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Disclosure SUCCESS - Be calm, confident, knowledgeable, caring

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Hello everyone! I had an amazingly successful disclosure last night! I want to share what worked for me. Before I begin, tho, I must thank this forum, and those I've messaged privately (@2Legit). I also want to say, for those who read only this far, please please please do not think any less of yourself because is this minor, common, overly stigmatized skin condition. Please do not let it define you. Shame has no place in your disclosure. Your potential partners will respect your character and integrity even more because you CHOOSE to inform and protect them. Come from a place of knowledge. Give them the choice and have the self confidence to walk away if they don't wish to continue. I know you may be scared and down as I was, but please know you are worth every bit as much as before, your life is not over, you deserve to be treated with love and respect, and you will find it.


So, for my story, I was diagnosed last May w/GHSV2. I had just started a new relationship, and was tested before we had sex. I hadn't found this forum yet, so made a tearful, apologetic, shame-filled confession. My new partner "accepted" it, but over the next few months, made me feel "less than" with complaints about condoms, etc. Also if we got into a conflict, he'd remind me, "It (your herpes) still bothers me." Needless to say, that relationship was over in less than 3 unhappy months.


Since things ended in August, I've been learning about this virus and working on fully loving myself. I told several of my closest friends, who responded with love, support, no judgment. When I felt ready, I started online dating. The wingman effect cannot be overstated. H made me look for deeper qualities, not just superficial stuff. I screened FAR more carefully. It made me ask upfront about intentions - commitment (my goal) or just fun sex. (Thx Dancer for advice to just ASK.)


Anyway, I finally met 2 men who seemed interesting. One was a medical doctor I'd met online. The other was a friend of a friend who I met at a party (also very successful career-wise). This week I had third dates set up w/each of them. I met the holiday party guy last night. We've had an amazing connection, with easy communication, mutual attraction, laughter, and talks on topics ranging from fun and easy to deep and spiritual. Last night, things were getting physical. Not wanting to disclose in the heat of the moment, I said that I wanted to take things slow. He was totally fine with it, and he said how much he enjoyed so much more than the physical aspect, and wanted to truly get to know each other. After talking more, he said that he wanted to discuss some serious things. Among other things, he said, "I have no STD's. How about you?"


I took a deep breath and said, "Well, you know those cold sores people get on their faces? It's caused by the herpes virus. It's a minor skin condition that can be all over the body, in children, adults, animals. In May, I was diagnosed as having been exposed to the kind that goes down there. What do you know about the virus?". I wanted to get an idea of how knowledgable he was, instead of straight out bombing him with numbers. He told me that he had encountered several women during online dating who told him they had it, so he had done research. In the end, he had dated one woman who had it, and never felt that he was put at risk. I told him about my history, how the virus can spread, how I use antivirals, the risk with antivirals + condoms. I also told him that I am a health fanatic, and nothing would be more important than protecting him. By this time, he was holding me and kissing me. Hippyherpy said in a previous post that if the other person "gets it" after a disclosure, don't keep on going. So, I stopped talking, and asked what he thought.


He told me that he appreciated me telling him. He said he was so impressed by how intelligently I could explain the virus very clearly. Even more, he was impressed by how open i was. He said that he wanted to keep telling me how beautiful I was, but that would sound like he was only talking about my appearance, when what he meant was my heart. He said, "Of course I would be a fool not to want to be with you." We spent the night together. This morning before we both had to work, he said that he was so excited for all our friends to know that we are a couple. He wants me to meet his family who are visiting for the holidays. He sent me a text later, telling me that he is crazy about me.


Oh, and the doctor who I met online? Well, he and I never really had what I'd call a "heart connection". Although he is dashingly handsome w/ all the status of being a doctor, his character lacked warmth and humor, and I felt there were red flags lurking. In the past, I might have disregarded them and been lured by the status. Thanks to the wingman, I sent him a text and kindly cancelled our date later this week.


For the newly diagnosed, the cloud of despair you may feel will lift as you find that life goes on. Educate yourself about H so that you can educate others. Finally, finding love begins with loving yourself and knowing you are a WHOLE person. Truly know and believe that you deserve to be treated with respect. Allow yourself to be joyful again. In romance, don't settle for anything less than a partner who adores and accepts you fully.


H has been a journey for me, as it is for all of us. We all need to support each other, and I hope this helped lighten the journey for someone!







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Thank you Dancer! Quick update - we spent most of the weekend together, both alone and with our group of joint friends, and he posted pics of us on facebook saying we're a couple. I got a text from him this morning saying, "You have stolen my heart. So incredibly grateful for you and the prospect of a future together."


For us, using condoms is a non-issue (I insist on it as non-negotiable), we have an amazing sex life, and H is not even mentioned. I truly believe that H is as big of a deal as we make it. Before this, I was skeptical when I heard, "To those who care about you, it won't matter." Now I know that's true, if one is honest and responsible.


To all who read this, please take hope that this story is not an exception, but just ordinary stuff - people forming a relationship, dealing with baggage (H is really SUCH small stuff), and moving forward with the important things!

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That's great! I've had two dates with a new guy that I feel may have some long term potential. I am obsessing over the disclosure, which I plan to do around date 4. These posts help me so much with my confidence. I feel optimism about telling one minute, then afraid the next. Hard for me to enjoy myself one the dates fully with this on my mind. Ugh.

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@ New Day, I certainly know how you feel. It is scary, but please know that either way, you will be fine, because you will have done the right thing by being honest. Honesty, delivered with sincere caring for the other person is a beautiful thing! The only thing I'd add to my story above is that I had collected a set of links about H, which I planned to send to my partner if he wanted more info. As it turned out, he didn't need them. However, I think it's a good idea to have these at the ready, just in case. Btw, my guy and I are going stronger than ever. He tells me every day how lucky he feels about us. He's kind of a heart throb in our group of friends, so I actually feel like the lucky one. I'm just telling you that so that you will know that this teeny little minor skin thing should be pretty much nothing in the big picture, and does not limit your options. I'm sending best wishes your way!

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@Julie reading your success story gives me great hope that I too will have success with the right guy. Reading your story was like a fairy tale. I hope it all goes well for you. I am screening the guys I am talking to. My problem I guess I like to have physical attraction as well. As a connection. Does the fourth date really mean something? I have yet to disclose to the guy I've been seeing a month but I have suspicions its not going to work out. So instead since the guy I am seeing has not pushed anything. I have gone down on him a couple times voluntarily I might add. I will just see how things go.

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@Carlover Thank you! I feel very fortunate, but certainly know that relationships can go either way. Some day I may be back in the pool, so I'm keeping a realistic view of things.


if you're looking for a committed relationship, I do think that there's a higher chance of success if you've established a connection. This is based on reading disclosure stories and success when there was a connection vs. not. I think if things get to a fourth date, I would at least have an idea of whether I wanted to go forward w/the person. Some folks suggest to practice disclosing to dates who do not matter. Personally, I think that the likelihood of success is not good, and if they choose to take a pass, this just makes one more insecure. I think disclosing to those who really matter, after establishing connection for the highest chance of success, is better, but that's just me.


Per your q on physical attraction, yes, that's critical to me too. Don't feel like you need to settle! If you're having doubts about the current partner, you may want to trust your gut and decide if he's worth being with YOU.


Just a little more, for pep talk. I think we really make H out to be so much more than it is - an occasional harmless temporary few bumps on your privates. Over the holidays, I held a guy friend in my arms who was crying because he missed his mom. She died last Xmas, in great pain from brain cancer. My best girlfriend's mom was just diagnosed with Lou Gerig's disease. I know a couple whose first child was born with severe birth defects. I guess what I'm saying is that we can obsess about H to the point that we lose perspective.


When I initially told a friend of mine (whose wife has severe depression and whose daughter has autism) that I have H, I was crying. He literally grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me, shouting, "This is NOTHING!!! You think no one will love you because of this??!!" Don't let this defeat you. I'm sending best wishes your way!

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Thanks 2Legit and Dancer!


@Dancer, things are still going great with my guy. We have a truly amazing connection, both emotionally and physically. I think a big part of that was meeting "in real life" vs. online. We have a big group of friends, so maybe we have gotten to know each other in a more well-rounded way.


He's probably the more starry-eyed between us. He says he wants a shirt that says "I'm with her". Lol! He often mentions that he hopes that our relationship is "the one". I may be a bit more grounded, but am sooooo very happy.


As this is an H forum, I just want to say again to all, hold your heads up high. You deserve to be fully loved for you. You have a pesky harmless manageable skin issue. Big deal!!! You are still beautiful in every way!

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