know exactly how you’re feeling. You’re 26, and you’ve just found out from the
doctor that you have herpes. You’ve just burst out crying in front of the
awkward-looking trainee GP. You feel like your whole world is over, you’re
damaged goods and no-one will ever want to have sex with you again.
going to spend the next week in the flat, crying, downing wine and despairing
at the terrible injustice – you only had sex with him one time! And you didn’t
even really like him!
Well I’m pleased to say that ten years’ later, you’re doing great! Yes, at the beginning it was difficult, and maybe you did avoid some romantic encounters because you felt insecure about having to tell someone you had herpes. But then, about a year later, you met Steve – such a great guy. You waited until you’d been out a few times, and you were about to get near to having sex, and then sort of blurted it out. And he was absolutely fine about it! You ended up dating for almost a year, and then after that you went on to have three more really happy relationships. No tears, no rejection – everyone you told basically shrugged their shoulders and never mentioned it again.
you met the person that you would end up marrying. You were really nervous,
because you knew she was someone special. Spent the whole meal trying to eat
your dinner and follow the conversation, with heart pumping at deafening
volume. Well that was an anti-climax – again -just a shoulder shrug and ‘oh, I
don’t know much about it but I’m not bothered at all’. Cut to 5 years later,
and we’re still going strong.
what I’d love to be able to do for you (and everyone who might be going through
something similar) is give you a giant hug and tell you that IT WILL BE OK! You
are the person who will be the most worried about things – not your future
partners. They will choose you because they fancy you and love you – as you
would for others, because why on earth would you not go out with someone
because of a skin condition? How ridiculous! And if you do come across someone
who judges you on the basis of that skin condition, do you want to waste your
time with someone like that? There are so many good ones out there.
the hardest thing you’ll have to get over are your own feelings of shame and
embarrassment – and you’re still working on it (that’s why I’m using a
pseudonym here). But there are people like Marian and Nigel trying to break
down that stigma, and in time maybe you’ll work up the courage to be 100% open.
in the meantime dry your tears, and try not to worry too much about the future,
because it’s a really really happy one.
of love, you +10