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  1. I needed to share my successful disclosure after weeks of reading forums, articles, blogs, watching videos and most importantly freaking our about disclosing. I am a single mom, in her very late 30s. I have been carrying the herpes virus for over 4 years now. I got the virus from my ex after one of our many attempts to reconcile. I never had to have "the talk" before, because after my ex and I separated (yet again) I wasn't ready to date and later decided to try a herpes dating site so I don't deal with the anxiety of having to deal with "the talk." While PS is a great site, it doesn't have that many members, and I decided to give it a try and signed up on a non-H dating site. After a few months and a few dates, I became interested in someone. We went on 4 dates and on date 5 he asked me if and when I was going to invite him over. We were sitting in a quiet cafe, in the corner, and it was the perfect timing to have the talk...only that I simply couldn't. Very disappointed of myself and my lack of courage, we departed that evening. I got home and started reading and watching videos of other people's stories. Couple of things really helped me find my courage. First, I stared disclosing to my closer friends. I think I told at least 10-15 people. I was surprised how many of my friends needed to be educated about herpes and the other thing that surprised me was how many of my friends actually had it (four of my really close girlfriends!). Being able to openly talk about it made me feel comfortable about who I was and normalized my experiences. Second, I practiced. I asked a few of my friends to practice with them. They pretended to be the guy I was disclosing to, giving me different scenarios and this helped me feel more comfortable about finding the right words when the moment came. I also spent a lot of time planning of where and when to disclose. It wasn't the perfect event (we were going to a concert), but I decided that this was going to be the evening (date #6), when I needed to tell him and I had to simply find a quiet place to have this difficult conversation. After the concert he wanted to drive me home and I told him I needed to talk with him about something. Luckily, there were seats at the valet parking lot of the hotel (he left his car there), where we could comfortably sit down and privately talk. He was nervous. I think he was convinced I was going to tell him that this is not working out for me (I was considering it, because having to have the talk seem too daunting for me). I started my memorized by now speech, in which I told him my personal story of how I learned I have the virus and when I was diagnosed. I told him that even with condoms there is still a risk for him to get the virus and that I needed him to think about it and do his own research so he can make the best possible decision for himself...Then I stopped and waited for his response. I was sure he will just walk away with the excuse that he needs to process the information and do his research (after all, I insisted that he do exactly that). To my surprise he thanked me and he acknowledged how difficult this talk might have been for me. I was shocked! I did not expect this kind of response. He also let me know that I am not the first woman to disclose this to him and he already knows and read quite a bit about herpes and the risks and this is not changing the way he felt about me. It was such a relief to have this kind of reaction and to be completely accepted. While I presented calm during the talk his acceptance was what made me emotional and I felt amazingly close to him. I am still dating the same man. I don't know where and how this relationship will go forward, but I know for sure that if it ends it won't be due to the virus. Good luck to any of you who are facing this similar situation. I hope my story gives you hope.
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