Early on in the blog, I posted about dates I’ve gone on in the past, the mistakes I made and how having herpes affected those dates. You can find previous posts about dates that have sucked for myself (and usually my date as well) HERE, HERE, and HERE.
While reflecting on the end of my recent relationship and realizing I’m now single and will be dating again, I also realized I’ll be going through the tricky process of telling new relationships my STD status again.
I think dating with herpes is the scariest part of having genital herpes for most people because it’s unpredictable. But dating in general is. With or without herpes, you can never know what another person is truly going to do, or think or say. You can formulate an idea or an opinion, but nobody can predict the future or read minds. I think the most intimidating aspect of going back into dating is going to be the uncertainty of whether or not the person I’m interested in will be educated enough on herpes to understand, will be interested in accepting me, or will be negative towards me after I share with them that I have it.
A new issue that arose in my most recent relationship that I hope not to relive, is actual acceptance. I never understood acceptance isn’t always a black and white thing, but potentially a grey area. My ex-boyfriend did not have herpes, and “accepted” that I did. He expressed interest in continuing to date me, but he didn’t have any experience with genital herpes in the past and thus was unable to fully accept what that part of my life entailed in an appropriate way. He made comments early on in our relationship, such as, “You need to make sure you don’t give this to me” or “What if we break up and I contract herpes from you and then I have to move forward with my life in the position you’re in”. I brushed off the times he’d speak to me like this assuming he was scared and unsure how to handle this new situation he was in. But after months of statements like that scattered here and there, I slowly realized he was never going to be comfortable having a girlfriend with herpes. It simply wasn’t something he could handle no matter how much he tried to convince himself he could. Although he said to me that he could, his actions continued to prove otherwise.
I don’t think I need to date someone that also has herpes to be comfortable, I even think I could date another man that doesn’t have herpes although I do. But I think it will be more important to me not to hear my significant other tell me they accept me, but to see them show me by their actions throughout the relationship. Anyone can tell you something they don’t mean, but eventually their actions will show you what they truly think.
Looking forward to being able to continue sharing dating stories in the future in the hopes that you’ll all learn something from my (typically frequent) mistakes.