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    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Struggling with the thought of having a face to face discussion about herpes with a new partner !

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I have gone over and over in my mind how I can bring this up and I'm just not sure I can ! I'm wondering whether to start a discussion in writing to him.....We message a lot in writing as it is at the moment and maybe this is a way in ? Has anyone done this , what are people's thoughts ? This will be my first disclosure . The stress of all this is seriously making me feel that I just can't do this , that I wish I hadn't got into a dating scenario with someone! The annoying thing is is that it's the first time in a long time that I've really fancied someone and feel that this could be so great . We have so much in common , are really attracted to one another but I feel that as soon as I disclose, things will not be the same . Help ! X

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First off, congratulations on having someone in your life that you're willing to pluck up the courage and dive into having the talk! It's a big deal that you're ready to be vulnerable with him. :) Seriously, that's worth celebrating, sister. Don't let that fall by the wayside as you consider having the talk.


Now first things first, have you read the free e-book + handouts here? https://herpeslife.com/free-ebook


That'll be a great intro to what we're all about at H Opp and the kind of empowering perspective you can have with the talk. It's all about focusing not on herpes as a dealbreaker, but on uncovering and strengthening all those positive qualities you know yourself to have already. It's what has this guy so attracted to you in the first place, right? ;)


The thing about herpes is it tends to inflate and highlight all of the negative opinions we have had about ourselves and make them seem like the big, fat, ugly truth. But herpes doesn't tend to be the dealbreaker in relationships that are meant to be. It's just something you gotta deal with. But herpes can be a dealbreaker if we see ourselves as somehow damaged goods and we transmit that kind of shame. That's why the H Opp community is all about using this as an opportunity for self-growth and self-acceptance in order to grow beyond our negative opinions of ourselves.


Yes yes? :)

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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Hi Adrial , thanks so much for your reply . I've watched lots of your videos and will download the ebook ! Until my diagnosis I ve always felt great about sex, my body etc and feel that people are attracted to me . My problem now is the thought of not wanting to transmit this to anyone else . It's the thought that once someone knows it will change things sex wise and not make it fun anymore . The guy I've met is so lovely and I don't want him to have to go through this if I did pass it on and then we broke up etc ! What do you think about breaking the ice in writing regarding having a conversation ? Then at least he's a bit prepared !

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Fran, the pressure you are feeling might not have to with herpes per se.


I'm assuming you are female. Most of the time, in romantic situations, it's the man who usually has to lead.. kind of like dancing. In that light, when it comes to something like being the one to bring up herpes, it would make sense that you might feel strange. It's something where you have to take the initiative to talk about it.


Sort of role reversal, and I can see why a lot of girls are stressed about bringing it up from this perspective that.


That said, you just got to do it. You might get rejected, but that's OK. If you do it enough, you will get used to talking about it like it's no big deal. There are many many fish in the sea, and plenty of people (more than you might think) who are OK with having sex with someone carrying herpes and will appreciate your honesty a lot.


You need a confident man that is level headed and isn't afraid of stigmas. Make sure you are doing whatever you can in your power to not transmit it to him (take meds, condoms), etc. and you will feel more confident about disclosing.

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Thanks 'hippyherpy' ( great name by the way !) . Yeah , I know what you mean . I also think part of it is the thought of not being able to convey articulately enough all the facts about herpes ( in a way non scary way too ) . Truth is I'm absolutely exhausted from all the worry about this and from all the hours of reading I've being doing about it online ! I've got myself into a situation whereby I like this guy , he's wanting to see me etc and I can tell he wants to get more physical , as do I , but I'm making up excuses for not putting myself into an intimate situation and it's really hard ! It has to change things when a person knows they could catch something from you , no ? If it wasn't so stigmatised then everything would be ok . Nobody really worries about catching coldsores do they . If they included Hsv testing in an routine STI test then lots more people would be diagnosed and it would be much more out there . You would come across more people disclosing to you . That's one of my theories on debunking this stigma !

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It might change things and it might not. The point is you got to move through life regardless instead of running around in circles in your mind.


Herpes is a fact of life, like many other worse conditions, for many many people who have partners. It is what it is. If he doesn't like it, he can walk.


If they included it in tests, there would be a lot more people talking about herpes as a normal thing and not some rare life threatening illness.


It's just a cold sore, but on your babymaker.

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I suggest that you read all the "Success Stories" that you can because you will see where other's have had success and how they approached the subject. And remember the first time you do ANYTHING it can be quite scary! So sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet, get it over with, and accept the outcome. :)


As for the info, you have the link for the e-book. There's a lot of great info on here. but the fact of the matter is, if the guy has been dating for any time odds are he's been exposed to H unwittingly anyway. So the fact that you KNOW actually, in a way, makes you "safer". It gives you the "opportunity" to bring up the STD talk that you really SHOULD have (and likely wouldn't if you are like most of the population!) before you have sex. At this point, while you feel like you are scared to give out info, odds are you know more about STD's now than 90% of the population! The e-book should give you the info you would want to pass on... or just give him the link so he can read it himself.


And remember, his reaction is much more about who HE is than the fact that you have H. I call H my Wingman. The H talk shows me a lot about who my prospective partner is.


How does he react initially? And does he then continue to act the same or not?


Some men will seem ok at first but then they pull away - mostly because they are too chicken shit to be honest and say that they are scared/ignorant/etc. Odds are they will be that way about EVERY awkward situation that comes up in their life. That guy isn't for me.


Some men are very empathetic from the start. They really *get* that for you to open up took a lot of courage. And they appreciate you for that. Doesn't mean they will stay but odds are they will really consider how they feel about you as a partner while they digest the H info. If they REALLY value you, most will stay (unless they are really germ-phobic, but again, that is someone that *I* personally probably wouldn't do well with anyway!). If they suddenly realize that they don't see a future with you (for other reasons) then H just made them get real before the got INTO you ...


Because H is really great for helping you to see which guys are into YOU, as opposed to those who want to get INTO you. :)


Sounds like you could use a little help with what to say for "the talk". So I'll put an example below. The bottom line is to let them know that you respect them enough to give them CHOICE. Just as you really should be straightforward with a potential new partner about other things in life - financial issues (recent bankruptcy), life-altering illnesses, crazy ex's that you have to deal with, children, etc. There are MANY things that we eventually have to disclose to a new partner that they may not want to be involved with. When you *get* that, disclosure of H gets easier :)


And you may want to look into @Adrial's guide #3, "The Talk" ( covers disclosing in a way that makes “the talk” something that brings you closer together instead of being a dealbreaker) in the Lifestyle Guides. ( https://herpesopportunity.com/lifestyle-guides.html ) Use this code ( P25 ) if you decide to purchase it to get 25% off or ( P50 ) for 50% off the whole set if you think they are something that speaks to you.




PS - you talked about a destigmatizing campaign... every disclosure you do is one more small stem towards that..... and hopefully at some point I will manage to get something going. Right now I have my 87 yr old father moving in with me so I have to get that dealt with before I can focus on the campaign :)


This is what I tell others about disclosure:


Let them know you have something personal to share, and that you are doing so because you have got to a point where you feel you can entrust them with this information.


Also let them know that you want to start with honesty and openness, and that you need to share this with them because you care for them and this is something that has the potential to affect them, and that you need to discuss it now because you feel the relationship is moving towards sexual intimacy and you want to put this on the table before that happens.


Be confident in yourself and your knowledge of the facts... or at least have the handouts with you so you can refer to them and give them to your partner to take home and use for reference.


Make sure to direct them to places like this site, my blog, the CDC's site, Westover Heights and other trusted, RELIABLE sources ... direct them AWAY from Google images and the Yahoo groups where all the Debbie Downers hang out.


Give them permission after to take as much time to research and consider their response.


Whatever happens, don't take anything they say or do personally if it's negative. Odds are, it's their ignorance (because we all know that the education about H is pretty pathetic) or their fear of something marring them in some way (very possible if they are OCD/hypochondriac/anxious).


You can also point out that the risk of getting H from someone who KNOWS they have Herpes is far less than most of the population because 80% of people with H don't know they have it ...and that the vast majority of cases are from asymptomatic carriers or people who have been led to believe that they can't pass it on without an OB and thus don't need to tell a partner as long as they don't engage in sex during an OB.


Make sure that you don't wait till the clothes are off to tell someone either (and it happens all too often!) because that is how poor decisions are made then the person has regrets AND is scared silly ... rather than making a well thought out choice to be with you.


Approach it with confidence and a trust that it will work out as it is meant to..... because that really is all you can do anyway



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Success stories or no success stories, I can sympathize with your struggle, it's something we are supposed to (disclose) but I have yet to be strong enough to do that to the people close enough to me that should know....I'm told it takes time to adjust to the new diagnosis, just not sure how long that is.

Good luck

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Fran, I too have herpies and was devistated when I first found out. I was just 23 and am now 57. It is not a fun place to be, but after reading the great advise of the many very educated people on this site, you will be just fine.


I have had herpies for so long and am in a 20 yr marriage with a H- man. Am new to this site and even though I've had this forever (it seems), I have found out so much more than I ever knew just by reading and asking questions here. I am convinced most of the advise givers here know more than the Dr's out there. Obviously very early on I knew my husband needed to use condoms (so I thought) in order to keep from getting herpies. So that is how we roll. Now that I've read all the success stories here about people not spreading it by just keeping an eye on themselves and listening to their bodies, we probably could have ditched the condoms:). So, long story short......we have just used condoms all these years (lots and lots of unprotected oral sex) and hubby is virus free......as far as we know (he has never been tested). So, that sort of speaks volumes for condom use. I have just started anti virals after having had this most of my life.....I'm just trying to take my 5 or 6 ob's per year to zero.


Hopefully your man will educate himself here. You are a much safer sex partner than 80% of the rest of the population because you know you have it.



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