The Girl I Love

My ex (27) and I (28) were together 5 years before breaking up. We had a really good relationship, but split after the first year of me going to grad school a couple hours away. The distance and a few other small issues just broke us up, but there were no hard feelings toward one another. We have now been broken up about 8 months. During the time we've been apart, we both dated other people, and would still communicate on occasion, though not daily.

Recently, we have begun texting pretty much every day. Nothing serious, just little stuff like how's your day, etc. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I visited her and stayed at her house. I was expecting things to be awkward, maybe not knowing what to talk about, etc...But things were actually really great. We talked for hours, went to dinner, and just generally had a good time. Well, it has been a little over a week since that night, and I just texted her yesterday and asked if she would be interested in getting together again this weekend (a week away).

A couple of hours went by, and didn’t hear from her. I finally got an email at about midnight, explaining everything. She was very straightforward, and just came out and said she had herpes. She went on to explain what the relationship was that she contracted it from, and took the time to explain what this means for her, for any future partners, for her life. I was initially shocked. A few thoughts ran through my head.

1. This is the girl I love, and if I hadn't broken up with her, or if we had worked on things, she never would have contracted this. Maybe this is selfish in some way, but I just felt as though
I had caused this.

2. The person I care about the most in life just told me she is going through the worst time in her life. This made me cry. I could barely pull myself together. She is the sweetest, most beautiful, smartest person I know, and I just remember thinking that she doesn't deserve this. I've had far more partners than she has, and she is the one this happens to. What horrible luck.

3. What does this mean for me and her? Can we be together? Again, maybe selfish, but I couldn't help think about it.

Anyway, I have done some research, and it seems as though the reality of the virus is often not nearly as bad as it is perceived. I have read a number of stories of people living happy lives in a relationship where one partner carries the virus and the other does not. That being said, this virus is now in the picture. It is a thing...I care about this girl deeply. I would never do anything to hurt her. I just don't know what this means for us moving forward.

Just to be clear, we are not currently a couple, but we are also not dating other people. Things seem to have been looking positive, and us getting back together was never out of the picture. I am assuming she wrote me to tell me about this because she realized there is a chance of us getting back together.

I plan on us taking things very slow, I don’t even mean sexually, but rather just feeling out each other's situation to be sure we want this before getting back together. I don't know that I have any questions, but rather I am seeking advice. Thank you all for your comments, and sorry for the long story.

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