ED: I think everybody after they get diagnosed reads the statistics about how common herpes is, but then looks around and goes, "But I don't know anybody who has herpes!If one in six people and one in four women have genital herpes, why haven't I heard about it from my friends and family members?Ella Dawson: Now, when I date, I have to have a conversation about the fact that I have an STI.That used to really freak me out, especially in the beginning when I was newly diagnosed and still learning about the virus and very self-conscious about it.ED: When I was diagnosed, the person I was dating was the classic college boy.He was really freaked out and quite worried about his reputation and people thinking that he had herpes.Other people wait until they've had a few dates and they're ready to start having sex with that person.
My only caution with that would be: Always be confident before you put something in writing, because people screenshot things.You don't have to throw a bunch of knowledge at them, but if it seems like you are an expert in your own body and your experience it will be really reassuring for a partner.Getting herpes can feel like it fundamentally changes who you are and defines you in that moment, but at the end of the day, it is just a skin disease and a lot of people have it.But I personally try to never do that anymore, because it's not something that you should be apologizing for.It's just part of being with you, a part of your life. It's made me a great partner, and I will do the best that I can in terms of keeping that person safe. ED: Unfortunately, there's no way to "hack" dating with an STI.
Going forward I was prepared to be treated badly and expected harsh rejections, but I didn't get them.