Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dating With Herpes

Dear Zane,

I'm a 21 year old female in college who is not happy. I’ve been living with HERPES for a year now. I received the disease by having sex with a guy who I later found out by a MALE FRIEND that he was very nasty and was known to have multiple sex partners and do threesomes with random females. I blame myself hard for that because I should have done my research on this guy before having sex! I wanted to go to the health department and tell them about this guy but it's no point! After a year, it's been hard for me to date because every guy I become sexually involved with is either paranoid after sex or ends up not talking to me anymore. One of my other male friends has told me NOT to tell my sex partners about the disease when I don't have an outbreak, which I don't think it's fair to do that! My friend told me if things were to go sour with the guy, he won't air out my dirty laundry and that's why I shouldn't tell. I would like to date but I’m tired of being just friends with a guy. I would like to have a relationship and have somebody respect me for who I am and look beyond herpes. God did this to me for a reason. Zane, I do not know what to do!

Signed,
Not Happy

Dear Not Happy,

My heart goes out to you but please do not continue to pound on yourself for making an unwise decision. Women twice your age and older make them every single day. What is done is done and it is a scary world that we live in. Most men have no regards for their own personal safety when it comes to getting their jollies off. They live life on the edge and figure that either it will never happen to them or that if it does, so be it because they have to go some way and it might as well be from having sex.

What is done is done and you cannot change the past. You can only move forward. No matter how difficult it is, you must be honest with the men you choose as potential sex partners. If you do not tell them the truth, then you are no better than the man who infected you with herpes. There are many people living with the disease and it does not change your value as a woman, unless you allow it to. Granted, in a perfect world, you would find a man who is willing to work around your outbreaks or even someone who already has it because there are tons of attractive, successful men who are carriers. I am not suggesting that you wear a sign on your back but I am suggesting that you show people the courtesy that was not shown to you. Do not listen to your friend’s suggestion. While I can understand his outlook because people can be mean and talk about others when they think they are better. Thus if I were you, I would only date men who do not travel in the same circles as your friends. That way, even if they do decide to be spiteful and spread your personal business, they cannot affect your normal daily life.

That special man will come along. I know you are in pain. I know that you are sad. But you are alive and herpes is not a fatal disease. Be grateful for that much. Live each day and stay open to the possibilities but realize that you cannot knowingly sleep with someone without telling them the truth. That simply should not be an option.

Blessings,
Zane

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