A few months ago, I got engaged to a wonderful, educated, funny, and caring man. When our relationship started three years ago, I was surprised every day that someone as perfect as him would be interested in someone like me!

When I was diagnosed with herpes, I thought that he was going to leave me. I have never felt so discouraged, humiliated, scared, or worthless in my life. I spent too long torturing myself thinking about how we weren't ever really going to get married, about how I was going to be the cause of heartbreak among our families who were helping us to plan our wedding. This diagnosis turned my life upside-down, and really turned me into a paranoid, under-confident, self-abusing person.

This is the good part! When I told my fiancée that I was a carrier of the herpes virus, he looked at me with sadness in his eyes and said, "I'm sorry." He felt bad for what I was going through and wanted to help me feel better.

Then, he told me that there was nothing that I could do about it and that it is nothing to be humiliated about. He told me that it is very prevalent and that it is just bad luck if you get it, that it could happen to anyone. He said that he would get tested and if he had it, "oh well". He set me free from all of the feelings that I know you as a reader are probably experiencing.

My advice is that you do not let this define you or take over your life. People who are educated, who have read about and understand health issues know about this virus and understand that it is non-life threatening and could happen to anyone. You are the same person who you were before you were diagnosed. You are not worthless. You are not tainted. You are not dirty. You have all of the beautiful characteristics that you did before this happened to you. Do not waste any part of your life thinking anything different.

As far as relationships are concerned, you are not doomed. You will find the right person. Being honest is very important because you will resent yourself for not being honest if you don't tell someone that you are dating.

Be brave about it and know that there is someone out there who will love you and cherish you and who won't think twice about this little detail that does not define you. I didn't think that this was true, so I understand if you doubt this, but it did happen to me, and it can happen to you too.

Good luck and take care of yourself.

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