When I got herpes I was devastated- but- it's been a couple years and now I appreciate certain changes it's brought about. Here are some of them- I'm just going to post it in case it is useful to someone
Before I got this disease, I didn't realize it, but I was totally shallow as far as dating and relationships go- I couldn't have recognized substance if it hit me in the face. I had a couple relationships that I thought were great, but in reality, they were based on mutual illusions, both of us projecting things onto the other, looks, sex, the feeling of romance, etc. Now I know how to avoid shallow romantic relationships and the melodrama that follows when they break up- which was a waste of time! Now I have the wonderful advantage of looking back on myself, only 2 years ago, and thinking..."oh honey..you were soooo dumb and naive...thank goodness you're a better person today!"
Now I'm not even attracted to the kind of person who I thought was my "type", and I value the more important things- integrity, honesty, kindness- in short, I've matured a LOT, in an amazingly short amount of time, just because I got herpes! Going back to the person I was before, herpes free, would be - tragic! To think of how many stupid shallow relationships I would've been if I hadn't gotten herpes when I did- having to tell my future partners about this disease is not really as scary as the thought of how many jerks I probably would've wasted my time on.
Believe me- giving up my old persona, the shallow one, was painful- I fought it every step of the way. I loved being in that comfortable spot, where I thought I was so desirable and lots of men would want me, where I thought I fit society's mold for "attractive" so well and never thought I'd leave it- but now I'm somewhere else, and it's turning out to be a much BETTER place! lonely sometimes, but I know that if I'm lonely, it's only because I'm being a coward, and haven't reached my final destination yet. I feel that I have a responsibility to get there- to myself, to others (like you), and to society in general! And whenver I get upset or sad or worried that no one will want me or start whining to myself about the fact that my sex life is slightly changed, I'm disappointed in myself- I know I'm just being scared- and kind of wimpy and pathetic. I'm getting stronger now- much stronger than ever before. I finally got my head screwed on straight. From this point forward, I think I will deal with any and all problems that come up in a much better and mature way.
Before I got herpes, I "adopted" a lot of philosophies about life that I thought were good- like, "A problem is an opportunity for growth" and "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger" - but of course, I was full of crap- had never been put to the test. Herpes did that for me. Now, I understand these sayings- I'm learning to REALLY live by them- which I think will change my life. I know people- older adults-who have never gained this insight- who are emotionally ane mentally immature- because they were never FORCED to live in the real world, with real problems. I'm thankful for getting the opportunity so early in life!
I think that the maturity I've gained in these areas will carry over into others, too...I think in general, this experience is making me a more substantial, solid, humble, mature, intelligent, positive, industrious, resilient person. It's not so bad as I thought it would be. My health is good. Right now I feel great. I'm looking forward to the time when I enter a relationship with someone who can appreciate these things about me...rather than just the way I look, or sex, or whatever.
Hope this is helpful.