Now that you know you have genital herpes, you're out of the dating game, right? Absolutely not. There's no
reason to stop looking for love and fun.
Genital herpes doesn't detract from your many desirable qualities, which have drawn people to you in the past
and will continue to make you a great catch.
And it's important to understand that genital HSV is very common, affecting about 20% of the U.S. adult
population. Positive Singles
Broaching the Topic of Genital Herpes
The first date after a genital herpes diagnosis may seem a little strange, however. If you hope to be sexually
intimate with your date at some point, you may feel like you're keeping a secret. If you are one to be candid with
people, you'll want to blurt it out. Don't. There are some things you should reveal about yourself right away --
for example, that you're married, or that you're just in town for the week -- but some things are better left for
the appropriate moment.
It's up to you to decide the right time to tell a date that you have genital herpes. Follow two rules: First,
don't wait until after having sex. Second, don't wait until you're just about to have sex -- in which case the
attraction may be too strong for either of you to think rationally and act responsibly.
If in the past you tended to start a new relationship with sex, you now might want to change your approach. It
might be better to break the news about herpes to someone who has already grown attached to you. Kissing, cuddling,
and fondling are safe, so you don't have to tell before you do that. But use your best judgment as to how
physically intimate you want to get before telling. One thing could lead to another, and you might find yourself in
an awkward situation.
Dealing With Rejection
Anyone who dates should be prepared for rejection. The person you're seeing may beat a hasty retreat when he or
she finds out you have genital herpes. If you get the "I just want to be friends" talk after telling your
sweetheart you have herpes, consider this: He or she may have already been looking for a way out, and herpes was as
good an excuse as any. What's more, anyone who disdains or humiliates you for having herpes was never worth your
while. Positive Singles
Keep dating, and you will find someone who wants to be with you regardless of your condition. There are
certainly some who wouldn't mind keeping the intimacy level just short of doing things that could transmit the
virus. And of those people, it's likely that at least one will come around, and say, "Hey, I understand there's a
risk, but I'm crazy about you, so I'm willing to take it."