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disclosure plan--feedback, please!


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Hi guys! I recently met an AMAZING, amazing guy. I really, REALLY, do not want to mess this up. I even came out to my therapist about it (about herpes), which I've had for just over a year and never told her about, because I'm so stressed about losing this one. He is really great, unlike anyone I've dated in ages (actually, in about 10 years, since my college boyfriend and first love). I could go on, but I won't. I will cut to the chase, which is, would you please read my little disclosure speech, and offer me your feedback? Anything I should add, or take out? The part with me speaking takes about 2 minutes. I am guessing the conversation will be about 4-5 minutes. Also, FWIW, this is my third disclosure. The first was "successful" in that I just blurted it out and cried, but he accepted it, and the second (fairly recent) was after we'd slept together once, and was a failure (but a failure I'm glad for, because I went on to meet this new guy). I've taken a lot from what I've learned here, and I hope that shines through. Also, I've known this guy for a little over one week. We've met up three times, once for a formal date, once for an activity date, and once for dinner and a movie at my place. He's not at all aggressive, which I'm super thankful for, but I do want this to move forward--not as much for the sex as for the freedom to invest myself emotionally. I'm thinking of disclosing not at our next meeting, but maybe the one after that (probably next weekend). Thanks so much!

 

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I imagine we are in my apartment (a place where I feel comfortable and safe). Ideally we just finished playing a game, like Bananagrams or that new Chronology game I bought. That would make diving into a random conversation more natural than say, after a movie or even after dinner… I think, for some reason. Whatever, that’s how I want this to go.

 

So, how long have you been doing the online dating thing?

 

He answers, and probably asks, and you?

 

A couple of years, I guess. I think it’s a great way to meet people that you wouldn’t otherwise meet, and I’ve met some decent folks through it. And while I think dating is fun, in general, you know, meeting new and often interesting people, going new places and whatnot, I think the process has left me a little jaded, to be honest. But, you know, I kept at it because, what else are you going to do? Just do your best, and hope for the best.

 

To tell you the truth, the moment I met you, when you sat down across from me at dinner, it felt different than any other meeting. I don’t believe in anything supernatural, yet I can’t fully explain the feeling I had meeting you. All during dinner I felt enveloped in a sense of awe. I hardly slept that night, thinking about it. I thought to myself, I just went out with the most wonderful person I’d ever met—and I was going to say “online,” but I realized I didn’t even need to. I mean, I guess we did meet “online,” but it doesn’t feel that way at all; I feel like I could have met you anywhere. Like if I’d seen you on the bus, or walking down the street, I would have found a reason to talk to you. I feel like you fit into my life perfectly naturally.

 

Maybe he’ll want to say something at this point. Maybe he’s like, “OMG, me too!” or maybe he’s freaking out, and wants to tell me he’s “keeping his options open at this point” or something like that.

 

IF he says, “OMG, me too!” I will launch into the herpes talk.

 

IF he says he is “keeping his options open,” I will smile and say, “That’s fine. I just wanted you to know how I felt. I don’t like playing it cool, when I don’t really feel cool, that’s all” and will save the herpes talk for another day, if/when that day comes.

 

Assume he says, “OMG, me too!” and commence herpes talk:

 

So you know that I really like you and respect you, and you mean enough to me that I want to share something important with you, and that is that I have genital herpes. I got it a little over a year ago. I know a lot about it, and want to share some of that information with you, but first I want to know what you think and how you feel about it, and what you already know about it.

 

Opportunity for him to talk. Obviously, the rest of the conversation depends heavily on this. If he takes it well, then great, my job will be fairly easy. Maybe offer some statistics, show him the handout on my iPad, etc. If he’s confused/freaked out, it will be more difficult. If he is freaked out, I think that all I can do is answer his questions and reassure him that it’s not a terrible problem (“it’s a nuisance skin condition”), that the chance that he will get it from me is fairly low, and that it’s very common. If he is still freaked out and says he can’t date me anymore, I’ll probably cry and ask him to leave. If he is still freaked out and says he has to think on it, I will guide him away from Google Images, and ask him to ask me his questions. I will keep in mind that, if he walks, he wasn’t the one for me. The one for me will want to be with me, even in the face of the risk of contracting a nuisance (albeit stigmatizing) skin condition.

 

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And, cut. Please let me know what you think.

 

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LOL - you got it all figured out and likely it won't go at all like that, but it's good that you have at least something of a plan. Read all the Success Stories that you can for more ideas .....

 

I'd suggest that you have the handouts available for him so he can see the numbers seeing that he's a numbers guy ... esp as one of the stats is the comparative risk of driving in a car.

 

Handouts + disclosure e-book:

http://eepurl.com/b4IPP

 

Which strain do you have? 1 or 2? If you have HSV1, you can ask him if he's had cold sores ... because not only does that mean he has at least some immunity, it could be how you got it. If you have HSV2, you may end up educating him that he may never have been tested and that whatever happens, he should get tested because it could well be a moot point if he has it.

 

I'd be a little careful about gushing too much about how much you like him though. I once just told a guy I "Really like you a lot " after we had had 2 really fun, awesome dates, and he couldn't run fast enough! Guys often think that we are going to start screaming for a wedding ring if we are too eager too soon. So you may want to tone that part down just a bit ;)

 

And let him know we have a section here just for him if he wants more answers, and the CDC has some great stats if he wants more numbers to crunch ;)

 

Keep us posted... We'll be cheering you on over here...

 

(((HUGS)))

 

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Hello @moonrise!

I personally dont see any flaw in ur plan. Unless if yhe conversation mistakenly goes another direction, but sometimes u cant help that! Soumds like u know what ur doing with your wording, and your picking an emotionanlly comrfortable area to talk.

all thats left is... Good Luck!!!!

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Guys! I did it! And it was FINE!

 

I was so nervous leading up to it, because this guy is way awesome and I didn't want to lose the chance to continue seeing him. I have disclosed twice in the past, but was never anywhere near this nervous, because I didn't feel I had as much to lose.

 

I practiced my spiel several times in the mirror for over a week, and even recorded myself giving it. I wanted to be comfortable with the words. I didn't want to cry; I wanted to show that it wasn't a big deal, and, in the event that it went south, maintain my composure and dignity.

 

We spent the evening walking around the city, just talking and people-watching. Around 11pm we picked up some Indian food, took it back to my place, and put on a movie, but we didn't finish it before deciding to turn in. (We met about two weeks ago, but have seen each other almost every other day since then, and this was the second time he stayed over at my place.) I grabbed my iPad, which was ready to go with the disclosure handout. We cuddled for a few minutes on my bed, just chatting. He said he could hear my heart and it was racing.

 

Finally I said, "Hey, I want to show you something," and sat up. I launched into my speech, and was shocked by how much more difficult it was with him than it was in the mirror, and by how serious I sounded. I said quickly and without much inflection, "I really like you, and respect you, and feel very comfortable with you, so I want to share something important with you," and felt as if either he already knew what I was going to say, or that I was going to say I was an axe murderer. But I continued with, "I have genital herpes. I've had it for a little over a year, so I know a lot about it, and I want to share some information about it with you. But I am curious about what you may already know or think about it."

 

I still can't believe what happened next. He said, "Actually, I know a bit about it. A friend of mine has it; she got it from her boyfriend who didn't know he had it. She says it's not a big deal at all."

 

Guys, this is a person whose friends tell him about their herpes! Total keeper, right!?!?

 

And I was like... "Yes! That's right! It's really not a big deal!"

 

And he said, "You can only pass it when you're having an outbreak, right?" and I said, "No, that's not correct," and showed him the handout. He read it and I explained some details.

 

Eventually he just said, "It's okay," and I asked, "It's not a deal breaker?" and he said of course not. I said I was sorry that I had it. He told me not to be silly, that there was nothing to be ashamed of. He mentioned that it must be hard to have to have this talk, and I told him it was, but only because it's hard to feel out of control, and that it's good practice because we're never really in control of other people's thoughts or feelings. And that, besides, it helps me separate the men from the boys (i.e., "wingman"). He said he loved that idea.

 

And that was it! We just went on to talk about something else, and cuddle, and fall asleep.

 

I can't thank you guys enough for your support. I really think that this was only possible because you helped me get to a place where *I* felt okay about having herpes. That was, for sure, the biggest hurdle of all.

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So beautiful. I officially changed the category on this to "success story." Boom. Great job!

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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  • 3 weeks later...

yeeeehaaa!!! So happy for you!!

 

Congrats!

 

I've had a similar situation with my now girlfriend very recently.

 

Second disclosure in my live.

 

I haven't had feelings like I have for her in the last 10 years (I've had HSV for about 5years now) and so anxiety levels were pretty high :P.

Cheesus, I mean seriously I felt like a 13yo all over again. I wanted to be honest and didn't sweet talk the whole thing. I also told her I was supossed to make this sound like it's no big deal which we both started laughing about as clearly I wasn't succeeding with that part - doh ;).

Anyway she said her sister has HSV1 and that she knows about herpes and doesn't have a problem with me having it, which was and is such a relieve!!!

She - and maybe ur bf should do that too - is getting checked now if she has the virus already without any outbreaks just to ease my mind a bit.

 

To be honest for - us anyway - this whole thing has brought us closer together, at least much quicker than otherwise. We know we are honest with each other and care for one another, which is worth so much!

 

Anyway, I'm really glad it went well for you as well - I know how big of a relieve this is.

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