Dating partner with herpes

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.

It can be really scary to have a conversation with someone that you just started dating because you're so worried that the other person will judge you in that moment.

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Jenelle Marie Davis, 34, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will gladly explain why having herpes isn’t the end of the world. It took years for Davis, founder of The STD Project, which encourages awareness and acceptance of various sexually transmitted diseases, and spokesperson for Positive Singles, a dating site for people with STDs, to come to terms with the diagnosis she got at age 16.“My mom says the entire way home from my appointment, I cried and said no one would ever love me, no one would ever want me, and I’d never get married,” Davis tells SELF.

When she was diagnosed with herpes almost three years ago, Whitney Carlson, 29, a social media editor in Chicago, had a similar reaction.

Ella Dawson: Now, when I date, I have to have a conversation about the fact that I have an STI.

That used to really freak me out, especially in the beginning when I was newly diagnosed and still learning about the virus and very self-conscious about it.

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.

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