I think the thing I hear most about having HSV and dating is that people are so afraid of rejection. What is it about having an incurable STI that makes you forget that we have been dealing with rejection our entire lives. Not only that, but we are rejected all the time, even daily, at work, in relationships, with friends, the jeep that refused to give the jeep wave back (this hurts my feelings). It’s constant. It’s like getting HSV makes us forget the time that someone didn’t want a second date because we laughed a little too loud and too early when seeing the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. (Okay, this might have only happened to me). Why do we forget the times we didn’t get the job or the promotion? It’s the same rejection as a potential partner, saying no thank you, but because of HSV, we make it feel so much bigger.
Rejection is a part of life and making HSV be the focal point of all rejection gives it way too much power. A disclosure that ends in a no thank you doesn’t mean you were rejected; it means they rejected a risk and that’s okay. Think about the things you reject and say no thank you to. You might be surprised at how long your list is.
Let me be clear; I know what it's like to be so excited about a new potential partner and want them to be okay with me having HSV. I also know that I would feel pretty damn crummy if they say no thank you. I also know that it’s not healthy to hang my hat on every potential partner before they have had a chance to give informed consent. Hanging your hat too early just sets you up to feel crushed, and it lets you build up this whole scenario in your head that says you already lost something.
The real problem with the fear of rejection is that it makes you feel loss prematurely. It makes you not give your dreams a shot or shoot your shot at your McDreamy. (I am not ashamed of this Grays Anatomy reference. Don’t fib you are totally here for it). The fear of rejection is really just the fear of the unknown, and we deal with the unknown every second of the day. You know how to deal with the unknown which means you know how to deal with rejection. So, shoot your shot, and if you don’t receive the response you wanted don’t give up, because giving up means you will certainly miss out on something amazing.
Most of the time I ask you to make a list of positive things, but today I want you to make a list of the things you say no thank you too because the risk is too great.
Here is mine.
Swimming in the Aare river in Switzerland (Holy olmey that is a fast river)
Getting in one of those scary shark cages
Going bungee jumping
Eating a ghost pepper on purpose (this would put me in a hospital because of stomach issues)
Going to haunted houses (I just can’t so don’t ask)