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How to disclose for something casual

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So I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about how to disclose to someone you are dating for a while that you see a relationship with and trust to share intimacy with. However I find myself in a situation with a guy who is moving next month up north. We went on our first date today and made out at the end. I had originally told myself to ask if he’s ever had a cold sore prior but in the moment it slipped my mind. Nothing happened further but it made me interested in sleeping with him. He talked about going on a second date before he leaves. 
part of me fears rejection which makes me not  want to say anything and miss out. The other part is wondering if there’s a way to bring it up and when and how and yet is it even worth it?

if anyone has been in a casual situation where they disclosed how’d you do it and how’d it go? Or is this speech meant for someone long term?


also open to any advice on what i should do because I’m very lost. This guy is nice but if he were staying I don’t know that I could see myself with him long term anyway. 

i feel like I’ve been rejecting myself before someone else can which might be why I haven’t had the best disclosures and making me not want to even try again in fear of yet another rejection. And this fear keeps me stuck to not do anything and in inching me closer back into depression but being rejected will also propel me into depression. I’m feeling a bit lost and wondering why do I try to date when it makes me feel depressed for what I will have to tell someone.

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Hi @Missannthrope45,

Full disclosure on my part - I have only been diagnosed for a month. But I’ve recently had a disclosure discussion with my wife after having first known symptoms since a known contact a long time ago (before marriage).

I think having the talk with this person is a good idea before being intimate, regardless of the long / short term prospect. I hear you on the self-rejection, I was so afraid to tell my wife I over-reacted and initiated a separation. But I was so overwhelmed with shame and guilt. I’ve been going to counseling and disclosed my status to my dad. He was so supportive, and with the help of him, my counsellor and this forum I told my wife last week. She was upset, not because of the diagnosis but because I wasn’t upfront. We have had a rocky relationship for a long time, and this diagnosis has helped me see the relationship for all its great attributes. My own personal hope is I haven’t destroyed the potential for reconciliation by not be upfront with the disclosure.

If you decide to disclose, being honest and upfront with this person will show them you respect and care for them, regardless of the relationship potential. We all desire to be wanted, and for me being accepted as I am with this diagnosis is now a big part of that. Having that trust for me is a big part of intimacy, and knowing they are accepting of my diagnosis is what I would want. If they aren’t open to it, it’s their choice. And loss. I can say disclosing has provided me with huge emotional gain, my fear, shame and secrecy haven’t overpowered my common sense and self worth since being open.



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Hey @Missannthrope45,

It sounds like you’re in a bit of a tough spot, but it's great that you're thinking this through. Even if things with this guy aren’t heading towards something long-term, it’s still important to bring up your HSV status before getting more intimate. It’s not just about relationships but also about respecting each other's right to make informed decisions about health. After all, you'd want him to be upfront with you about something similar if the tables were turned, right? (And I love what you said, @Isleguy. Well put.)

A casual yet straightforward approach can make this conversation easier. (In other words, don't think of it like a big "speech" per se; it's the safer sex conversation that all consenting adults should be having.) You might say something like, “Hey, I really enjoy spending time with you, and since we’re talking about getting closer, I think it’s important to share something personal. I have herpes, which is pretty manageable, but I want to be upfront about it. What do you know about it?” This opens up the dialogue and shows you care about consent and safety, which is super attractive in its own right!

Here's a link to a video I made that talks about handling casual hookups with herpes, which might give you some more pointers:

Also, even though this is something casual, you can still get a lot from reading the disclosure ebook and soaking up the data/stats so you're armed with knowledge and confidence beforehand: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

It’s totally normal to worry about rejection, but every disclosure is also an opportunity to connect on a deeper level, even if things are casual. Plus, handling this well sets a positive tone for how you approach challenges, which is something to be proud of!

Hang in there and good luck with your date. Keep us posted, okay?

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This content 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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Thank you @Isleguy & @mr_hopp for your insight and advice. I’m seeing him on Monday for a group hangout to help decrease my anxiety on the matter while still spending Time with him to get a better sense for what I want to ultimately do. To be completely honest with where I’m at right now, I have rejected myself already and said I wanted to save myself the stress and not venture into intimate territory period to protect myself against possible rejection. It might not be the most productive route as I’m avoiding this conversation I’ll ultimately have to have the rest of my life and this could be an opportunity to practice. However, my ego is so fragile after past rejections I fear slipping into depression afterwards and am attempting to preserve myself with avoidance. There will be drinks involved at this hang out so it doesn’t feel like the best opportunity to disclose even after the hang out happens as he/we may not be in the best mindset. That being said, if he asks to hang out again after this time, would I disclose via text or in person (in person feels like the projected response). And in that case do I tell him at the beginning of our hang out or middle or end (not quite sure or knowing what will be the trajectory of the encounter). And then if he rejects me I guess I would just leave after telling him.

so a lot of thoughts I’ve processed which was why my response was to just forget it all to save myself the embarrassment. But part of me Knows I won’t be able to grow if I don’t practice. But do I want to wait to talk to someone about this that doesn’t feel rushed and that I’m more into? So I’m still in limbo. 

Thank you again for your help.

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Ya know, I’ve only had one somewhat negative experience with disclosing, and it was only because I’m not on suppressive antivirals daily. And it wasn’t even someone I’m interested in, even for a night! Yet it still scares the crap out of me too when I think about disclosing to a new partner. So, I know it doesn’t help much, but you’re not alone.

Oddly enough, the most positive disclosures, and both still contact me for intimacy, were poorly handled on my end. The first one, I was almost in tears and explaining to that guy that I unknowingly exposed him to the virus. He contacts me the most. Another guy, I revealed my status after I showed up at his place, knowing full well, what he invited me over there for, and he didn’t bat an eye either. He wants more, actually, but he lives 6 hours away. My friends that I disclosed to all say “who cares” and constantly tell me to quit letting this hold me back from finding love. Only the one friend who’s been sniffing around me for years had the slightly negative reaction…the Matt Rife skit of “He’s not your FRIEND!!!” is going through my head now… 🤣🤣🤣

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