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Getty Images Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.Let's face it: How do you drop that bomb on a potential love interest? She considered a number of online dating venues, but she says asked too many questions on its enrollment form, e Harmony was too "religious," and My Space was too much of a "hookup zone." "I wanted to meet men with my same diagnosis so we wouldnt [need to] have 'the talk,' or fear of rejection and transmitting," she says.
All of these can make datingoften an ego-shattering minefield for those in perfect healtheven trickier."On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine.
"And lets face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool."Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.
A new breed of dating site has emerged to play cupid for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
Over the past five years, several sitessuch as Prescription4love.com, Nolongerlonely.com, and Cisforcupid.comhave launched to serve the needs of people with conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to Crohn's disease.
Together these sites now boast tens of thousands of members.
In addition to providing their users with a more hospitable environment, these websites defuse the tension over how and when to disclose an illness, which is often an issue for people with diseases and disabilities who venture onto mainstream dating sites.
Next Page: When health problems equal heartache [ pagebreak ]When health problems equal heartache After some “horrible” results on other dating websites, Lana joined Prescription 4 Love and the STD-specific site
Both sites require members to disclose their illnesses upfront, clearing the air for what might be a deal-breaking revelation later.
Within her first week on Positive Singles, she went on three dates and has since gone on seven more, which fostered one romantic relationship and a friendship over the past two years.
Shes even rejected a couple dozen guys.“I dont think I would have been able to have 10 dates without the site,” says Lana.
“Its easier to get rejected via email, and you can take baby steps online without hunting outside.”Though Prescription 4 Love didnt yield any dates for Lana, this fast-growing online community offers an alternative to mainstream dating sites for thousands of singles.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating