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WatchesMoon

Herpes vs Self Esteem

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WatchesMoon

Hi, everyone!

This is part personal experience, part wanting advice.

I am a 27 year old female and have had genital herpes for about 6 months. I contracted it from a steady long term boyfriend, who I am unfortunately not with any more.

While we were together, I felt hints of this, but now that I am single again and have more time to think and take stock of myself, it is much more evident....

I don't know how to put it other than that my sense of self or self image has been changed somehow. It's not that I feel "dirty," it's more complicated. For one part, I feel I can't trust my body as much, or that it's my enemy and not my friend. The other part is that I don't feel as much like taking care of myself. When I think about shaving (I'm a girl) or any kind of personal grooming, I just...don't want to. I don't care. It's like I feel that it's a waste of time.

This sounds so extreme and shallow. I am going about my life as normal on the outside, these are just inner feelings.

My other concerns about this new blow to my self esteem are about dating. I have always been a PAINFULLY shy person (unless around good friends). I don't drink, I hate cigarette smoke so I don't hang out in bars. It has been very hard for me to meet men in the past. I've either found them at work or through a friend. That accounts for all three of the men I've dated. I recently moved from a large city (for my area) to a SMALL town (200 people!) so I feel like each of these things has hurt my chances of finding someone.

THEN when I add the Herpes factor, I just feel so defeated. I feel like, why even TRY to meet anyone the traditional way? I looked into the herpes dating sites, but it seemed like those people were just settling for a good enough match because they knew it was "safe" and they felt it was their only choice....or maybe it felt like that's what I would be doing, anyway.

Do any other shy women out there have any tips for me? Do you recommend having your friends match you up with someone? Does anyone really believe in those online Herpes/STD dating sites?

Thank you so much for your help and advice...trying not to sound like I'm really down or anything, I just feel like...man, ANOTHER obstacle in life?!?

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anna99

Hi WatchesMoon,

I don't have much advice for you yet because tomorrow will make my first week since being diagnosed with genital herpes. But i wanted you to know that i have felt the exact same way about not trusting my body or not being worth the effort. I quit shaving and took the polish off my toes. I have not run in a week because it hurts and makes me sad, even though before my OB running was a huge part of my life. I feel so self absorbed and whiny but am going through life as "normal" on the outside. It sucks!

I am also single, live in a small town and don't go to bars. Previously i internet dated and in fact contracted genital HSV1 through oral with my bf that i met on-line. I don't know what to do (yet) but i wanted you to know you are not alone and i'll post again when i get the courage to (try to) date.

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samallen

Nope, I'm not a big believer in the dating sites. That doesn't mean they can't work for others though. I believe in bonding with a person...any person.

Just take a look at how many members are on this site has. There are a LOT of people from all around the world on here. Everyone here is friendly, smart and was shocked to find out that they had herpes.

Unfortunately, herpes is becoming very common and most people aren't being tested for it. There is a good chance that the next person you date might have this virus too. (Cold sores are herpes!)

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Morning

THEN when I add the Herpes factor, I just feel so defeated. I feel like, why even TRY to meet anyone the traditional way? I looked into the herpes dating sites, but it seemed like those people were just settling for a good enough match because they knew it was "safe" and they felt it was their only choice....or maybe it felt like that's what I would be doing, anyway.

Do any other shy women out there have any tips for me? Do you recommend having your friends match you up with someone? Does anyone really believe in those online Herpes/STD dating sites?

In my 31 years on this earth and 12+ years of dating, I've have found that any one route to meeting people is no better or worse than another. It is more about how you approach it and how you handle the opportunities that come your way. Just my opinion. Dating websites have there fair share of duds just as meeting someone through a friend, at the grocery, in a bar, etc. I have used positivesingles.com before. Didn't find it any better or worse then setups through friends. In general, you have to weed out those who aren't a good match for you and it takes time. I think its worth exploring as many routes as you feel comfortable with. This gives you options. More options means a better shot at meeting a person you're compatible with. I'll tell you though, I found it interesting to meet guys on positive singles and have face to face conversations about life with HSV and experiences with telling people or choosing not to tell people. So to me it was a worthy venture.

Morning

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BigD51

Watchesmoon life is really just a choice, you either get busy living or get busy dying. Theres children in a hospital right now that KNOW they are going to die, a guy at my gym has one arm,there are young teenage girls that are sex slaves being sold like handbags.

This isnt really that bad watchesmoon. I felt like you did for a few hours then hit the gym and had great training, as good as I have ever done. You either lay down and die or kick some ass. Either way the choice it yours.

BTW its been 24 hrs since I found out.

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speaktru

I know how you feel....... its been about 4 & 1/2 months since i have been diagnosed.... i am single... and for some reason ALL my friends are either getting married, are engaged, or are having babies.. i feel very left out....b/c i'm always the single one now.. lol

i am very shy also, its hard for me to meet men, and i'm picky. i'm the type of person who knows exactly what i want in a man... however now that i have all these viruses i felt for awhile that i might have to settle.. but then again why settle??? i agree w/ BigD. you have to just keep on living and try to make the best out of a bad situation..... why were you shaving or painting your nails??? it makes you feel good as a woman... i love taking care of myself.... or trying new things to make me feel beautiful.. why? b/c it makes ME feel good. i dont do it for men. perhaps once you start living for urself ( i know that sounds very selfish but you have to!) and finding things that make you feel happy another person will see your spirit and love you herpes and all!! sorry i'm a hopeless romantic.. but then again there is a possibility that you will be single for a long time or forever.. but life does not stop!!! u gotta keep going.

i'm sorry i dont have any advice for you in the dating department, b/c i am single myself and not meeting anyone... -__-

buuuut i do think you should try all types of dating sites not just the herpes ones, do not limit yourself..... i use to think online dating was lame... but then again i have met so many ppl who have found good matches online and are happy!!! we are living in the age of technology make good use of it!! i remember when i first got diagnosed someone said to me on this site that H really helps u weed out the losers that are really not that into you.. and its true!! you want someone who really loves you and appreciates you for who you are... and if they are willing to go the mile with you, then you know you have a keeper and they are not playing games!!! keep me posted if you find anyone.. good luck!

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coolIN

I understand you

I have had it for 10 years now. My children are 7 & 4. I got it from an ex boyfriend w/no symptoms (not my children's father). I still date from time to time. You have to wait to get to know who you are dealing with, regardless how you meet the guy. Whatever process you had of meeting guys before, same thing. Whether it's online, in person, through your girlfriends, whatever. I wait so I can see what kind of person this is and get their views on how they would handle the situation should I decide to have sex with him & disclose that I have herpes. Just a general hypothetical conversation or maybe relate it to some talk radio show I heard or the Valtrex commercials, etc. Most recently I told guy in advance that I had herpes and he was ok with it. We just used to protection (which we should do anyway) & though we no longer date, I felt so much better when I told him. But I was able to because we talked a lot and I felt that even if he chose not to have sex with me, he would not ostracize me or treat me poorly. So though it's a drag to have herpes, it's now part of your life. You've got to find a way to live with this & have a life.

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HC-Support-Team

Knowing the facts is really important. The chances of passing on the virus if you avoid sex during outbreaks is miniscule. It is important to keep things in perspective.

These links may give you some direction:

Positive Thinking

Herpes Prevention Facts

Hope this helps ;)

Shenda

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OopsNowWhat

I think postive dating is for me. Although online is not.

I've always been guarded and shy. [insert my fucked up childhood story here]

When I think about having to worry about having to tell some1 or having the risk of spreading it for the rest of my life...... I just smoke a lot of pot. J/k....Kinda..... But seriously to me it comes down to......after actually finding some1 who will be accepting......

Do I want a 75% sex life with some1 who IS NOT infected.

OR

Do I want a 99% sex life with some1 who IS infected.

Now I just toatally weed everybody out. I'm sure ill get over it.... although its been 9 months.

I also know how you feel speaktru. Most of my friends have baby mamma drama, are married, or at least living with some1.

Fuck it or fight it... its all the same. (yea another Bradley Nowell quote...... from the same song!)

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ladystardust

i know how you feel, i am struggling as well with the thought of dating as well..

don't give up on your health though, or you will suffer more. eating right and a generally healthy lifestyle means less obs. and if something (or someone) does come along, you'll want to be able to reassure them that you are in good health and ob free.

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