“I mostly thought, ‘I’m going to die alone, no one’s going to date me ever again,” she tells SELF.

Although herpes is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases, it’s shrouded in stigma.

dating a woman with genital herpes-63

“This isn’t everyone’s experience, but when I started dating with herpes, I found out none of my partners cared.”Although she sees that it’s intriguing to potentially avoid attachment—and thus heartbreak—by telling someone right out the gate, she makes an excellent point in favor of taking your time: “Nobody tells you all of the things about themselves that you usually don’t find out for a bit, like they have really bad credit or they’re a horrible cook, until you get to know each other.” Of course, it’s different with a health condition you can pass to someone else, but it’s worth noting.

Although they tell potential partners at different points in the relationship, Carlson and Davis’ actual disclosure process is pretty similar.

Although telling someone you’re interested in can be intimidating, there are different ways to do it, and you might find one easier than the others.

In the past, Carlson would put the herpes conversation on the table quickly.

A week went by, and we continued to abstain from sex, although we were seeing each other almost daily at this point. I already knew I had HSV I — typically expressed orally as cold sores on the mouth — but my partner wasn't sure if he had HSV I or HSV II.

As a woman with a deep-seated fear of HIV and plenty of education on the subject, I realized that I hadn’t spent much time studying the ramifications of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). A common misconception is that HSV I is exclusive to the mouth and HSV II is exclusive to the genitals.

Davis usually holds off on disclosing to potential sexual partners that she has herpes until she’s known them for a bit.

“I’ve always waited a little while before telling people, basically until I thought it was going somewhere,” Davis says.

They both say it can be nerve-racking, but a few things help: sitting the person down in a place that’s comfortable for them, trying not to be too emotional, starting off with something like, “Hey, there’s something I need to talk to you about,” and bringing a wealth of knowledge to the conversation.“I always try to be calm and not too clinical but explain that I have done the research,” Carlson says.

Davis agrees, saying she fills people in on key details, like how herpes is transmitted, how transmission can be prevented, whether she’s taking medication that keeps the virus from multiplying, thus making it less likely to transmit, and how to find more information about the STD.

Recently, I started talking online with a new guy who made me feel all of the tingles and energy that signal the beginning of an exciting new relationship.