I know you receive a lot of mail from many people with many problems. This is mine: I am 61 years old and some years back my husband gave me herpes. The doctors have not been able to control the condition. I usually have a “breakout” about two to three times per year.
Gwendolyn, I recently met a man who seems to be a nice person. He is 35 and quite a looker. Not just his looks, he is kind and gentle. Most men today are looking for a woman who can support them. He is not that. He takes me to movies and to the most elaborate restaurants. Nothing has developed in the way of becoming intimate, but who knows? I desperately need your advice, Ms. Baines. I want to tell him about my medical condition, but I don’t want to lose him. Should I tell him?—Ms. W.
Dear Ms. W.:
At the age of 61 you should not have the worry of losing a 35-year-old man-boy. I can understand your excitement about having a man (especially a handsome one) to take you to movies and restaurants. However, I wonder if this man-boy is not just being kind to an older woman. Although the two of you have not become intimate, as you stated “who knows.”
This is my advice to you: If this turns into romance, besides having herpes—can you handle him? Is your heart in good condition? Is your blood pressure under control? Think about it. There are many other medical factors to be considered.
Ms. W., now let me tell you this: To answer your direct question, yes, you should inform this man-boy of you having herpes. If the situation was in reverse, you would want to know. It is unfair for people with any type of sexually transmitted disease not to inform their partner. Just to hold on for a movie and something to eat is not good enough. Telling him may lose him, but not telling surely will.
(Visit Gwendolyn’s website www.gwenbaines.com or write to her at: P. O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 (to receive a reply send a self-addressed stamped envelope) or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)