During our first date, George introduced me to a new perspective about herpes being a gift. The idea completely turned me off! I was deeply disturbed and unable to receive or perceive this ‘gift’ concept at the time. Join me as I share this story in my evolutionary herpes journey…
After being celibate for a while, I realized that it wasn’t the sex I missed so much. What I truly missed the most was the companionship of a man. Their deep baritone laughter, conversation and the cologne they wear. This awareness prompted me to find a dating site and open myself to the process.
I tried PositiveSingles.com because I THOUGHT it was a dating site that catered to herpes positive men and women. But in reading further, I discovered that it didn’t focus on men and women who only had herpes. All the Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are represented: Hepatitis, HIV, Herpes and Genital Warts. I have to be totally transparent and confess that “Even though I had herpes, I did not want to date anyone with Hepatitis, HIV or Genital Warts.” The nerve of me right? It was at that moment I realized there is a hierarchy of STDs. Think about it … gonorrhea and syphilis can cured with a pill. After about a week of antibiotics, you are free to move about the cabin. However, hepatitis and HIV don’t work that way and they can kill you! With that said, I only clicked on the guys who had herpes. I know ... I know. But at that time, I hadn’t done all the self-development work that I’ve done since then. When you know better you do better!
I signed up for the site and had about 15 messages the very next day. I was on a roll! I found myself being more intrigued by the men’s personal essays than their pictures or profiles. I don’t care how handsome a guy is, I won’t give him the time of day if he only has one or two sentences in his essay. George had a 4 paragraph essay, so I decided to give him a whirl. We met at Starbucks for our first date. He looked even better in person! About 6 feet four inches tall, physically fit with a dazzling smile! He greeted me with a hug, kissed me on the cheek and said, “So how long have you had the gift?” Whoa... the GIFT? Was he suggesting that herpes was a GIFT? Why would anyone dare call herpes a gift? I look forward to gifts! Who gets excited upon hearing that the gift they’ve received is HERPES? And why would that be the FIRST question he asked me instead of something like, “How has your day been so far?”
I thought I would end the date right then and there. Clearly this guy was a weirdo and had taken this positive thinking thing WAY too far. But then I thought … Let’s just ride it out Linda and see where this goes. I asked him why he thinks herpes is a gift. He responded, “Because it has allowed me to think differently. Had I not contracted the virus, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.” Really? How so? I asked.
The Gift Perspective
“Well, I am healthier than I have been in years! I treat my herpes holistically. I eat organic foods, take supplements, and work out 5 times a week. This builds up my immune system. And because stress is such a contributing factor to the disease, I meditate daily. I don’t think I would ever have meditated had I not contracted the virus. Our minds can keep us well so I eliminated negativity of all kinds. When we are in equilibrium, the virus is dormant. When we are afraid, angry, frustrated and ashamed, it activates the virus! Besides, when you think about it, you only have two ways of looking at your herpes status: As a BLESSING or a CURSE. I chose to see it as a blessing! It has been a game changer for me. I also get to meet all kinds of new and interesting people. Such as yourself. Our herpes brought us together!”
Well he was definitely interesting, but I wasn’t ready to see herpes as a blessing just yet. I finished up my tea knowing I would never see him again. Not because I didn’t think he was a nice guy, he was just light years ahead of where I was in my herpes journey. I was still having trouble accepting I had the virus. I still had a smidgen of anger, frustration, shame and fear in me. They were all the emotions he said were negative and helped activate the virus. I had a lot more work to do on myself and decided that I wouldn’t waste his time. He deserved a woman who was equally yoked. I thanked him for the date and he tried to kiss me, but I swiftly turned my head so that it landed on my cheek. My body language said it all. Clearly this was not a love connection.
I drove home deep in thought. I was impressed by his ability to turn lemons into lemonade. He was proof positive that we don’t have to become what has happened to us and that our circumstances can be altered physically and mentally. Life is full of choices and we have the ability to make a conscious decision as to how we choose to deal with the road blocks and detours. George made me rethink my herpes status. I was looking at it as a death sentence and not a life sentence. It was clear that I wasn’t ready to date yet so I deactivated my account. Until I experience a fundamental mindset change in regards to my herpes diagnosis, I would not be throwing my hat back into the dating ring. Celibacy would be the order of the day for a while longer. I realized I still needed to heal.