He works in the building I live in and we have a crush on each other. I like him and he likes me. How do I know? He stepped to me and made it clear. Now, I’ve only let him know in so many words for only one reason. I have herpes. Despite being asymptomatic, I HATE having “the talk” with someone I really like.
Let’s get something straight from the start. In all of my 11 years of carrying this virus, I never have and never will engage in sexual activity without disclosing to my partner FIRST. I believe they should be given the opportunity that was never given to me. Although I may be fine with it now, it wasn’t always that way.
When I first found out, I thought my life was over. I thought no one would ever want me again. I thought my sex life had just been nuked. Little did I know everything wasn’t over. I’ve found acceptance from men who genuinely liked me more often than I thought. I learned that it is possible to practice safe sex with a trusted partner even after contracting an STD.
I’ve grown accustomed to having an STD especially since I don’t have any outbreaks. The main reason why I don’t want to disclose to him right now is because other areas of my life aren’t quite right at the moment. I don’t need anything else adding to the potentially crushing blow that I could deliver to this budding “relationship”. So I attempt to avoid him at all costs but no matter what I do, he won’t let me.
He makes sure that he makes some sort of eye contact or physical contact with me so that I acknowledge his presence. That makes avoidance extremely difficult but I stick with what I know simply because his advances make me blush. I become a total idiot in his presence. I just can’t ever seem to say the right thing. I’ve already told him that things are not quite right for me when he asked me out on a date which he seemed to understand. Having herpes doesn’t make me afraid, but what it DOES is make me feel that I have to be so on top of my game in all other areas that when I do disclose to him, there’s less shock.
I can see things getting better for me financially in a few short months so maybe I’ll build up the courage to tell him then if he is still “keeping an eye on me” as he said he would do. I can’t lie, I do like the attention he gives me but I’m just not ready to open that door. I usually wait until I know what kind of man he is first before I disclose which can be before or after the first date. This guy? He’s a keeper. He’s a good one…I already know it because I’ve had many conversations with him. For now, I’ll continue to leave things the way they are and hope that he doesn’t find someone else before I get my act together.
Once I DO get my act together, I have to hope that he’ll understand my condition. The part that’s most difficult about giving someone the choice of whether or not they want to pursue an intimate relationship with someone who has an STD is that they have the right to say no. I may very well be going through all of this consideration only for him to say no. It would sting a bit but I’m okay with it. I have to be. After all, having herpes is not the end and I am sure that I will find another guy who is right for me and willing to accept me kit and caboodle.
Everybody is afraid of catching an STD but nobody talks about it so BOOM here it is. Look for more posts about how I choose to approach dating with herpes. For more information and statistics, you can visit the links below:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Black Love Forum support this author’s decision and right to remain anonymous. We feel her stories and perspectives could help others suffering with a life altering illness.