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dm85

Dating with genital herpes

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dm85

I would like to know what everyone's experience has been with dating after getting herpes? I just recently found out I have H and the thought of having to tell a girl who is initially interested in me, that I have H, is nerve racking. Does anyone have any dating tips?

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JustKeepSwimming3

I wish I could tell you something positive about that! I have been repeatedly rejected because of my diagnosis. It is so stigmatized in our culture that people are not even willing to take the time to ask questions about the virus and understand it before they come to a decision about dating you. However, as pessimistic as that is, try not to get entirely discouraged. I have heard from many people on this site that they have dated and/or married people negative for H and who have remained H free for the duration of their relationship and that their partner's diagnosis was irrelevant to their relationship. So there is hope!

The only thing I can tell you from my own experience is that it is ALWAYS better to tell the person prior to engaging in anything sexual with them. Even if you're being safe, the person always deserves to know.

And, the people who leave you because of your diagnosis obviously aren't the people you would want to be with anyways. I heard from another member of this site that H is a great way to weed out those who are not good for us. That is definitely the truth. Good luck!

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dm85

I definitely agree with your last statement about weeding out people who are no good. That is partly what got me to where I am now. However, you live and learn.

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rotn0ne1

Hello. My experience with dating is NONE. I have had this since June of last year. I have been with one man. &he's someone I've known for 14 years. So, I don't think he counts since he knew me long before I had this large label. I have hidden behind the words, and made myself just that, a word. I am hoping, like you, to get some positive feedback &answers. But, looking at this, 100 plus have viewed, and you've gotten two responses. OUCH! I haven't had much "rejection", but I also have not told many strangers. I have told one, he was off a dating website, MeetMe. Very nice boy, but a boy he was. He was ok with me having H, but, sadly played mind games. He just wasn't for me, but I didn't get rejected. I haven't told anyone about the virus face to face, I'm too afraid. I am hoping to come back to the forums, and remove some of my fear. I have allowed this virus to consume my life. I do not wish this upon you, or anyone else afraid to date. I have boxed myself in my home, and feel as though the label is on my forehead. I would like to help you with advice, if you could possibly do the same for me. :/

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Rob1125

dm85, I've told two girls so far. One took a couple days and said "we can work through this" and we immediately started having sex and kept going as the relationship was, however it was founded on pretty much just physical things so it eventually crumbled for reasons non H-related. The other one took a month to think about it, tried to keep seeing me, but just couldn't shake her fear of it (which is a good indicator that her feelings for me likely weren't all that strong to begin with). Both were shocked when I told them, but neither was a bitch or freaked out or anything like that. Although I'm bummed for losing that girl and nervous about telling others, my advice would be to allow yourself to believe the truth that there's about a 50:50 chance the next girl will be fine with it and gain confidence from that. If she rejects, do your best to not look back at what could have been, have a short memory, and believe in yourself for the next one. From what I can tell, most people who are successful with this are very confident with themselves and don't see this virus as a big deal. I think it's important to do your best to believe this as it will come across in the way you tell and breaking this news in as comforting a way as possible will at least get them started thinking about it in a less-scary manner. Good luck to you!

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dm85

Rob, thanks for the advice! That was really helpful and I will most certainly keep that in mind.

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SoloMio

After the first time being rejected, I decided the best way to to let people know up front about my condition and all my online dating profiles were changed to include some pretty obvious HSV clues and 'go read this' warnings. I also joined H-YPE, a dating and support site specifically for people with HSV and HPV. I can't describe how much that changed my outlook on life and how much better I'm doing now. I'm even seeing someone non-H now who accepts my status and still wants to be with me.

Whatever you do, don't give up hope!

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Shygirl22

Hey guys. I'm glad I found this site as I need to vent these feelings:

I just told the man I've been dating for the past month that I have HSV-1 earlier today. I decided to tell him after we had the initial sex history conversation. I was diagnosed about 2 years ago but totally forgot to mention it before making out with him because my outbreaks are few and far between and my past partners have been lax about it. We have not engaged in any sexual activity, we have only kissed. But we decided to get tested before we have any sexual activity.

Last week I got a cold sore and the thought of telling him lead me to avoid him for the past week. I had my STD screening done last week for everything but herpes because if you are experiencing an outbreak of HSV-1, it will show that you also have HSV-2. but I of course already know that I have HSV-1 and as far as I know- do not have HSV-2 but want to know for sure.

Long story short, my sore is nearly healed and was very small this time. I went to his house today to finally tell him but ended up lolly-gagging. We cooked lunch and watched a movie and then when we started snuggling he asked me how my trip to the doctor was. He was referring to my STD screening of course.

I told him I had HSV-1 and his reaction has left me feeling very unsure of our budding relationship.

I explained to him the details of both viruses and the risks/ prevention.

He then said "I probably shouldn't be kissing you then right?" and became more distant.

I am crushed.

Honestly, I could live without penetration or oral sex. I know I could.

But without being kissed? That is like a curse.

I explained to him how many people have it and don't even know it and how easily it is to be exposed.

I told him that he should get tested too since he can have it already and not know it. He insisted he did not but since we've been kissing for some time he asked if he might now, to which I had to reply yes. Feeling like a disease ridden monster, I told him to take his time, sleep on it and get back to me when he decides if he wants to continue to date/kiss/ someday make love with me.

I have no idea what is going to happen. He is going to go get tested for HSV-1 asap undoubtedly.

All I know is that I did the right thing (eventually) and that I will tell the next person I date before I ever kiss him-This I swear.

For all of you who contracted this virus because someone did not tell you they have it (either HSV-1 or 2)- I promise I will tell anyone I plan to kiss/sleep with/share utensils with.

I would expect the same.

I feel so bad that I did not think to share this before we started kissing. Especially since he was a gentleman and I initiated our first kiss.

I am now on an emotional roller coaster and have no idea when it is going to stop. I really like this guy and after being single for 2+ years, I've been counting on this to go somewhere.

This sucks.

As far as dating advice:

Don't kiss/share anything or put the other person in the position to get the virus. Take it slowly and once you feel like you might be close to taking that step, sit down in a peaceful, quiet place and have that conversation. I really think he will be okay and knowing how to prevent spreading it is very reassuring. Especially since a lot of people have it and/or have been exposed. STC testing should really be a first before kissing for this reason.

Best of luck and thanks for reading.

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Queen

Shygirl,

I am a bit confused by your post. If you only are infected with HSV1, even if you're currently having an outbreak, you will not ALSO test positive for HSV2 unless you do in fact have it. I would suggest researching more about HSV, which may help you to better explain it to future partners.

I have never told a potential partner as I am still with my boyfriend I contracted it from. But I think it's all about the way you approach it. If you tell someone and act like its the end of the world, that's the way they are going to react and your chances of rejection are high. In your case, did you explain that 90% of the population has oral herpes in the form of HSV1? Has he never seen someone with a common cold sore?? The majority of the population has had a cold sore at one time or another and it is generally socially accepted. Not a big deal. If a guy ever sat me down and had a serious conversation with me about how he occasionally suffers from cold sores I would think that was strange, as would most people I'm sure.

Are you aware of the differences between type one and type two? You said you have type 1 genitally, so explain that to him. All it is is a cold sore in a different place. That's it. Genital HSV1 has a much lower recurrence rate and as such the chances for transmission are much much lower than that of HSV2. If you also are taking suppresive antivirals transmission risks are ever lower. Educate yourself on everything herpes related so you can give correct, informed information. The lack of education is what landed most of us in this situation. Be proactive and make sure your partner understands what this virus is. Chances are if they fully understand what the virus is and how it works, they will be much more accepting and willing to stick around than if you just blurt out you have herpes and leave it at that.

Really though, I'd suggest having a test....especially if you're having an outbreak. Have it swabbed and typed. Have blood work done as well. If it comes up positive for HSV2, it's because you have HSV2, not because you're having an HSV1 outbreak. That makes no sense.

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Queen

I just reread your post and now realize you're talking about oral HSV1??? Geez. If a cold sore is a deal breaker, this guy is a complete idiot. Like I said, 90% of the population gets cold sores. I think it's weird you even tell people. But that's just me. Whatever. To me that's like telling someone you have had the flu before so there's a chance they may get it. It doesn't make sense to me. Good luck with that though.

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RealisticGal
Shygirl,

I am a bit confused by your post. If you only are infected with HSV1, even if you're currently having an outbreak, you will not ALSO test positive for HSV2 unless you do in fact have it. I would suggest researching more about HSV, which may help you to better explain it to future partners.

It is possible to get "False Positive" results for HSV-2 on blood tests.

:wavey:

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dm85

Queen,

The thing that gets me is how society (for the most part) finds having cold sores acceptable but as soon as it pops up on the genitals, it's labeled the worst thing ever. At least with HSV2 it's hidden (unless you enjoy public nudity, lol) from view. Cold sores are just out there for all the world to see but still, not as stigmatized as genital herpes.

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Bachlorette

Hi Everyone...I have H1 and received it from the person, who I was living with. cold sore and oral sex. I was diagnosed Jan 2008 . We broke up in Jan 2011. I have dated two guys, since I was diagnosed and luckily for me, both men accepted it and loved me. I am still with the 2nd person, and Dec 15 was our first year anniversary dating. I was upfront and honest with both men before becoming active, and it nearly killed me to tell them both, but I knew i had to be honest. I am very lucky that I dont' OB very often. it seems that I OB when I first start to date, and stress about having to tell someone. I am having an OB now, but chaulk it up to stress from xmas, too many chocolates, work, etc. I am also gettin gover pneumonia. But I just wanted to let you know, that living in a really small town, there is still hope for some nice guys out. I found mine. Good Luck..

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Queen

I absolutely agree with you. I think it's ridiculous as well. But I think most people would agree oral hsv is not at stigmatized as genital. Somehow genital hsv is considered dirty because it is transferred sexually. A a society we have all been taught to be ashamed of anything to do with sexuality. I'm not saying its right, but that is how it is. All of us who have it know it is not as big of a deal as those who don't have it or are not educated view it to be. I also think that since most of the population gets cold sores it is generally accepted. When something is widespread people don't stigmatize it. 25% of the population has Hsv genitally, which makes it much less common and thus makes people fear it. Misery loves company.

In regards to false positives, yes, those do exist. However, that's not an excuse to dismiss it. If you test positive, you should obviously follow up with it. The idea that you will test positive for it during an hsv1 oral outbreak is ridiculous. If you test positive for hsv2, you likely have it. False positives are not all that common, though they do exist. That's one thing that I was told that really bothered me. I clung to false hope when it wasn't realistic. I don't believe in doing that to people. It just prolongs the suffering.

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RealisticGal

In regards to false positives, yes, those do exist. However, that's not an excuse to dismiss it. If you test positive, you should obviously follow up with it. The idea that you will test positive for it during an hsv1 oral outbreak is ridiculous. If you test positive for hsv2, you likely have it. False positives are not all that common, though they do exist. That's one thing that I was told that really bothered me. I clung to false hope when it wasn't realistic. I don't believe in doing that to people. It just prolongs the suffering.

Not a reason to dismiss it at all. I would suggest a follow-up test, perhaps with a different kit.

Also, the numeric values need to be considered. If they are below 3.5 on a Herpeselect ELISA, they are in question.

None of this applies to shygirl, who has not been tested for HSV-II yet, apparently. I agree that the timing of the blood tests does not matter. However, if the test is not Gg-based, it could have a higher possibility of a "false positive" for HSV-II in those who do have HSV-I.

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WarriorPrincess

I was diagnosed about 7 months ago. I've been dating a new guy for about 3 months. I really like him and could see a future with him. He's really only dated one person before me and it was like a 10 year relationship. We're going away in a couple weeks for a friends wedding and it'll be our first weekend away. I'm scared to death tell him.

I'm trying to find the right time and words to tell him but I'm so afraid of the rejection. Is there a good way to tell the guy your dating that 7 months ago you slept with a friend who didn't know they had herpes and they gave it to you.

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Nanci

Thanks for all the posts on this topic.

I have not disclosed to any potential boyfriends, but I sure have thought about how I might do that. I have a few boy "friends" presently but no boyfriend, and my giver was an old friend that didn't know he had it. Sucks. But I often think that most people in dating relationships either 1) never get any kind of STD testing before contact and 2) never get herpes testing before contact. So really if you put yourself out there against the rest of the population, having this "discussion" before contact is pretty damn responsible whether you know you have the virus or not. How many people like my giver are out there giving it because we have reckless casual sex with no discussion and no testing? I'm persuaded by the statitstic that you are less likely to give H away simply by knowing your status! In other words, you will be safe and others won't.

I often wonder that with suppressive therapy and some barrier methods whether the risk is statistically significant at all? If the partner with H is very in tune with their health and can predict/tell when outbreaks or coming or whether their immune system is down, that will prevent the great bulk of infection opportunites. I am also convinced that I, in my 20+ years of sexual activity have been exposed, but not "caught" it because I have a great immnune system generally. When I did get H my immune system was down and I was on antibiotics, which means my immune system was wiped out. I think this played a role in my getting it. So if either partner is feeling sick or immune low, than no sex. Of course the non-H partner has to be okay with taking a remote risk, but really, it is very remote.

I expect to get rejected because of H. I rejected at least one person, maybe 2 in my pre-H dating history and I can honestly say that if I had been interested in something more serious with the guy, I would have worked around it. So I think the general truth is that if the person is serious about your relationship they will work around it. If not, you've weeded them out sufficiently way ahead of some crash and burn relationship drama. Frankly I've had enough of those types of relationships and a serious one with someone that really cared about me enough to deal with this shitty virus. That might be really refreshing.

So wish me luck! And I'll report back now and again if I have any relevant experiences.

Nanci

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JCluvslife

listen this shit it a part of ur history now.. stop worrying about what others think of u. if they care for u it wont matter.. first luv urself b4 u expect ne1 else too. ive had hsv2 for over 14 years now. ive dated a good friend of mine i told him my situation and he was happy i told him.. even me having that he just wanted friends with benefits :0(..then i decided i wanted more. so a year and a half ago i met my sexi boo.. by the 3rd date was thinking my right approach to tell him my inheirance.. well it went very well. we are so in luv. and yes i use condoms i may have hsv but dont want aids. i protect him with my honesty and he protects me with his condom.. my friend now says i luv u i want commitment.. lol 2 late..

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Makeda

I have a different approach when weeding out people.. about a week into talking I ask them have they ever had an std. Then I ask them would you ever consider dating a person with a std such as herpes.. I explain to them what it is and how I feel about the stigma placed on people who have hsv-1 and 2. Usually I get " no, I couldn't put my self in that situation , we can be friends". Those I don't disclose to because at that point I know the " relationship" will not progress any further.

I have had one Do his research and come back to me and say he would date a person with Hsv-1 and 2. He explained the steps he would take to protect himself. Only then did I tell him I was Hsv-2 positive.. I had One out break in all of the four years I have had this disease. I knew I had it before I even went to the doctor.. I researched the hell out of it when I contracted it from my daughters father ( same day I found out I was pregnant I had and out break , flu symptoms ..everything). The man Is now one of my best friends and I love him to death.. even though we are not currently together, I will always appreciate him. One thing he said to me was " Thank you for giving me a choice". I strongly believe in Not taking someone's choice away from them.

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Sunshine01

I want you to know that there are girls out there who will be more than appreciative for you telling them up front (it shows how honest you are - I mean you are taking a big risk by letting her know as she could make the decision to not keep dating you). But, if you think about it..it can very well weed out the girl who really cares and is willing to take that risk because you are worth it versus someone who isn't willing. I promise you it's worth it. My boyfriend was up front and told me. It scared me but it allowed me to make the decision if I wanted to stay in this or not. I did the research and found out the risks. I loved him and felt the risks outweighed not being with him anymore just because he has this virus. There are some precautions you can take that can reduce her chances of contracting H. You might even be surprised to hear her say, 'i'm so glad you said that b/c I have it too'

In the end,I did end up catching it from him. If he had not told me and kept it a secret when I found out I had it, I can't imagine how I wouldve felt! I do wish looking back that I had asked him to take the Valtrex daily (he offered to do that but I wanted to prove to him that H didn't bother me). He had told me he only had one OB and it was ten years ago. I did not get all my information and I don't want to say he mislead me but he made it sound less scary for me. He said things now I realize that are misleading like he thought he 'had fought it off' or it was so low he couldn't pass it on - all b/c he had one OB he was aware of and that was it. His initial OB wasn't very long or bad either. He'd also say things like his ex's never caught it. I now realize they couldve but not had any symptoms that were bothersome, etc.

I read in a few places that Valtrex can reduce transmission 49% to a partner who is negative (check out the www.westoverheights.com website - handbook is awesome and informative for someone w/ H or a potential partner who is negative). I read about shedding and also knew that the rate was low for him. I wonder now if he just didn't have all his facts or he was trying to downplay it so I wouldn't leave him.

So knowing what it is like to have H now would I have left him when he initially told me? No. I have to say what upsets me the most is how unsupportive he is being - as I am depressed and having a really bad initial OB so it's painful and emotional. He hasn't really been there for me emotionally thru this. I was going thru a really hard time last night crying and feeling sad. He promised to call me after dinner with his sister. He ended up going to a bar and getting drunk w/ friends and never called. He acted today like he could just apologize and it was no big deal. I feel so alone with this. He says things like 'take your meds and rest and I promise you will feel better' That is not exactly helping me out right now. It's just so ironic and twisted. :(

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dm85

Sunshine,

Thanks for the post. Your post has boosted my confidence (a little, lol) and has given me some things to think about. The hardest part will be getting over possible rejections from it, but I'm a tough guy, I can handle it. :p

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Sunshine01

Hi dm85,

That is awesome :) Honestly, if she is really into you, she will stay. My main problem was my bf who has H didn't have it very bad in terms of initial outbreak and he was pretty asymptomatic afterwards. When I did catch it, he wasn't there for me at all and couldn't be bothered :-( I learned my lesson the hard way but I don't regret it. As a girl who didn't have H, I took the risk b/c I liked him so much and saw a potential future with him. I couldn't predict he was going to be such an a@@ afterwards...as long as you are there for her and support her, it should be fine if she ends up w/ it. I still can't believe he acted that way but at least I made the ultimate decision. I encourage anyone on here to give someone that decision..otherwise it will just break your rship. Good luck to you and I promise you it will weed out the ones who want to be with you from the ones who are willing to walk.. Just be a sweetheart if she happens to get it. I don't think its really asking much! :-)

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dm85

Sunshine,

How long did you guys see each other before he told you or before it got to where you wanted to be intimate?

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Alibaba

I just recently got out of a 5 year relationship with the partner that gave me H. I just started going out and hanging out with old friends. I think for my first time putting myself out there I was pretty lucky.

I started talking to an old friend that I dated shortly when I was 16. I saw him again when I was out with some friends and we exchanged numbers and planned a night out. He recently got out of a relationship too so we had a lot to talk about. Towards the end of the night he finally made a move and it got a little crazy. I didn't allow us to go any further because of what I have and I wasn't ready to discuss it with him. One day we were talking and he asks me the big question. "by the way have you been tested? I have and I'm clean as a whistle". I froze didn't know what to say. I finally told him that maybe we should meet up because there was something I needed to tell him. After a night of good conversation it was finally time to tell him. I explained how I got it. And told him I do not blame him if he doesn't want to go any further. To my surprise he was so understanding. He new about H because he had done research in the past about it. He said he wanted to take some time to read up on it a little more before we decide to get to the next level but he was sweet about it. He hugged and kissed me and was so appreciative that I had told him. Because he is an old friend I told him I thought it would be best if we stayed friends because I would feel so guilty to pass it on to him especially since all we wanted was a fling with each other not anything serious.

Since then we talk everyday. All I can say is that for my first time experiencing this, it was wonderful. I just hope that the guys are meet in the future are as understanding.

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