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my story and need advice on disclosing


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I am 20 years old and got diagnosed with HSV type 1 on my genitals just over 8 months ago. 

It took me a while but I have, for the most part, come to terms with it. Unfortunately the boy I was being intimate with at the time (never even had intercourse) did not tell me or knew he had it and still denied it when I told him I had an outbreak. It was right before summer break and we lived in different hometowns and we drifted apart that summer. I realized he was being a coward about it and really did not care about me at all. 

Since then I have forced myself to deal with this problem and am still working on my positive attitude. I met a new guy a couple months ago who is extremely sweet, caring, respectful, and a great guy. Unfortunately, he is graduating college at the end of this semester in just four months and just recently, i am on winter break, he told me he wanted to keep hanging out because he couldn't imagine not being around me, but did not want anything long term. I agreed to this because it showed me how much he cares about me and was willing to be with me even though he knew it may not last past graduation. 

I have been focusing on getting to know him these past two months and have not disclosed to him or have also not done anything to him physically since I would rather him know about my "problem" it is only fair. It wasn't until now that i feel he is worth disclosing to and i fear telling him. I am an open person, i now feel more comfortable with him, but there is always that fear that he will not accept IT, even though he accepts ME. 

I hope he will not be mad i waited this long to tell him, and will want him to see that i am still the same special girl he likes aside from this inconvenience. I have one of the most rare kinds that is more rarely spread and am not on medication full time, only when i feel something. I take care of my body take so many vitamins and try to not be stressed. 

Most of my stress lately has stemmed from the fear of knowing i have to tell him soon if i want to keep seeing him and continue on being intimate. I want direction on how to start this conversation and get him to see me for who i really am; not what IT really is. 
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First off, I love your distinction about your fear of him not accepting IT vs. accepting YOU. So many of us get that smooshed together into the same thing: I am my herpes. No. You're right on. And I also feel where you're coming from: You still want him to be okay with herpes so you can be with him and see how it shapes up. You may not identify with being herpes, but you still have herpes and it's something that needs to be looked at. Another part that I loved was "now that I feel he is worth disclosing to" ... it shows that disclosure isn't this horrible thing, but something that only comes when a relationship has potential to be something more. You wouldn't disclose to some punk of the street that you're never going to see again. That punk ain't worth it. 

So to your immediate concern about disclosing ...

First things first, have you read the Herpes Life post and watched the youtube video on "the talk"? 

And have you downloaded the free e-book "The Positive Guide to Herpes Disclosure"? 

If you've done those two things, then what I would add here is that you need to own the fact that disclosing always has two parts to it: Your part (the discloser) and his part (the disclosee). You can only control your part. You can't control their part (their own beliefs, their head, their relationship to herpes stigma, etc.) Let all that go. Let go of the expectation that the talk *should* look a certain way. I know this might be hard when you really want to be with this guy. Know that your integrity is great by even choosing to have the talk with him. It shows a lot about who you are. 

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • 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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