"If I'm not willing to have these conversations then I'm not going to have the kind of partnerships I really want."
When you have a fun, aware, conscious partner, your relationship gets to be therapeutic by healing and going deeper with each other. (If you have an awesome partner, they're going to be down for that kind of thing.) It becomes an opportunity to go deeper with each other, to shed the shame and grow together. What we are building here — with disclosure conversations and beyond — is the blueprints to your relationship house. When you know the blueprint for the partnership you are wanting to have, then when you go on dates, you can start to envision that kind of partnership, and you start to build it. As you get clearer about your relationship blueprint, then each date you go on can give you more clarity about what you want and what you don't want. And through the dating process, you will be facing your own pre-conceived notions about what you deserve and don't deserve, especially as someone with herpes. (Psst, you deserve a whole lot more than what you probably think. Don't lower your standards ... raise them!) Having a disclosure conversation go well is quite a memorable high, but you also get subsequent highs from facing your fear of not being enough ... and proving to yourself that you are. By doing the hard thing. By having integrity, courage, self-confidence. Because after all, if you are having courageous conversations, you are creating the foundation to attract the kind of deep relationship you are yearning for.