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Need advice on disclosing..

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Hey everyone!!


I just wanted to get some insight and advice on good ways to disclose. I have not attempted to date in a long time partially because I've been really busy, but also partially because I've been scared to disclose. I haven't told hardly anyone, so it's just hard for me to open up and tell someone about this especially if I like them and would like to pursue a relationship.


With that being said, I've recently started talking to a guy. We've went on a couple dates and hung out a few times. We're only friends right now. I've made it pretty clear that I'm not trying to rush into a relationship and believe it's best to start off as friends, but I can tell he likes me and I really like him as well. We get along great and everything just seems to flow so naturally.


I really feel like I should tell him sometime in the near future, but I'm not sure how long I should wait. I hate this fear of telling someone because of the stigma associated with it more than herpes itself.


I'm a pretty positive, confident person, but I want to get over this fear. I feel like the first time will be the hardest. I guess I just need a push in the right direction. I don't want to live in fear because of something so small and insignificant in my life.


If anyone has advice on how to disclose, please let me know. What ways have worked for you, or what ways haven't worked?


I'm just so tired of being fearful of telling someone about this. I know, if they can't accept it, then they're really just not the right one for me. It doesn't make it any easier to get past this fear though, but I absolutely have to. I don't want to live like this anymore. I want someone to love all of me, not just a part of me. I just want to be free from the burden of keeping this so secretive. I don't necessarily want to tell a lot of people because I'm not to the place of being that open about it, but I would like it to be something I can talk about to someone if I feel the desire to do so without feeling anxiety and fear.


All advice and encouragement is welcome. I need all I can get! Thank you all! :)

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@hopeful_1 Different people have different disclosure styles. I think one thing most people agree on is that it's important to disclose in a confident and matter-of-fact kind of way. For me, part of this is refraining from putting too much weight on it by attaching a story to it. Most stories I've heard about go something like "This is really hard and embarrassing and a big secret I've never told anyone but I need to tell you...person x from my past was dishonest and cheated and gave me herpes." That story highlights the stigma in a variety of ways. You never hear someone with oral herpes say "This is really hard and embarrassing and a big secret I've never told anyone but I need to tell you...when I was 3 years old my dishonest and drunk Aunt Susie kissed me on the face and gave me cold sores."


Personally, I just stick to the facts of my own situation (that I have HSV2 and take antivirals which reduce but do not fully eliminate risk of transmission). Often, I include this in a broader talk about safe sex (overall status for all STIs and expectations about condom use). I do invite people to ask questions, and I'll answer whatever they ask, but I keep the disclosure part brief and let them drive the rest of the conversation.


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Thank you for the advice! It really helps having people here to talk to. This place played a big role in getting me out of a dark, depressed state when I was first diagnosed.


@adrial I signed up a long time ago, so I don't have the ebook anymore. I tried to sign up to have it sent to me again, but it says I'm already on the mailing list. Is there any way you could send it to me? I would appreciate it.

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Hi hopeful,


I can relate to so much of what you wrote. I too am an overall confident person, but the fear of telling someone one of your darkest secrets is when you feel most insecure. But, the fact that you are a confident woman tells me that you more than likely love yourself. And if I can tell you anything from my own experiences in disclosing, the more you love yourself and honor yourself, the better YOU will feel. Disclosing is scary because we fear rejection and judgement. Obviously no one wants to have the conversation and trying to figure out a good time to talk about it can feel nearly impossible. But at the end of the day, trust that when you have that conversation is because you know you have dignity and character. And that you believe in living an honest and sincere life. The right guy will not only see that you're being honest, but he'll respect you more for being upfront and truthful. When you're feeling scared as you're about to disclose, remind yourself that this can only lead to something better and more real. Whether it's with that guy or another one....YOU are putting it out into the universe what type of relationship you want. If the guy considers it a deal breaker, then he's just made it easier for you to realize that he's not the right guy for you. And I promise you, it will only attract the one who is. When we live our lives in fear, we don't live life to its fullest potential. It's when you break through those barriers of fear and overcome something that you were so afraid of, that you start to realize...wow, not only am I an honest person, but I'm a STRONG person for doing this. Love yourself to know that you don't need this guys approval to allow yourself to be worthy. You, more than anyone else, need to know that regardless of the outcome...you ARE worthy.

If you ever need someone to talk to to help build your confidence in this department, please feel free to reach out. I recently just had one of the most successful disclosures after having quite a few, and I'd be more than happy to be there for you if you need someone :)

Good luck girl

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