Having herpes in itself can be quite a challenge, but finding a relationship where the partner is HSV free is another challenge into itself. The truth is, almost one in five Americans have HSV-2 and one in four have HSV-1. However, many people have closed their minds about herpes and immediately assume that infected people are dirty and unsafe. This is simply not true. One can still go about their normal daily activities, including dating and have a completely healthy sexual relationship with herpes. A lot of people with herpes think that it is the end of their involvement in the dating scene, but this is not true! There are many ways for you to continue dating even if you have herpes.
Specifically if you’ve been recently diagnosed and when you feel you’re ready to begin dating, it is important that you understand your own situation, first. Others may find it difficult to accept you and your situation if you don’t know anything about it yourself. So, it’s important to do some research about herpes and how it affects people, but more importantly how it affects you. Find out how it gets transmitted, and the ways to avoid infecting other people. Ask your doctor about certain herpes antiviral medication that can help lessen the outbreaks. You do not have to change your lifestyle completely once acquiring herpes, but having enough knowledge and caution will do you a lot of good.
Like any healthy relationship, honesty is a big part and it’s important that you’re honest with any potential relationships in your life. If positive, never have sex without telling someone that you have herpes. I believe it’s a moral obligation to do so. Countless people each year get herpes from partners that knowingly pass the virus. Always allow your parter to asset their own risk and comfort level to proceed, or not, with a sexual relationship.
If you ever find yourself dating other people and deciding to have a deeper relationship with them, you might want to think about the right time to tell your partner about it. If you’re dating with herpes, at a certain point, you have to take responsibility in informing your partner about your condition. The right time to tell your partner is simply when you’re comfortable with them to do so. Really, only you will know when that time is right, but never do it in the heat of the moment (minutes before sex). Give your partner an opportunity to weigh the possible risks. There are some who believe in telling others right up front, at the very beginning of a relationship, as to avoid feelings for each other, only to fear rejection later. Others, myself included, prefer to get to know someone before disclosing this personal information. The fact is, you might experience rejection or you might not, but that may also happen with or without herpes. 😉
Having herpes does not mean that you can never have sexual intimacy with a person again, quite contrary, but you must be responsible enough to have certain precautions during sexual intercourse. Dating with herpes requires extra care, and this means learning about safe sex techniques. Both you and your partner have to constantly use protection using male and/or female condoms. It is also a safe practice to avoid sexual contact if you are starting to notice symptoms of sores and outbreaks, to avoid infecting your partner. You also have to remember that oral sex can also be a way of transmitting the virus, so avoiding all sexual contact is best during outbreaks, to protect your partner from infection.
Having herpes shouldn’t hinder your dating life. By informing your partner, practicing safe sex and being aware of your own body and any potential symptoms, there’s no reason to herpes should get in your way of having a healthy relationship.