Dating someone with herpies
We had agreed to meet in the middle: the campus of our alma mater in Connecticut.What we hadn’t anticipated was that because we weren’t students anymore, we didn’t exactly have a bed to call our own.How could I have caught something when I had always been so careful?It felt like an ironic sitcom plot twist that would wind up being a huge misunderstanding: the episode where Ella convinced herself she had genital herpes. But sure enough, the doctor at my university’s health center took one look at me before announcing, “This looks herpetic.” I remember very little of what she said after that; I was too distracted by the way the walls seemed to be closing in on me to catch more than the words “incurable” and “not prevented by condoms.” To say I was shocked would be an understatement—a tidal wave of shame unlike anything I had ever experienced hit me over and over again.It helped to not have to look at him and watch as he processed the new information.It was also easier for us to talk about herpes in the context of my general health, as opposed to our possible relationship.
of my 21st birthday, I woke up to find a cluster of painful red sores on my labia.The first time we had sex—and the first time I had sex since getting diagnosed—he was so nervous that his nose started bleeding, and I couldn’t focus on how excited I was because I was so caught up in my own head. I didn’t feel like the woman that my friends knew me to be—a bold and outspoken campus badass—but I was sick of making myself small because I had herpes.I was worried he would change his mind, and as our relationship progressed, I was convinced that each night would be the last time we hooked up. Six months after my first outbreak, I started dropping the “herpes bomb” into conversations casually.But Andy and I were resourceful kids, and we weren't about to give up on two months of sexual tension.Borrowing a trick from our teenage selves, we grabbed a blanket and hunted down a secluded enough corner of the campus softball field.