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    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Herpes is an opportunity to built trust and connection through vulnerability.

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Hey everyone, I'm here to write about my journey so far, in hopes that it will encourage those who are feeling hopeless and in a dark place to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

First, my story: About 7 years ago, I found out I had herpes after an outbreak down there. The girl who gave it to me denied that she had it, and blamed me for cheating on her (which I wasn't). I realized then and there that this girl has no integrity and ended that relationship.

The year after my diagnosis, I met a girl. We dated for about a year. Halfway through the relationship, she told me she had herpes, even though we had had unprotected sex (she told me she tested negative on an STD panel and I said the same, which was true, but STD panels don't test for herpes). She cried, told me that she's sorry she didn't tell me sooner, but I couldn't blame her because I hadn't disclosed it to her either. I told her I had it too and we were both relieved. That relationship ended for other reasons, but one of the last things she told me was, "Please tell the next girl you date."

I didn't date anyone for about 4 years after that. I focused on my work and becoming a master of my craft, slaying physical fitness, learning things I'd been wanting to learn for a long time, and becoming the best damn version of myself that I could be. The biggest change here was that I decided that I didn't want to settle for anything less than my dream girl. But what did my dream girl look like? I didn't really know, I was just dating and taking what came to me. On a long ride while on vacation, a friend and I decided to get very clear on what we wanted in a woman. And this is where the magic began.

We took out a sheet of paper and wrote down every single quality we wanted in a woman. On the flip side of the paper, we wrote all the qualities we did not want or couldn't stand in a woman, based on our past experiences or otherwise. Then we'd turn those negatives into positives. Example: "Doesn't nag and complain" becomes "Loving and effective communicator". Over the next few years, I'd continue updating my list on the same sheet of paper.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that with the long list of qualities, I had to refocus everything back onto myself. I had to embody all of the qualities I wanted in a woman. "Takes care of herself and is physically fit" means I had to do the same myself. "Loving and accepting of me having herpes or has it too" meant I had to learn to be loving and accepting of having it myself, which I wasn't. There were too many times that I hated myself for having it and wishing I could go back in time and change things.

The last thing here, and I'll be fully honest here, is that herpes made me humble and deepened my connection to That Which Is Greater Than All Of Us/God/Universe/Life (call it whatever you want to call it). Without this, none of anything would be possible. It allows the ego to take a back seat, relinquish control beyond what it has control over, and to trust that there's a greater process of governance at play.

About a month ago, I met the most amazing girl on the planet. I'd been on dating apps, approached beautiful women where I saw them, still did my best, but none of those led anywhere. The chemistry with this girl was off the charts. Absolutely mindblowing and unlike anything else I've ever experienced. After 4 years of not being in any romantic relationships whatsoever, she just came into my life. From our very first date, we clicked. Everything felt so natural, so effortless, so real. We've been dating for over a month now, and a few times, there was the chance of greater intimacy, but I held back, which oddly, she found very attractive.

Last night, I knew that the chances of us getting intimate were high, and I didn't want to stop this time since she'd probably feel rejected. I was deathly afraid of disclosing to her, because the stakes were high. This girl met 85%+ of the qualities I wanted in a woman, truly my dream girl, and my worst fear was that she'd say that she doesn't want to risk being with me and the relationship would end. I made the decision to tell her on 2-3 previous dates, but couldn't do it. I thought about not disclosing and just staying on the medication, but that didn't feel right with this girl. She had to know the truth.

The foundation of any relationship is trust, it's the most important currency there is for building a strong foundation for a relationship: one that's based in honesty, trust, integrity, and vulnerability. I had seen too many relationships around me corrode from the inside because of small, insidious lies that just snowballed into bigger ones over time. At the end of the day, relationships are a mirror, and if we don't like what we see in the mirror, we haven't fully accepted ourselves. I see relationships as a vehicle for transcendence and self-actualization, but that's not possible if you can't fully love and accept things about yourself when you look into the mirror.

So, after a home cooked dinner, we put on a movie in the background and started talking about the future. I knew there and then that I had to tell her. She was in my arms, holding my hands, very loving. And I said to her... "There's something I want you to know. First of all, I think you're incredible and I feel very safe around you, safe enough to be vulnerable and tell you what I'm about to tell you. I obviously trust you so much to tell you this, so please keep it between us. Years ago, I tested positive for herpes, which is totally common, and it's under control, and the chances of you getting it are super small. Do you know anything about it?"

And she told me that years ago, in her department at work, this girl got it from her partner and was absolutely pissed off about it because she didn't know. It was horrible, the breach of trust it created. I let her know that a lot of people who have it are asymptomatic, so it's easy to pass it on without knowing. The first thing she said to me wasn't the worst that I had imagined. She didn't stop and tell me that she has to rethink our relationship, she didn't look at me like a deer in headlights. She said, "Oh my God, finding out must have been very hard for you." I've never seen so much compassion and empathy in a woman's eyes. Her eyes watered as she looked deep into my eyes.

"Very hard. But that's why I'm telling you. I want us to have a relationship built on honesty and trust. And since we started seeing each other, I've been taking medication to help prevent the risk of transmission. If I have any symptoms, I'll let you know. I promise."

She hugged me and kissed me so much. She thanked me for telling her. She was like "This must have been so hard for you to tell me. Thank you so much. Takes a lot of courage." She was so empathetic, and her response meant the world to me.

And then? We made love and it was absolutely mindblowing. I had condoms ready, and we went allll night.

It's such a huge relief getting this off my chest. But none of it would have been possible if I hadn't done the work first. I had written a script and recited it for weeks before mustering up the courage to tell her. But, I realized: fear is the compass guiding you north. Choose faith over fear. Choose love over fear. And remember that on the other side of fear is confidence, and the only way to get there is to choose courage.

I hope this encourages others to see the greater picture. Herpes taught me what vulnerability is, because before that I'd keep women at arm's length. I didn't know what vulnerability was. But now, I've given permission to her to be super vulnerable with me too. She said she hadn't been tested since her last relationship, so I told her I'd go get tested with her so she doesn't have to do it alone, and she loved that.

Post-disclosure, we're closer, we're more connected, there's more trust between us. So, see herpes as an opportunity to build trust and connection, to demonstrate vulnerability. For the right person, this won't matter. For the wrong person, it's an easy reason to escape.

And lastly, I'll say that none of this would have been without my faith in a Greater Power (God/Universe/whatever you want to call it). Every night before bed, I'd express gratitude for all of the blessings in my life, and for the things coming into my life. Herpes has deepened my spiritual connection by keeping me humble and removing me from a path that was going nowhere in relationships. Casual relationships went out the window, because, as Jordan Peterson says, "The problem with casual sex is that you also see yourself as just a casual partner. Is that what you want?" I knew it wasn't, and acknowledging that meant I had to make a lot of changes into my life. At the end of the day, you attract who you are. So know exactly what your perfect partner looks like in every way, then work at becoming that perfect partner yourself, which includes love and compassion for a virus that doesn't define your identity.

OK, that's all I have to share, hope this is helpful and much love to everyone here 🙂


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This is awesome. Thank you for sharing your story. What a great example of what the true opportunity here is. 

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Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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  • 1 month later...

Unfortunately, this relationship took a hard, sour turn after she Googled more about the virus and feared getting it. I'm in a horrible place mentally. To meet the woman of your dreams (ticked 85%+ of the boxes) and to have it all fall apart because of this.

Oh well, I guess she's not the woman of my dreams then. It's like, if you want to date women with no kids and that's non-negotiable, even if you meet the woman of the dreams and she says she has a kid, that would be a dealbreaker. So, gotta find someone who can accept this part of me. I can't change it. Gotta accept it. Oh well. I still love me.

She posted this on her social media, for what it's worth:
"Anything you lose by being honest, you never had in the first place."

Back to the drawing board...

If anyone has any advice or words of wisdom and encouragement to share here, please do. Truth bombs are welcome more than anything else, no need to sugar-coat anything.

I'm hurting very, very deeply. To make yourself so vulnerable and to have your heart ripped out of your chest weeks later.

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Wow! I'm so sorry it didn't work out! I've disclosed my entire adult life (got H at age 23) and really never had anyone say no to a relationship. Having said that, I got H over 40 years ago when there was no internet!! So, I definitely think the internet has hurt the H world in that there are so many horror stories out there about Herpes! It scares people! In reality, you don't ever die from it!!! My late husband loved me so much that when I told him I had H, he just said "can't you put a bandaid on it?" Lol!!! I said "yes, that would be your condom!" He ran to the store, got condoms and we never looked back! 27 years together (25 married) and he never got it from me! 

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I’m am sorry you experienced this. your story is not over yet. The woman of your dreams will accept every part of you. Trust me, just because you have herpes doesn’t make you any less than. Let’s say you had a different experience in life that someone didn’t want to accept does that make you less than? No . It just means they probably weren’t the one. I feel compassion for you because if the way you are feeling but it’s gets better. Remind yourself you are worthy , take care of your self, your mind body , and soul. Show yourself love. Remind yourself a virus doesn’t change your worth . Also look into holistic healing! I don’t believe there is anything the body can’t heal.

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On 3/10/2023 at 10:45 AM, chapstick1520 said:

Can you tell me what she said to you? Have you talked to her since?

She just kept saying she needs more space, and I think I over-pursued and turned her off even more since I didn't want to lose her. I've backed off now, not texting or call her, if she reaches out, I'll set a date to go out with her, otherwise, her attraction to me has dwindled down to nothing at this point. She says she can't take any risk dealing with this because of how much is going on running her business right now. I saw her exactly one week ago, we went out to a concert and had fun (nothing physical though, ended the night with a hug and kiss on her cheek), but it's been a week since we've texted or talked at all. I see her checking out my social media stories though.

The whole trauma of going through this has led me to figure out a lot about myself and my attachment wounds, so I'm taking courses to come out of this better. This girl really was my dream woman in so many ways, it's been the hardest heartbreak to deal with ever. I'm truly in a lot of pain, but using the pain as fuel to launch that new business and work with coaches.

I also opened up to my family about HSV, so my parents and sister know now, and they were very loving and accepting of it. Since opening up about it, I feel way better around this thing. After opening up, I also found out that some mutual friends in our family have discordant couples who are married with children, so HSV hasn't stopped them from living a loving life.

The thing is... all of these couples I mention did not disclose until 6-8 months into the relationship. So now I'm thinking it might be better not to disclose until I know things are very serious. I'll of course stay on the medication and use protection, but maybe this is a better route than disclosing upfront and scaring women off.

This truly has been the most painful heartbreak I've ever experienced, and part of me still wants her back even though I'm moving on. I know that if I want to re-attract her, I have to be willing to lose her completely and date other women in the meantime. She was never tested for STDs since her last relationship, so perhaps, just perhaps, she has it too and just doesn't know it yet.

Thanks for your support everyone, this is a very helpful outlet for me as I'm going through a very tough time right now and want to make sure I come out of this better.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Jespo,

I'm so sorry you're going through this right now. I know how you feel and it is devastating. But it seems like you have a really good head on your shoulders in the way you are dealing with it, even though it's hard and it hurts. Also, it sounds like you have a good support network around you which is great. So you have a lot of good in your life.
I had a very similar experience to you, over years, and at the moment thankfully I have tentative hope of happy ending. Feel free to reach out if you need. I'm not online that often but I will get back to you eventually.
Good luck

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After 2 months of mourning, grieving, and accepting the loss of my dream woman with the most devastating heartbreak I've ever experienced in my life, I've come to the conclusion that disclosing is not something I morally have to do. My only moral obligation, as far as I'm concerned, is to protect those who I love. And taking the medication and using protection is how I will do that. NOT telling them is a way of loving myself and protecting them from a stupid stigma that makes absolutely no sense.

Here's a great article that justifies REASONS NOT TO DISCLOSE:

After accepting this, I feel normal again. Can't believe I lost the woman of my dreams. If I didn't have herpes and someone told me they had it, I'd run too, because the stigma is too severe right now. So this is all part of my healing and I have zero qualms about it.

That said, I will be staying on the meds when I meet my next (hopefully) dream woman. That's how I maintain my integrity. By 2030, hopefully there'll be a cure and we can get rid of this thing once and for all.

Unpopular opinion, but it makes more sense for me and that's how I'm dealing with this. BTW, the whole "disclosure" thing is pandered in the US. Not in the UK, or in Asia or Europe, or any other country I've lived in or visited. So, that's my 2 cents and that's how I will handle this moving forward.

Thank you all for your input.

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  • mr_hopp changed the title to Herpes is an opportunity to built trust and connection through vulnerability.

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