How Can I Convince Her To Let Me In?

The sweetest, kindest, and most genuine woman I have ever met may have finally come into my life, and I think I may have been bit by the love bug. Although we have known each other a couple of years, yet have only recently (in the last month or so) discovered a strong mutual attraction to one another.


She has expressed strong feelings for me, but informed me several weeks ago that she was diagnosed several years ago with having genital herpes, having contracted the virus, in all likelihood, from her ex-husband. Both in our mid-40s, each of us is now divorced, and have each since had other relationships.

Although she tested positive for HSV2, she has (fortunately) been asymptomatic, and has never had an outbreak. Nonetheless, due to a hugely unfair social stigma, she now feels "tainted" for having herpes. Although she has shown deep feelings for me, she says she can't bear the thought of passing the virus to me if we had sexual intercourse.

I have researched everything I could find about the statistics and facts of contracting herpes, and have made an informed decision that, although I would take the steps necessary to reduce the chances of becoming infected, I know what I'm up against, and accept my risk of contraction if we were to take our relationship to that next level. She really means that much to me.

The irony of the situation is that she continues to keep profiles on a herpes online dating network, although she has only been hurt and disappointed from the relationships she has experienced dating others from the site(s). But, she still holds out that by keeping her dating experiences "within the box," then at least she doesn't have to suffer the guilt she would feel if she were to pass it to someone who is HSV2 free.

Of course, this bothers me greatly because, although I'm well-informed (thanks in great part to her courageous disclosure) and accepting of the risk that I will probably contract at some point, I nevertheless must be "excluded" from this special group, and denied by default the opportunity to develop an intimate relationship with her.

Actually, I have considered getting myself tested for HSV2 (probably not a bad idea), with underlying hopes that I'm positive, as crazy as that sounds!

I truly believe that she and I could have the best relationship either of us has ever had. And yet, the closer we become, the harder this issue tears at the heartstrings. Regardless, I refuse to give up on this wonderful woman who fills my life with happiness. I just wish I could convince her that her good intentions are, in our case, only causing us unnecessary grief.

Please tell me what I can do to best navigate to a happy ending in this complicated situation!

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Jan 12, 2014
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for this site for one. A lot of brave people coming forward to tell their stories and pose questions that help me and others. I too am dating a man who has herpes and struggle with a mix of emotions. I have no doubt that I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him, we are both middle age, but I have this nagging feeling he is not a 100% sure. We are intimate but sometimes, I feel like saying, hey if you are not 100% sure then I do not want to risk getting herpes either. Is that being too selfish? If he loves me, which he has never said, and wants to spend the rest of our lives together then I am really OK taking the risk and expecting to live with it myself. But if he is going to one day say its over or liked things as they are... then I feel a need to protect myself both physically and emotionally. Thank you.


May 02, 2013
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Her Emotions
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to move through the cycle of "loss". You go through the same cycle as when you lose a loved one because you feel as if a part of you is gone. It's true but who's to say whatever replaces that "hole" can't be even better!

Right now she can't understand that herpes doesn't take anything away from your life but instead gives you a chance to form a deeper connection with someone. As that someone, you have to encourage her to love herself and let go of the negative feelings towards herpes. Herpes isn't the best thing to happen to someone but it's not the end of the world.

Let her know that you know the risks and she's worth taking it. Tell her that 1 in 6 adults have genital herpes and of that number 80% are unaware they have it. That means you could go meet someone who is "herpes" free but in reality they are unaware of their status. Transmission from a partner who knows their status is lower since better precautions are taken. Hopefully this will ease some of her fears of passing it to you.

Also remind her that herpes is just a socially stigmatized virus. No one makes a big deal over people who've had chicken pox or mono (both from different strains of herpes virus). Aside from the people who occasionally get some "pimples" and itching in an uncomfortable place, it doesn't really affect your health otherwise.

I hope she realizes she deserves a person who sees her for what she's worth and that she'll see you're standing right in front of her! Good luck!!


Apr 30, 2013
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Whats meant to be will be
by: Anonymous

You are one of few men who I think would be this accepting. I contracted it from my ex boyfriend over a year ago at the age of 36, he was 43 at the time. Never in a million years did I think I would be cheated on and given an STD from someone whom I had been in a relationship with and to be honest, someone of that age. I avoid even getting anywhere close to getting to know anyone new because I don't want be hurt or cause it for anyone else. To be honest, I am and have accepted the fact that I may not be able to find a man that I could have a relationship with, who would feel as deeply as you do. Sad but true. Your lady is lucky to have you but she may be keeping her options open for fear of losing you. I really do wish the best for both of you.


Apr 19, 2013
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Same story, opposite sides.
by: Anonymous

All I wish, is that my man would think like you. I feel for him what you feel for her, but he can't bring himself to be as accepting as you. He's 50, never been married, and I'm 32 and think he's the best man in the world. So I'm patient and ever hopeful. But, I feel that he probably won't ever be able to commit, or want to, and so our relationship will eventually end. We've stuck it out through A LOT of turmoil in the last 3 years but somehow always come back to one another. He just mentally and physically can't jump that hurdle. What we can do is amazing, and I'll just have to be happy with that for as long as I can. Thank you for your story. She should be the happiest woman in the world to have a guy like you.

~Meg


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