I'd like to share my perspective with the hope that it helps anyone who is grappling with dating after your diagnosis. All the disclosure success stories on this site really helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You see, in the fall of 2016, I got herpes. HSV2. And a pretty horrific first breakout.
What started as a horrible, life-changing event started me down a pretty good path. I'll spare you all the cliches, but suffice it to stay, I re-centered on what/who was important to me, and after taking several months off from dating, went back into the dating pool really focused on finding a true partner. For context, I'd been floundering in the pretty-competitive dating scene in NYC for the past several years. I'm now in my early 30s. Always considered myself a catch-- pretty fit, fancy degrees, etc etc. But Manhattan is full of attractive, accomplished single women. I felt like I was at a major disadvantage. You know...because of the herpes.
Essentially, what I am here to say is that all this "herpes wingman" talk turns out to be spot on.
I made a full dating profile on a non-herpes dating site. A real (non-herpes) website. Not tinder (though I was on that, too) and not eHarmony (seemed too intense..) Over the course of 6 months I dated 3 guys for several weeks each, and things fizzled without going too far. None of them were the right connection, but they were all great guys (except for one finance millionaire...story to be told over cocktails). Then (let's call him:) Luke reached out. And he was kind, and handsome, and educated, and went the extra mile to really get to know me. And on our 5th date, I told him I had herpes. Turns out, so did his last girlfriend. I am currently in the most satisfying sexual relationship of my entire life. "Luke" has met my entire family, and is the best partner I could ask for. Plus, he's really hot. That's pretty convenient.
A key finding over the past year is that, frankly, the right person, someone with whom you have a truly strong connection, who is also ready to settle down, will get over your HSV status. So you should get over it, too. --because you deserve a great partner who wakes up every day in awe of how lucky they are to be with you. I wake up feeling that way about him.
Is my life perfect? Of course not. In fact, I'm having a herpes outbreak as we speak. So that's annoying. Plus, who knows if it will actually work out with "Luke". I just hope this post is helpful for anyone out there who thinks that their HSV status (particularly those of us that do get outbreaks) is going to ruin your life. It gets better, and actually can be used to your advantage.
May the force be with you.