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First real herpes disclosure ... first real rejection?

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Hi all... This is my first post. I was diagnosed a little over a year ago when I got my first OB. My ex who I had been with for 6 years gave it to me and his disclosure came as I was realizing what the hell these sores were on my crotch. Because of that experience, I am determined to do the right thing and disclose to every sexual partner before becoming intimate. I've always wanted kids and a family, and importantly, a man who stands by me and loves me as much as I know that I am capable of loving another person. I think this whole herpes deal is actually kind of showing me how to get down to business and I'm learning that it may be my best "wing woman" as I've seen some people describe.... Which brings me to my current story/question


I've recently been dating this guy for about two months. We started off fairly slow. He was a gentleman taking me on dates and asking how my day was and telling me he really wanted me to "open up" so he could "get to know me better". I started spending the night at his house a few times a week and every now and then he would try to make the moves but when I said we needed to wait he respected my request. He shared that he really liked me and that he wasn't interested in trying to talk to other girls. He was telling me he was a one-woman kind of man. And he shared his dreams of one day having a family. I began to feel closer to him and more comfortable with him. Finally, I came to the point where the steamy make-out/ dry hump sessions just weren't cutting it anymore. I felt compelled to have "the talk" because I felt ready for this relationship to move forward. So I sat him down, muted the tv, and began... shakily, slowly. Finally, I got it all out and there it was. This big secret I had was now out in the light- and I was out of the closet. He responded calmly, saying "it's not like that big of a deal, right?" and "my ex had [hsv1] which is like the same thing right just on your mouth?" I answered his questions the best I could and tried to convey the facts. He seemed normal, saying that he would do his research and then we moved on to general conversation. I left soon after and he walked me out to my car per usual. He said he would text me, which wasn't anything out of the ordinary for him to say.


A day goes by and...radio silence. I usually hear from him at least once a day. Just a check in or "have a good day" type of thing. But now, nothing. I couldn't take suspense any longer and, feeling like I already knew his decision I texted him. He responded saying "sorry, i just been thinking things over, its taking me a while to process everything cause I really like you but its not easy". This gave me hope, and I said "I completely understand. I appreciate that you're taking the time to consider everything. I'll give you the space and time you need". end of convo.


As of today, I've given him a little over two days of "space and time" and I haven't heard anything. I feel like I left things a little too open ended. I'm wondering, how long is a typical wait for someone to decide they want to move forward with you regardless of your status, or to at least get to know you more and see if they want to move forward? Because I'm on the receiving end, the wait feels like an eternity and patience is a virtue. But I also know that at some point, he should be able to make a decision about this because I am well aware of my worth, and my potential as a partner in a loving relationship regardless of the fact that i have herpes. If he isn't sure or isn't willing to walk through this with me, I know I can find someone who will. Anyways, I'm trying to remember to stay calm, and respect that this is a big commitment for the guy. Just wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation or has any advice as to how to proceed with him? For you H veterans, does this look like rejection or do I need to practice more patience and continue to hope for the best?

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hi and welcome. I only got diagnosed about 3 months ago so I cant really help you with the whole disclosure thing but I can try to help you understand things from the guy end. most of this forum is women, which is great but they aren't guys, thankfully cause they all are freakin HOT.


He may be still thinking things over. men don't run off and ask our friends, our hairdressers, our coworkers, etc we tend to try to deal with it ourselves. part of me thinks its good that he dint send you a, hey its all good, just thinking, text. ( as an old fart this texting thing seems like a cop out to me, sorry but this guy named bell invented a device that lets you actually TALK to anyone in the world!!!!!) you kind of dropped a bomb into his lap ( a stigma bomb) and he is trying to process it. I personally think the fact that its label a " life long" disease makes people think it means auto marriage and THAT freak guys out when we actually ask the girl to marry us!!. lol.


so, give it some time, be prepared for a negative response just in case. tell him its his loss ( and it is im sure) but give him his space. he didn't say take a long walk off a short pier so im guessing he is just weighing things right now.


I am going to add, there are lots of deal breakers for people, weight, ethnicity, religion, income, etc herpes is just another in a long list of (primarily) superficial reasons someone might not want to go forward.


I wish you good luck and all the future happiness you can handle.

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Thank you seeker! I get alot of advice from my girlfriends (all general, because they don't know I have H so we don't get too specific) but it is realllly helpful to get a man's perspective. I am preparing for the worst but maintaining a sense of cautious optimism. I agree with the texting thing. It seemed the best way to keep my distance but I hope that when he is ready, we can ditch the phones all together and have a face to face discussion, whatever his decision is. Your comment has helped renew my resolve to respect his process and give him what I promised, space and time. Thanks again :)

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Those were some of the first questions I asked the OB/GYN when I got my official dx. For now, I choose not to worry about those things because of the positive things I've read and because it is a situation (hopefully) in my distant future. I made reference to all that stuff because in my mind, marriage and children are potential products of a serious relationship. The reference to such things ties into herpes being my "wing woman" and in this situation, a way to see someone walking away as an opportunity for "the one" to find his way in.

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Hello and Welcome!


So here's my quick advice (I want to have a quiet evening so I'm trying to motor through these things)


I would send him a text with the links to the handouts and e-book on here and maybe the youtube vid (all links below) and tell him to be VERY careful about where he is getting his information because a lot of sites post poor/incorrect info ... ESPECIALLY Google images (where the worst photos are always near the top ... and it's not just Herpes .. tell him to look up Psoriasis ... it looks like anyone with that has the plague which is far from the truth!) so just help to guide him to the better sites (if he wants more, point him to Westover Heights, the CDC, and Medhelp.)


Once you have done that, it's a waiting game. I had a guy who totally flipped out (you should have heard him ... it became a joke later) who took a month to come around, and we dated for 3 years ... *I* broke it off because I just didn't see him as someone I wanted to grow old with ....




Handouts + disclosure e-book:



Herpes facts video
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Hey, @threelittlebirds... Extraordinary as I've just posted an update to my thread 16 Years With Herpes but Still Scared.

Our stories, up until your brave disclosure are so similar. Been two months of heavy petting and getting closer and what you are going through is the thing I haven't got the courage to face. You have done an amazing thing which can only serve you well in this or any other relationship you have. Why can't I see that finding the courage you have will strengthen your resolve if you ever find yourself doing this again?


I think that if this was a definite deal breaker for the guy, he would've taken the easy opportunity in texting to say, "well thanks but I don't think I can do this." Two days in "guy time" isn't that long, especially if they have emotional things to think over. No offence guys but I think that's the reason in most relationships that we ladies get frustrated when a guy takes a day to respond to something your girlfriends would've responded to six times back and forth in the same day!

I really think from the sounds of this guy that if he wasn't giving it any thought and just wanted out it may have been an easier consideration and you would have your answer. I know I would need time if it were me but I never got that choice and what a great thing you have done for you and him by getting it out there.....


I truly wish you luck and know that you have given me a nudge towards being as honest, courageous and authentic as you are :-)

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No offence guys but I think that's the reason in most relationships that we ladies get frustrated when a guy takes a day to respond to something your girlfriends would've responded to six times back and forth in the same day!


Amen to that!!! LOL ... Just dealt with a guy who would go into "radio silence" every time he was the least bit unsure ... drove me mad because I just face things when they come up and I don't run and hide from them :p

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@WCSDancer2010 thank you! I sent him the disclosure handout link so we'll see where that goes I guess. I asked if he'd be interested in it if i sent it and he said yea you can send it... whether he'll check it out or take it in to consideration i don't know but it makes me feel better that i did my due diligence. It is nice to hear that it may take longer than a few days for a response. It irritates me to have to put myself in the position of letting him decide from this point whether we move forward. I know that if it wasn't H, he might have walked away for other reasons but the fact is, his behavior changed as a direct result of my disclosure. I also know that at anytime i can make the decision to end it but I want to see where he takes it. Its a humbling experience.


@Miji69 thanks for sharing! I'm so glad my story resonated with you and you were able to relate. As scary as it was, it got to a point where the secret was really bothering me and i felt like it was holding us back. Even though disclosing may make him decide to leave, I feel relief that now we can either move forward or I can stop "wasting time" and open myself up to other possibilities. Good luck to you! I'm crossing my fingers for both of us!

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It irritates me to have to put myself in the position of letting him decide from this point whether we move forward.


Well, as you said, it could well have been something else ... check these links out for some other perspectives on how Herpes can be your Wingman ... as well as how we cope with "Rejection" .... I think it may help you a bit :)




http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3309/successful-herpes-disclosure-but-not-for-the-reasons-you-might-think (Herpes Wingman example Mazedaze818 )



http://herpesopportunity.com/podcasts/Herpes-Opportunity-Never-Rejected.mp3 (adrial)

http://supporttruthanddialog.com/rejection_its-all-about-perspective/ (my blog)




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I can relate @threelittlebirds. I am still having such a difficult time with this. I am a beautiful, intelligent, loving, and caring person inside and out and I can't stop feeling that I am permanently tainted. I have lost my sparkle, fire, and confidence. My ex- boyfriend claims that he didn't know that he was a carrier. I have my suspicions, but that is beside the point I guess. I have been reading this site for some time and I have mixed feelings about some of the things said on here. I guess I decided to post today because I am facing my second rejection. I really liked this guy. And he doesn't even know his status and has decided he just can't. It stings very badly, and I'm feeling like if he cannot accept this, who would? Before this happened to me, it would have been a deal breaker for me. I would love an H buddy. It would be great to have a male (just might make me feel better that there are men out there living with this and actually be able to talk to them), but I would also love talking with a female.

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@jjallabouth it saddens me to hear that you feel as if you've lost what makes you shine. I can understand those feelings because I experienced that strongly in the first stages of my post-breakup post-diagnosis world. What initially helped was reading success stories to help me realize that out of many possible ways in which our lives play out (with herpes as a factor) we CAN have what we want and deserve. Ok, so it is possible, but, now how do I navigate the road and deal with the specific difficulties i am going to have to face? the big one here, and it seems like this is what is troubling your heart as it has been mine, is rejection. the links that dancer posted were helpful. I recommend them. keep reading and listening and learning and growing. These are things that herpes has given us the OPPORTUNITY to do for ourselves. As Adrial quoted in the podcast linked above, "the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek". Don't give up, don't lose heart! Know that I am sending love and positive vibes your way :)


@WCSDancer2010 thank you for the links to the information. I found the forum story of disclosure/rejection especially enlightening and I really enjoyed the podcast. The podcast actually addressed something that has been bothering me about my specific experience in this disclosure. At the end, one of the ladies mentioned something about being able to have an adult conversation about noticing the person distancing themselves from you. That is exactly what I have noticed from my guy. My struggle, however, is that I promised him his "time and space". I feel that to bring something like this up (and i'd prefer a telephone conversation to a text message) I would be in breach of my "promise". Does anyone have thoughts or advice on this?

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Well, I think you are also entitled to knowing where he is. For future reference, I have found that men do better when you agree on a time frame, or they go off and forget that YOU are part of their processing. So I would give him a week .. if he has not gotten back then I would just drop him a line asking if you could get together to see where he is at and if you can help him with any questions he has. Let him know that you miss him but that you want to honor his processing time too... so he remembers that there are 2 people being affected by this :)

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Thank you dancer.. It helps to hear that I am still part of his process. I know I'm getting really specific here but when you say a week... A week from disclosure or a week from when I sent him the information? I'm trying not to be impatient and jump the gun on anything. I was thinking a week in my own mind so it's nice to hear I'm being normal in my thought process. I want to contact him today (1 week+1day from D day) but I'm so nervous... I really like this guy :/ but I'm also really anxious to know what's going on in his mind. And you're right, I do miss him :(

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No worries, Dancer, I appreciate the effort and commitment you show to responding to all of us who post :)


Update.. I texted him yesterday saying I needed communication could we meet up, maybe I could answer questions if you had any, blah blah blah... and NO RESPONSE. I half expected that. At least I have my answer but, I feel no sense of closure. Was it the way I presented the disclosure? Did it force him to examine his true intentions? Is H just a deal-breaker for him? Was I too pushy during his processing? Did I present the disclosure too soon?


He'll never give me the answer. But I have to be ok with the fact that it could have been any one or combination of those things (and/or something non-H).


I'm sad and disappointed but, ultimately OK and handling it a little better than I thought. Still trying to process it in a healthy way though.

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:-( I completely feel you right now @threelittlebirds.


Unfortunately you may never hear back from him. And I truly am sorry for that. It hurts, I know. There are so many unanswered questions when someone just goes off the grid. Same situation with my ex-boyfriend. Don't beat yourself up over the "what if's". I did that as well. I know I did not handle the disclosure well, but in reality, I don't think the outcome would have been different had I done things differently. There could also be other circumstances in your guys life that are causing him to push away. I found out mine battles depression and cannot deal with "stressful" situations.


Try not to think about the lack of response - don't be like me and drive yourself crazy checking your phone every 5 minutes ... then send another text ... it just doesn't help. Unfortunately sometimes we won't have the answers to the why (this f'ing herpes has definitely taught me that the last couple of weeks).


Just know that you did the RIGHT thing. You disclosed it. You came clean. You respected him enough (and yourself btw) to tell him the truth. If he does respond - super! But if not, then you know that he wasn't "the one". You want someone to support you, not run.


And, chin up - he just may need some more time. My guy and I were only together a month when I had a breakout and found out. It's a lot to process, especially if you haven't been together a long time.

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Well here is the thing (and sorry guys, as I am generalizing) but the more I study dating and relationships (trying to figure my own way through this) the more I realize that there is at least *some* truth in the stuff I keep hearing that men often don't know HOW to respond, so they just don't. I went through a long (too long, but I don't quit easily) attempt to date this guy who was great until *any* little thing came along (whether it was me or something else) and then he totally shut down. I tried to be patient, then I tried to call him on it, and neither way EVER got a response for any of the incidents.... it was a HUGE eye opener to be trying to get to know someone who *Claims* to be thinking of me and wanting to get to know me but who is so paralyzed when it comes to just plain being HONEST that they can't even respond or follow up even when they AGREED on a date. I still have no idea what is going on in his head but I finally stepped away after I asked to meet for my own clarity and he not only never contacted to give me a time (as agreed), but when I finally texted him (TWICE) to ask (by which time it was getting late) he says he had something come up and couldn't do it. I know he would have known this change of plans MUCH earlier in the day but he didn't have the INTEGRITY to call me (I could have gone dancing that night and when I sent him my "I'm out" text (which I wouldn't do but he did EVERYTHING by text) I pointed out that it was out of integrity to leave me hanging when I had other things I could do. I figured to hell with it, I'm not tip toeing around his behavior any more :p


Anyway, just realize that *some* men have NO IDEA how to deal with uncomfortable conversations and they would rather run than face them. Be glad you saw that side early on ... it often doesn't show until you have a lot of time invested and something big" comes up....


And yes - you did the right thing, and I'm sure you did it the right way. You just didn't have the "right" man to receive it :(



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hi @threelittlebirds. I'm sorry you didn't get the response you wanted from your guy. The thing is, you behaved with love and integrity so huge Kudos to you. I am getting ready to disclose to someone important to me and I am frankly scared. But I also know that what is more important than keeping the man, is keeping my self. I have been working hard on accepting H as a part of me, much like my hair color, age and weight. It does not define me, but it is not something I can ignore. There is a simple truth that anytime you hurt another you hurt yourself and vice versa. You have inspired me with your honesty. Thank you!

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Not selfish at all hon! I was in a marriage for 15 years. And, although obviously it didn't work out, no matter what was going on, we always supported each other through every failure, obstacle, whatever. I know that sounds corny but its true. Life sucks but it's so much easier when you have one person you know, without a doubt, will always be there for you. So, not selfish at all. It's what everyone deserves. You don't want someone who will run away. Both aren't strong at the same time, one has to be strong for the other. But, that's hard to ask for or expect unfortunately when the relationship is so new.


And you definitely should be proud of yourself for disclosing!!!! I have to do that myself to a past relationship. I'm sick about it!

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