We all have pasts and our pasts shape us into the people we are today. Sometimes the past can cause current problems and medical issues. There are many out there living with herpes, but dating someone with herpes doesn't mean you will get it yourself. Nor does it mean you have to break up with them at the first chance.
What about if you have herpes? It can be a major worry for many starting a new relationship, as it's something you'll need to be honest about. Here's a look at everything you need to know about herpes and dating.
What to Do If Your Partner has Herpes
You come home and your partner tells you they have herpes. Once you've learned whether it is due to an affair or from a past relationship, you'll want to know what it means for the two of you now. How should you react? What should you do to protect yourself? Does this mean you have it too?
Find out the details of when your partner contracted herpes. If you've done nothing sexual yet, you won't have caught the virus. If you have been sexually active, you will want to get yourself checked for the virus to make sure you don't have it. Once you have the herpes virus, it doesn't go away. It's the same virus as the cold sore virus, but we'll get into more detail about that later.
Remain calm while discussing this, even if it is a result of cheating. Being stressed and angry isn't going to help get to the bottom of the virus and when symptoms first started. Stress can also cause bouts of symptoms if you do have it yourself.
Learn More About Herpes
Don't be ashamed if you want time away from your partner. You'll want to do your research. If you do this online, make sure you use reliable and trustworthy medical sites, you can also check our Herpes Support Groups or read latest article about living with herpes. They will give you the facts to help you learn more about treatment, symptoms, and more. However, avoid being hurtful or angry at your partner. Having the virus doesn't mean they will put your health at risk. It also doesn't necessarily mean they've had an affair! Avoid jumping to conclusions and listen to the facts.
Carrying the herpes virus doesn't mean you and your partner can't be sexually active. You will need to take steps to prevent the virus passing to you. This will mean the use of condoms and not being sexually active when the herpes symptoms are present.
How to Tell Someone You Have Herpes
If you're the one carrying the disease, you will want to talk about it before you are sexually active. Where herpes is a result of an affair, make sure you discuss the virus right away. Your partner will be hurt, but you need to put their health first.
It's tempting to try to state everything in one breath. You want your partner not to worry about the virus and that it doesn't mean you relationship has to be over. You'll want to give all the details and help them have the important information as soon as possible. However, you do run the risk of information overload.
This is going to be scary at first, but remain calm and stick to facts. Some of it will be all about the wording. Don't tell your partner you have herpes, but state you have the herpes virus. Use "sexually transmitted disease" instead of "sexually transmitted infection," and share the fact that sleeping with you doesn't mean they are guaranteed to get the disease. There are ways to limit the risk of passing the disease onto your partner and your sexual life isn't over. In fact, did you know 80-90% of people with the virus haven't been properly diagnosed and may be carrying it without realizing?
Tell Your Partner Before Having Sex
When you have the talk will depend on the relationship. Definitely tell your partner before you become sexually active, but with a new relationship that doesn't mean you have to tell them on the first date. You could share it when discussing previous partners.
Don't wait until the minute you're going to have sex to tell your partner. The attraction and lust for each other can stop you both thinking rationally. You both may take the risk and then regret it the next day. Share the truth when you are both sound of mind, without alcohol or other inhabitants. You can then make informed decisions on the next stage of your relationship.
Your partner is going to find it easier to remain calm if you are. Answer their questions and give them chance to do their research. You'll already know the answers to many of the questions, so allow them to ask you as much as they want. Make it clear that you won't be offended or embarrassed by any of the questions.
It is difficult, but try to avoid too many emotions. You want to keep to the facts and help share the information your partner needs.
Types of Herpes: All You Need to Know About the Virus
There are different types of the herpes virus, and one of them the majority of people already carry. If you've had a cold sore in the past, that's the most common type of herpes virus. It's called the HSV-1 virus.
This form of herpes can develop into genital herpes. What You Need to Know About Genital Herpes? - Video by Dr. Robyn Neblett Fanfair, Medical Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, summarizes important facts about genital herpes, including information on how herpes is spread, symptoms of the infection, and ways it is treated and prevented. (April 30, 2013). It's important not to perform oral sex on anyone when you have a cold sore or allow someone with a cold sore to perform oral sex on you. HSV-2 is the name given to the genital version of the virus. This is infectious between couples, with or without full intercourse.
You may be living with the virus without realizing. The full STD tests don't actually test for the HSV-2 virus. There may be no symptoms at all, leaving people with a dormant virus without ever knowing about it until they get a flare up. Even when there are flare ups, the symptoms may be so mild that they are overlooked or believed to be something else!
It is possible to spread the virus without any symptoms. Likewise, having symptoms visible doesn't mean the virus will pass, but there is a risk. The virus can shed with or without symptoms, leading to a risk at all times.
Read more about all the herpes virus - Herpes virus: 8 types.
Is It Safe to Date Someone with Genital Herpes?
This is a big question for those who just learn their partner has the disease. It's a completely normal question and there is a positive answer.
It is safe. However, you will need to take some precautions to keep yourself protected. You'll also need to bear in mind that forms of protection are not 100% effective. Only abstinence is the 100% effective way to avoid the virus.
Don't rely on no physical symptoms of the virus. Remember that the virus can shed without symptoms and you may get it. However, the risk is much lower than if there are open sores. The problem with relying on symptoms is that they look like so many other conditions. They can be confused for bug bites, pimples, shaving rashes, and even ingrown hairs.
The use of a latex condom is the best way to protect yourself and remain with your partner sexually. If there is a flare up, abstain from sex until the symptoms disappear. The symptoms usually go away after a few days, unless stress or other conditions keep the virus active for longer periods of time. Think of the symptoms like cold sores.
If you have the virus, you'll need to be honest about flare ups of the symptoms. Be honest why you can't be sexually active at that present moment.
Dating someone with herpes isn't impossible. It just means being calm and thoughtful. Take precautions but be aware of the risks that you could catch the virus. Also be aware that you may already unknowingly have it.
Who Gets Herpes?
Anybody can carry the herpes virus. This isn't a disease that just affects prostitutes and the men who sleep with them. Your own siblings, your baby sitter, and even your dog walker could have the virus. You may be carrying it without even realizing at first!
It's one of the easiest viruses to spread between people, due to the way it sheds and the lack of symptoms. You may have caught it during your early sexual years and only get a flare up now. Your partner may have caught it from an ex-girlfriend before you.
When talking about the disease, stick with the facts. You will find it much easier to understand more about it. This isn't about finding out why someone has it, but what you need to do moving forward. Dating someone with herpes is still possible. You don't need to make a big deal about it, but you should warn your partners before they become sexual ones as much as possible. You can then both take precautions and know that you're honest with each other.