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It is estimated that approximately 1 in 6 people between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes while over 2/3 of the global population under 50 are estimated to have oral herpes, more commonly referred to as cold soles. Although the infection is so prevalent, there is a stigma attached to it, and the majority of the shame and is self-directed. We are our own biggest critics and the majority of those recently diagnosed report feeling as though their dating and love lives are completely over. Outdated and inactive online message boards and forums from many years ago are viewed and used for advice because they are too ashamed to tell anyone about their diagnosis. They report feeling damaged, disgusting, and unappealing to "normal people".

They develop cyclic thinking: My life is over. No one will want me. Why would anyone choose me over a clean person? My life is over. No one will want me. Why would...

This thinking is normal, especially for the newly diagnosed and it is typical for one's self esteem to temporarily dip with the weight of the news and future implications. With a diagnosis comes added responsibilities, both to yourself and to those you connect with romantically, but that does not suggest that dating with herpes is impossible.

Dating is hard. Dating is hard for those who don't have an incurable sexually transmitted infection but herpes does not define you as a person or your self-worth. Herpes is one facet of your health just as high blood pressure is or athlete's foot or even Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is an inconvenience and something to monitor, but not who you are as an individual and not a part of your identity. You are still you. You are still your personality, your accomplishments, your hopes, and your dreams

That being said, having a support system and resources can make the journey more manageable and fun! There are websites out there, free and paid, promising to connect you with the love of your life; many bloggers and vloggers have felt confident enough in recent years to publish their experiences dating with herpes and provide recommendation and tips. There is content out there, although reliability can be questionable and most individuals would prefer to actively participate in a discussion than simply watch or read someone else's story with limited interaction.

Our goal with www.herpesdatingadvice.com is to provide an informative and trusted source to those dating with herpes. Perhaps you are curious about successes on specific herpes dating websites and are unsure of which to use. Maybe you've already connected with someone and want to ask other individuals with herpes when they disclosed their diagnosis and how it went. It could be that you are recently married and want to share your success story with others and offer guidance to the newly-diagnosed. The intent of the website is to be a safe place to share moments, meet new people, and continue to live. Unlike other herpes dating websites, we focus on the community itself. We recognize that having an active and comfortable online family is crucial to herpes dating as a whole and romantic relationships down the line. Rather than push people into interactions, herpes dating advice will foster friendships and connections through mutual respect, experience sharing, and commitment to positive change.

Herpes is a health condition, nothing more and nothing less, and dating with herpes is not only possible but entirely enjoyable and rewarding. We hope that this website will make the process of connecting and finding reliable advice not only easier, but fun. You are not your diagnosis and, as you'll see here, you are not alone.

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