It seems that most people who are letting herpes hold them back are people who choose to segregate themselves from the general dating population. They genuinely feel that by segregating themselves that they are protecting others from having to experience their same suffering … As heartfelt as this seems on the surface, it’s counterproductive in that by isolating herpes from others, you’re isolating your caring heart.
If you are the type of person who finds yourself shutting out from the world because of herpes, that truly breaks my heart … first of all, shutting out others has an underlying belief that herpes is an absolute dealbreaker. What if that's just not true? Let’s just pretend, shall we? That person who is (from their perspective) protecting others from possibly getting herpes clearly has a caring, compassionate heart. There are plenty of people out there who would rather ignore that they have herpes and not face it. But you would rather ignore the world in order to “protect” it from your herpes. But by "protecting" potential partners from you, you’re doing your potential partners a HUGE disservice. You aren’t sharing that heart of yours, that heart that doesn’t want to hurt others, that heart that just wants to love. You’re assuming that herpes will overshadow all of your positive qualities. By holding back from the world because of herpes, you’re not allowing the world to experience YOU.
Now, I’m certainly not discounting the potential pain that can accompany living with herpes … I put myself through a crazy amount of pain, anguish and self-loathing during that period in my life. I thought my life (definitely my sex life) was over. That’s why now, with me on the other side of that, it doubly breaks my heart to see people putting themselves through the same unnecessary suffering. Unfortunately self-defeating thoughts seem to be human nature. Herpes just makes it that much more easy to see those fears as real.