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New to this herpes group, not so new to herpes

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Hello, I have had hsv since I was 19 yrs old...Im 41 now. Until 3 wks ago, I have been a pretty silent "sufferer" with an unhealthy amount of shame. In the past, Ive always had the disclosure convo with a potential partner and have had supportive, receptive responses. But every time I've had this convo, Ive been terribly apologetic, teary, and full of fear. Each time someone accepted this about me Ive felt very grateful and relieved, but at the same time Ive found myself wondering why they accepted this about me, as if something must be wrong with them....how messed up is that?


So what happened about 3 wks ago? I disclosed to an old time friend, who said I am terribly hard on myself, that its really not THAT big of a deal. He suggested that I look into getting some support bc of the way it has damaged my self worth in the dating area of my life. In seeking support, I came across this site...here I've seen that there are ways of disclosing that are mature and positive, with empowering attitudes that have shed some light on my long-lived "hated condition".


So what else happened 3 wks ago? Well, after a realllly long time of being single/celibate, I met someone I would like to be intimate with eventually and the time for disclosure is "looming". I understand that if he rejects me (or my hsv), he is just simply not "my guy"...but that doesnt feel all that consoling right now :) The fear of his rejection is causing anxiety...I hope he is the person Ive come to know as understanding. That said, I know that he may understand and still choose not to continue dating me for his own reasons.


Im trying to look at this as an opportunity for me to practice something different...tell him this small personal detail in a way that is confident and mature. But I cant seem to stop obsessing about the impending conversation and all the terrible ways he may respond.


Any feedback/guidance/words of wisdom is muchly appreciated. I sure wish I reached out for support on this topic wayyyy sooner in my life, thank you for being here. Cheers, Bee

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Hi Bee,

I understand completely how hard it is to take that leap of faith and the anxiety that goes with it. You could start with the basic "I really like you a lot and am considering the possibility that this could move to the next level, sex. This being said we should both be thoroughly tested for STDs; I have found out that they don't always test you for everything unless you specifically ask and even then clinics still don't test for everything. Once we have our tests back we should plan a time to discuss the test results and then to discuss our next move." Once you are both tested you can check to be sure they tested him for HSV and if by chance he does not have either strand it will give you the opening to tell him how 1 out of 6 people have HSV2 and more than likely 80%+ have HSV1. Then you can go into the fact that 50% of people don't even know they have it because they don't get any symptoms but that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that you inform potential partners beforehand so that they know what they are up against. I would also have some pamphlets and printouts of important info and statistics. Maybe finish with, "I know this is probably a lot for you to process right now, and I understand if you decide you can't take this to the next level, but I certainly hope we can remain good friends"

You are deserving of love and happiness and when you find your "Mr. Right" he won't care about the HSV but will take you in his arms and tell you it's ok, or it is what it is, this doesn't change the fact that I am madly in love with you! So don't get discouraged; just look at it this way: You are a beautiful fairy princess, and outside your window is the lilypad-laden pond which is filled with hundreds of frogs, one of which is your prince. Trust me, once you find him it will have been worth all the frogs you kissed to get there!

Hugs and good luck,


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Thank you Ann! I appreciate your kind words.


After much stress and a productive coaching session with Adrial...I disclosed to "him"...I was very nervous. I told him I had herpes from a past relationship and proceeded to explain what that meant in general and what it meant with me specifically...he interrupted me to say he had it too and knew quite a bit about it. He has type 1 (as far as he knows) and was planning to talk with me but he was super grateful (and a tad teary) that I had brought it up with him bc he was having trouble summoning the courage. This spawned a very frank convo about sexual health/history and family planning (well family avoidance haha). Long story short he said that he is relieved that we have the same thing (essentially). Wow hey?


I have to say this was the first time that Ive had a convo of this nature that was this deep, mature, and honest; even more importantly for me, my disclosure was less shame based and more as a matter of fact based. This has definitely created a good start for trust and openness during our "getting to know each other" stage.


Thank you everyone for sharing your own personal stories...you have all helped shaped my new belief that herpes does not define my character as a person and that there are people who understand.

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