Dating With An STI – How To Have The Conversation. Dating With A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) isn’t easy. Herpes is the most common STI among the single clients I work with. More than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes. Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. Even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners. According to the World Health Organization, 3.7 billion people under the age of fifty have herpes simplex virus type 1. That’s about 67 percent of the global under-fifty population. Some people have the virus and are asymptomatic; some have symptoms that are dormant for years and manifest through stress. Anyone with a history of unprotected sex may fall into that percentage.
Dating with an STI
Most people who have Herpes have accepted their contracting the condition. There is no cure for herpes. However, there are medicines that can prevent or shorten outbreaks. One of these anti-herpes medicines can be taken daily, and makes it less likely that you will pass the infection on to your sex partner(s). Stress can bring about an outbreak, but isn’t a life threatening. The shame of having an STI’s resonates with single people as they feel the shame about disclosing it to new partners. Single people dating find it uncomfortable to disclose they have Herpes. There is a certain amount of shame that comes with sexually transmitted diseases. It gives the connotation individuals are promiscuous and irresponsible when it comes to safe sex.
As a marriage and family therapist, specializing in working with couples, I normalize the feelings associated with dating with an STI. First of all, more people than you think have an STI. Secondly, who you share this information with is confidential. And third, no one is perfect and mistakes do happen. It shows great courage and integrity to share the truth about living with an STI.
Dating with an STI
It is better to share the fact sooner rather than later as later presents as lying by omission. But, I get it, hesitation stems from shame and guilt. Rise above any stigma as you are not defined by your past. It’s what you do with your future that’s important. Honesty is always the best policy. If the person you share this information with is not understanding, it’s better to move on before any emotional connection is made.
Furthermore, if dating with an STI is too anxiety provoking there are dating sites who cater to people with like kind situations.
For more information please contact me through my website: CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.