Dating comes with its own share of scary and uncertain things, even more so if you or your partner has herpes. Does this mean you can’t have a successful dating life? Absolutely not! Of course, you can enjoy a fulfilling relationship and have a great sex life, even if you have herpes.
But, if you have herpes, there are things you need to do to be successful. Here are our top tips on dating with herpes:
1. Understand That You’re Not The Only Couple
Given the fact that it’s estimated 1 out of every 8 adults in the U.S. has genital herpes, you can bet you’re not the only couple dealing with this. This is a common condition that couples everywhere are working through.
It’s always helpful to realize you are not the only person that’s dealing with a specific situation. Also, it can mean that there are herpes support groups and other people you know that can give you tips on how they are handling things in their relationship.
2. Have The Sex Conversation Early On
Whether you have herpes or not, you need to have a frank discussion about sex early on in the relationship. Otherwise, the night may come when you want to enjoy time together, and you don’t want to get it off track by announcing you have herpes. It’s important to talk about your past sexual issues or diagnosis you have.
Pick a time to have this conversation where you can both be relaxed and stay calm. Let your partner know ahead of time you need to have a serious conversation with them and ask when’s the best time. It’s not a good idea to catch them off guard with this type of information.
3. Commit to Responding Well
If it’s your partner that shares about their condition, take it with an open mind. This is going to be the first of many things they confide in you during your relationship. The way you respond to this will set the tone of how you handle discussions and conflicts in your relationship.
Don’t blow up at them or ask a hundred questions right away. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for you. Many couples have healthy sex lives without passing herpes onto their partner.
4. Understand The Virus
If you’re not familiar with herpes and your partner shares they have it, it’s time to do your research. For one thing, it’s important to know that this is not a curable virus. It will live in the body for the rest of your life.
When outbreaks occur, the symptoms can be treated, but that’s it. Sometimes, doctors will prescribe medication to keep outbreaks from happening. There are four drugs on the market that are approved by the FDA. These include Sitavig®, Zovirax®, Valtrex®, and Famciclovir®.
Other treatments can include the use of creams and painkillers if it is a bad breakout. If this is a new diagnosis for your partner, you’ll need to be sympathetic to their situation and work with them through the breakouts.
5. Reduce Potential Transmission
You will need to come up with a plan on how to reduce the risk that you’ll give your partner herpes. In order to do this, protection needs to be worn each and every sexual encounter. Having sex for a long time without protection puts you at a higher risk of spreading the virus.
Even if you don’t have a current outbreak or haven’t been diagnosed with genital herpes, you could have it. The symptoms of herpes can be so mild that it can be mistaken for something else. You might think you have a razor burn, pimples, or a bug bite. That’s why it’s best for sexually active couples to always use protection.
6. Develop a Sexual Plan and Stick With It
Once it is all out in the open, you both need to develop a sexual plan and stick with it. What will you do if you get in a position where you don’t have protection? Who’s responsibility is it to make sure condoms are always on hand? It’s highly important that you have the needed protection available for every sexual encounter.
A herpes diagnosis isn’t the end of your dating life. With the right amount of communication and understanding, you can be successful, fall in love, and go on to lead an amazing life.