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How to get him to see me for me and not my HSV ??

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After going on three amazing dates with a guy, he asked if I wanted to date exclusively. I was so excited! I have never felt this way about a guy in a very long time. I told him that before we are exclusive that there was something I needed to discuss with him first, at which time I told him about my HSV 2. Initially he seemed shocked, but after our discussion, he seemed very open to continuing an exclusive relationship. I was very happy to hear this but I expressed that I did want him to think more about what I had told him because even though my HSV doesn't impact my life all that much, it will inpact our sexual relationship. In addition, I told him I would love to continue to go on dates, just so he can get to know me better, and that would hopefully help in his decision - that I'm a good person worth having a relationship with. And he completely agreed to continue dating while thinking about what I had told him. Unfortunately the next day, crickets. Did not hear from him for two days. At first I was sad and hurt, after being honest and open to him, but I understood that maybe he was really digesting what I had told him. After two days, he finally sent me a message and said he had thought about what I had told him, and he would have a hard time being anything more than friends. I told him I respected his decision, but if at all possible could we hang out a few more times so he can hopefully see me as a good person and to not define me based on my HSV. He said of course we could, but he wasn't sure if it would truly change his mind. We're planning on hanging out mid next week when he gets back into town from a business trip. My question is....how do I handle this situation? I've read some threads that have said to give him more facts, answer his questions, etc. and I have read other threads that say to not really discuss my HSV, because you don't want your life defined by this. Essentially, let him know your life does not revolve around this disease. I really like this guy, and he obviously really liked me by asking to be exclusive so soon. Not to mention, he's willing to hang out with me, to get to know me better. I think that's pretty admirable!! Anyone else been in this situation? What did you do? Did it end well? Any points/facts/data that I should share with him? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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@Rheilly19 This may differ from how most people here feel, but in the brief period of time I'm been dealing with disclosing to men ranging from casual sex partners to an exclusive boyfriend, I have seen no pattern that indicates "worth it" is a significant factor in their decision making. It's probably a factor sometimes for some people, but it has been my experience so far that many other factors are of greater importance, such as the way a person views risk in general. So my personal advice would be to *not* emphasize that you are worth the risk as it may be irrelevant to his decision making and at the same time send a message that the risk is so great, we must be extra special to deserve affection.


As for more immediate advice, it sounds like you've shared your status and offered to answer questions. At this point, I would give him space. I know that's hard, but keep in mind that some people who are initially overwhelmed or turned off by this info, as it sounds like he was, can become more anxious if these discussions continue. And not dwelling on it is your best chance of allowing him to see you are not defined by it.


Good luck! I hope he comes around.

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So sorry you did not get the reaction you were hoping for. Sounds like he made up his mind for the most part. Hang out with him as planned but do give him his space, and either way know you are already worth it with or without his approval!

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@Rheilly19 I'd like to add that, in my experience, if someone is afraid to take the risk, it is sometimes because they project into the future, thinking about how they may someday have to disclose to new partners if they contract HSV. This is another reason it's a good idea to allow space and not dwell on this. You're modelling what it would be like for them, should they ever find themselves in your position. I do think it's important to inform people and invite them to ask questions, and you've already done that. At this point, I would encourage you to do your best to untether yourself from the outcome and show him that life goes on as usual after disclosing. Just my opinion. I had to learn this lesson the hard way, soon after my diagnosis.

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Thank you so much for your comments. And @optimist, you make such a valid point. The more I harp on this, and he is thinking about the future, the more he'll realize that should he be in this position in the future (assuming he gives me a chance), how frustrating it is. THUS, he may not give me a chance. I agree with you both, and I plan to give him lots of space.

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I'm also sorry to hear you got this reaction, but not surprised....unfortunately I already know myself, and if someone told me they were infected, I wouldn't continue unless I was deeply in love...that being said, I am positive for type 1 and 2.

Just let nature take its course and see if it evolves to something more...if not, hopefully you'll have a dear friend for always.


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Just give him time as you did. If he chooses to be "just friends" then go with it and respect his choice. The first guy I disclosed to said he needed time and then came back ok and we dated. Ended up parting company for completely unrelated circumstances.....and yes we had lots of sex with use of condoms.

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