But use your best judgment as to how physically intimate you want to get before telling.
One thing could lead to another, and you might find yourself in an awkward situation. The person you're seeing may beat a hasty retreat when he or she finds out you have genital herpes.
And of those people, it's likely that at least one will come around, and say, "Hey, I understand there's a risk, but I'm crazy about you, so I'm willing to take it." Depending on your dating style, you might look for another person who knows he or she has herpes, if only to avoid having to discuss it.
If you already use dating services or personal ads, you can also use any of those specifically for people with genital herpes.
It might be better to break the news about herpes to someone who has already grown attached to you.
Kissing, cuddling, and fondling are safe, so you don't have to tell before you do that.
There are certainly some who wouldn't mind keeping the intimacy level just short of doing things that could transmit the virus.
It's up to you to decide the right time to tell a date that you have genital herpes.
Follow two rules: First, don't wait until after having sex.
If you get the "I just want to be friends" talk after telling your sweetheart you have herpes, consider this: He or she may have already been looking for a way out, and herpes was as good an excuse as any.
What's more, anyone who disdains or humiliates you for having herpes was never worth your while.