become intimate with you can become extremely difficult to not take personally at some point. Also not knowing just how much time your partner needs to truly decide whether or not they can keep moving forward through the different stages of a relationship can be scary in itself. You can’t force things to move at your own pace and you have to decide if it’s a person worth waiting for. I decided it most definitely was a person worth waiting for and struggled through this with him.