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Disclosing to a friend-turned-crush.. Is it worth it?

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Hello everyone!


I have recently admitted (to myself and a close friend) that I have a thing for another good friend of mine. We've known each other for 3 years, but recently became pretty close. We text daily, have two classes together, have been out for coffee and ice cream, stayed up late on the phone...


I'm pretty sure he's digging me too, but I am SO scared of ruining our friendship with my HSV1. We're still very much friends at this point, no kisses or anything. I'm not new to disclosing, and I have had one positive response! My now ex-boyfriend took the news very well, but unfortunately we broke up (for non-herpes related reasons). I'm very confident he didn't contract the virus, as I am on suppressive therapy (have been since a month before he and I started dating) and continued after he and I broke up. But this guy is different.


He's my friend, we're in the same major (public health.. even better, right?) He's a bright guy. We see each other everyday. He's only had two girlfriends, whereas I've had a handful of boyfriends (that he knows about), so I'm scared the thought of multiple partners is going to mar my HSV1 disclosure. He's a really compassionate person, but IDK if he'd take the *notably minor* risk with me, if we ever got to that point.


So my question is... do I disclose as friends? do I wait and see if a (more evident) romance blooms? I'm so scared that he'll distance himself from me. I'm terrified to even ask if he gets coldsores or what he thinks about STIs, I don't want to make him suspicious. It's so hard to have the conversation with someone who knows just as much about health as you do.

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I would disclose now. The reason being you are already into him, and before you get even closer, why not see how he reacts? A true friend would not hold this against you. His reaction will tell you a lot about him. It might make you guys closer, It might make him run for the hills. Either way, at least you will find out before you get too involved.


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Agree with MMissouri... Seeing as you guys are already friends, i think it's worth sharing up front before you get too invested. And although there is no guarantee that he will respond favorably, the chances are pretty good. He might not necessarily want a relationship, but he will hopefully be supportive and compassionate, not matter what. I think in disclosing, you might want to share your feelings towards him as well... maybe that's the starting point? That you have come to really care about him, and would be interested in seeing if there is more. If he responds positively then tell him there is something he needs to know before you pursue anything....etc. I think putting the feelings on the table might make you feel more vulnerable, but isn't what that discussion is all about? This might not be the best approach for you or everyone, but I think I would want him to know why I am telling him, and get everything on the table... leaves less 'what ifs', and offers more opportunity to connect on a deeper level. Good luck, keep us posted!

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Good advice ... especially the part about starting by saying that you really like him and TRUST him, and you feel that something may be growing between you. See what he says there... if he returns the interest, THEN say that you have something that you want to share with him because you want to start the relationship from a place of honesty and transparency.


Ask him if he's ever had cold sores. If he has, all the better because you can say that you have the exact same virus except that you have it down below... (if not, just explain it's the same thing as cold sores) and that you got it from someone who had cold sores... AND that because he has cold sores, he has the antibodies which will protect him. Between that, the fact that HSV1 genital rarely if ever seems to transfer to another simply because it sheds so little, and you are on antivirals, means that he should be pretty safe ... but you feel he should know because there *is* a very small risk of him getting it. Give him the handouts from here... and then cross your fingers... if he's a REAL friend, he will still support you and whatever he chooses as far as continuing a relationship, you will know you have someone you can trust. If he acts like a jerk, well, consider yourself lucky to learn that about him now ;)




Handouts + disclosure e-book:




Herpes facts video


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You could always say something a long the lines of ,"So I have a friend who has herpes, and I overheard a couple people talking about her today and they were saying some nasty things. She's a great person and it's not fair that people judge her on something they know nothing about." Maybe not verbatim, but something a long those lines. Bring it up during the natural course of a conversation and be somewhat nonchalant about it. Use his reaction to gauge what his reaction would be to your disclosure.

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You all are so fantastic! We have plans to watch a few movies on Friday, so I might bring it up casually then (it being what he's looking for right now, whether its a relationship or a stronger friendship) and then proceed... with caution. I really appreciate having such a fantastic support network, thank you! I'll keep you all posted on what happens.

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So... new development. He definitely likes me and told me today (ironically, the same day I planned on disclosing as friends.. he beat me to it!!). I told him I was having the same feelings, but was apprehensive of ruining our friendship. We decided to be pretty private about it and go on a date on Friday. Then we kissed and ahhh it was magical but oh my god. I'm thinking after the 2nd or 3rd date I'll disclose! Just as concisely and clearly as possible. I've disclosed successfully before, so I'm confident, but still nervous, ya know?? Thoughts??

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Heya! Glad to hear that things are moving along well!! As @seeker once wrote, it's nice to be in a position to disclose, even it's scary. It's nice to know that you like someone enough to want to share that part of you with them. If you known him for so long, there really no reason to wait, so date 2 or 3 seems very reasonable. Speak from your heart, and I'm sure no matter what, it will be a success. Please keep us posted, and sending you all kinds of positive vibes! :)

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I agree - go with your gut on when to tell... but if he's a REAL friend, then disclosure will not change that part of the relationship ... and you can start the conversation with the fact that you have been holding back because there's something you need to talk to him about that you fear will hurt your friendship..never mind the relationship. Perfect segue ;)


Good luck... and keep us posted!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So kind of a weird update for you all! He and I went on a date. I thought it was great and he said the same, but later told a mutual friend that he just wanted to remain friends with me. No "spark" or something like that. I'm a little bummed, but it's no big deal. Never got to the point of disclosing, so I still don't know the answer to my own question! :P thanks for all your support!! xo

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