August 19, 2020

Love and Herpes— My Experience With Online Dating and STDs

It’s hard enough to date in this era of “swipe right” without worrying about STDs. Yes, we were all taught about the dangers of sexually transmitted disease in eighth grade health class, but how many of those who were paying attention were actually paying attention? (If we’re honest, I don’t think I even understood what sex was back in eighth grade. Maybe you assumed, just like me, that only promiscuous, inept, careless, or drug-addicted people had STDs. Smart people didn’t get STDs. STDs were not common in people who attended college, paid their bills on-time, and took good care of themselves. Oh, how wrong I was.

What are STDs?

Let’s review the basics of STDs before we dive into the details about how I got one. STDs (or sexually transmitted diseases) are a group of infections that can spread from one person to another through sexual contact.

Some of the most contagious diseases are the ones that plague the planet. Each year, there are more than 20 million new cases. You’re likely familiar with chlamydia (genital herpes), gonorrhea, and HIV/AIDs. It STDs can be treated with simple antibiotics or have lifelong effects. Incurable STDs can also cause death. Yes, death. They’re not jokes, so you have to be cautious and protect yourself if your goal is to be safe.

Meet Mr. Right

Now, fast forward to April 1996 when I turned 26. I was a college graduate, had a great job at an entry-level, owned my apartment, and had everything in my life. I was missing a partner. So, I tried online dating to meet my Mr. But, I was right. To my complete surprise, he was there after I had endured three terrible dates with Mr. Wrongs. It was pure magic. It was a miracle. It was perfect, until it suddenly stopped being so. Three months into our relationship, I noticed a severe rash. These red, inflamed, chicken pox-like spots began to appear with a vengeance. Itchy. They were very painful. It hurt when it happened. It hurt when it was time to pee. It was obvious that I was in trouble.

How to Diagnose

I panicked and booked an appointment with my Gynecologist. I was confused. These spots where they come from? If I was smarter, I would have known what was happening right away. As I said, however, I consider myself smart, responsible and careful. It never crossed my mind to think that I might have an STD. When the doctor diagnosed me with genital herpes I nearly fell off my chair. Herpes? Herpes genitalis? How did I get herpes? He had had an intense, long and awkward conversation with me. He suggested that we have sex without using a condom. I refused to accept his proposal until he assured me that he was clean.

Now, I was sitting in a thin dressing gown on a table covered with crinkly papers facing the diagnosis for genital herpes. What was my thoughts? For starters, murder. I wanted to murder Mr. Right. I had been misled by him about his STD. I had been transformed overnight from a responsible, upright woman to a trashy, damaged product. He was going to make the payment.

“He had made me into a trashy, damaged woman overnight.”

The Confrontation

It was all in my head. I planned to call him and ask him to visit my house as calmly as possible. I would then play nice with him when he came in, so that he didn’t suspect anything. Then, I was going launch my attack. The truth is that I called him and then immediately broke down. This man was my best friend. Yes, I was mad at him but I also needed his support. I was so agitated that I couldn’t make complete sentences. Before I could hang up, he was already on his way to mine.

I was wrong to imagine the murderous confrontation. He listened calmly and rationally to my story about the day at the doctor’s. He was upset, shocked and apologized as I accused him, among other things, of lying to me, infecting my with a nasty STD, and of wanting to have sex sans condom, when he was fully aware of what was about to happen. He was so calm. He was so calm. Why didn’t he feel ashamed? Is it possible that he was just sitting there, comforting me, and not running for the hills with a look full of shock? He didn’t know what was coming? He didn’t know that I was going to kill him.

His confession

I waited all night for his confession to be ready to yell, scream and throw a fit or even throw a punch. As it turned out, he didn’t know as much as I did. To discover that Mr. Right is a bit of an anomaly. Right is not a person who has genital shepes. He does not experience the symptoms, but he can transmit the disease to others. He was a good, upright, and responsible man, which is probably why I fell head over heels for him. I was also the first girl with whom he had unprotected sexual contact. He didn’t warn me. He didn’t realize he was putting me in danger. He didn’t realize he had an STD.

He didn’t warn me. He didn’t realize he was putting me in danger. He didn’t realize he had an STD.”

The Aftermath

I wish I could say that his ignorance made it easier to us to handle the situation. Unfortunately, I felt like damaged goods and he felt guilty. In a cruel twist, we had no choice but to be more cautious than when we were having sex. Although he initially gave me the disease, I was able to give it to him in a manner that would allow him to experience symptoms.

Condoms were necessary even after we got engaged, and even after we married. It can be difficult to have a partner who has an STD, especially if it is an incurable one such as genital herpes. It’s not possible to have sex without consent. It’s unlikely that we will have sex while out and about without a condom. He can’t spread my STD to me. It won’t happen. I have since let go of my guilt and shame. I have since come to terms with the notion that STDs are only for sluts and whores. Even though my incurable, permanent condition flares up occasionally, I still feel fortunate. I found Mr. Right. I found someone who was willing to face the consequences head-on.

After we had sorted out the details and decided that I could pass the STD to him, he was supportive. He never got upset and was not afraid to have intimate conversations with me. It’s possible that we might have had a different outcome if we weren’t engaged when this happened.

Safe Sex Matters

I had not realized that you could get an STD. It was possible, even incurable, if one follows the correct rules and asks the right questions. My story is not typical. Being an asymptomatic carrier of genital herpes can be very rare. With Mr. Yes, I did get the happy ending with Mr. If I could, I would do it all over again.

It is vital to feel safe in today’s society. Ask your partner about his or her sexual history and health. If possible, take your partner to do STD testing. It will be a difficult conversation. It will be awkward. It’s worth it if you avoid getting a terrible STD. It’s not worth it if the guy runs away after you ask him some personal questions. If you are already suffering from an STD and looking for love, you should know that there is someone out there who can help you.

I have been with Mr. He has had herpes asymptomatically for 10 years. It’s possible. It is possible. The right person, who loves you and wants you to be with them, will be able to deal with all the inconveniences and make exceptions to keep you safe. If Mr. If Mr. I would have made all the sacrifices to be there for him. Only the right guy will. Keep waiting for him. You can always “swipe right”.

Do you love the article? Don’t forget to check out “The Love of My Life has Manic Depressions”. This is the story of a woman who marries a man with Manic Depression.

Are you a victim of sickness dating? Do not keep your story to yourself. Write for Cupid’s Library and share your knowledge for everyone. We would love to hear your story!