Yesterday was emotionally exhausting, yes?
Things I like about the new comments: They go up fast, there are no impersonators, and supposedly, with this new system, you guys can message one another directly. No more having to pass e-mail addresses through me.
Things I hate about the new comments: You canít see all of them on one page. And theyíre not numbered (although they do have a time stamp).
My bosses say we should try it for a week before we mutiny and demand the old system back. Iím willing to do that. Letís see how we feel in a week.
And now ... travel with me to STD Island:
Q: Hey there Meredith,
I donít know where to start, other than saying I havenít see this situation in your column of late Ö
I am in my mid 30s, female, attractive, well-educated, gainfully employed, and live just outside the city.
Not too long ago, I was dumped by a man Iíve know for 5 yrs. We used to work together, and 2 yrs ago, we decided to take that friendship up a notch. We started becoming intimate( I left the company on my own volition) and we had 2 great yrs of being BF/GF. He was wonderful., attentive, successful, emotionally stable and honest (or so I thought). We were very compatible Ė sexually, intellectually, and socially. He even discussed marriage and a lifetime together.
Then, out of the blue, not long before he dumped meÖ BOMBSHELL. He tells me he has an STD (the gift that keeps giving). Never once when we were intimate did he divulge this dilemma with me. We practiced safe sex from time to time (didnít think I had to every time with him, heís not the type to sleep around randomly at all). He said that he got it from a girl he dated right before meeting me. He never gave me reason as to why he no longer wanted to date me Ö BTW, heís 35
Problem Ė I have now left him in my past. But, because of what he has shared with me, heís still somewhat in the picture Ö or so to speak, his gift Ö
I want to move on and meet a quality man because I am a quality woman Ö but now I have the scarlet STD on my chest.
I have tried online dating sites for people with STDS. They havenít been positive as most of the men are not really of my liking intellectually Ö I feel though I shouldnít be banished to those sites like a leper. I would like to try the other more popular sites -- Eharmony and Match.
My question: Is it fair to be meet men on these sites if I have an STD? If so, when do I need to tell them? First date? Second date? Rejection is my biggest fear, but I am a human being with feelings was cursed by a now-known jerk!!
I would love some advice, assurance that life will be OK, guidance, support, lambaste if your readers find a reason for that. But I need help how to navigate this next stage of a horrible stage in my life Ö I really feel Iíll never meet another man whoíll accept me.
– 21st Century REAL Scarlet Letter, Boston
A: 21CRSL, letís put your scarlet letter in perspective.
If you Google STD stats, youíll see how many people have something, often without even knowing it. Youíre not such a minority. Take a deep breath.
Iím not downplaying the situation Ė itís your physical health, after all Ė but I donít see why your scarlet letter canít be lowercase.
Some people feel like damaged goods because of an STD. Others are ashamed because theyíre hiding whopping financial debt. Some people are afraid to tell dating prospects that they see a therapist or that they take anti-depressants. My point is, there are many types of scarlet letters. We all come to the dating table with secret shame, sometimes for no good reason.
The short answer is, no matter what STD you have, youíre not a leper. You donít have to live on STD Island. You do have to disclose your situation before you get physical with anyone. Thatís what your ex should have done. But as we now know, your ex was a coward.
Some guys will run when they hear about your STD. Some wonít. You never know how someone will feel about a scarlet letter until you tell them. But I know this for a fact -- many people would rather date a fantastic, self-aware person with a flaw than someone whoís flawless.
I give you permission to try the normal dating sites. Just do what your ex didnít. Disclose before you undress (or make out, depending on the STD).
And give yourself a break. As you date, remind yourself that the STD is just one thing that makes you who you are. Itís not the most important thing, by any means. If you can love yourself with this STD and calm down about it, others will, too.
Readers? Does she have to stick to the STD dating sites? Is this scarlet letter as horrible as she thinks it is? When does she have to disclose? Share here.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.