Living With Herpes: Do the People You Date Really Care If You Have Herpes?
One of the things that will haunt a person much more than the physical annoyances of living with herpes is the social stigma. After a diagnosis, people are often afraid that others will judge them. This is ironic, considering that herpes can infect just about anyone who is sexually active, and in fact many people have herpes and aren’t even aware. There is no special moral difference between a person who has herpes and a person who doesn’t—it’s just that the person who has the virus was unlucky.
But do people really care if you have herpes? Are they really silently judging you when you tell them about your ailment, or is it just your imagination? Well, it really depends. There is a lot of ignorance out there about herpes, and if you do your part to educate people, maybe this will be less of a problem in the future.
In the meantime, if you’re too embarrassed to tell people upfront that you are living with herpes, there are a few ways you can try to figure out if a prospective partner would reject you for it:
1) Ask them what they think about STD’s. If they seem to have a non-judgmental attitude and correctly surmise that these infections can happen to anyone, then maybe they wouldn’t care if you have herpes.
2) Mention the topic of herpes in a neutral way and try to get their reaction. If they don’t have any irrational opinions about the virus, it could be that they really won’t judge you for it.
3) Start by mentioning that you have cold sores (if you have them). Though cold sores have much less of a stigma because they are not found on the genitals, they are a type of herpes nonetheless. Explain this to your potential partner and see if they agree.
Of course, eventually you will have to tell your partner about your diagnosis if you are planning to have sex. One way to avoid the awkwardness, however, is to simply date someone who already has herpes, too! Visit PositiveSingles.com and you can meet someone who won’t judge you because they are simply in the same boat. The fact of the matter is that many people have herpes, so you have quite a large pool of dates to choose from. Just remember to be confident and don’t let herpes get you down!