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Two strikes against me

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I just discovered this site last week, after searching for "herpes disclosure," and boy, do I wish I had found it sooner! I was diagnosed with HSV-2 almost 3 and a half years ago, 7 months into a monogamous relationship. My partner was asymptomatic, and said he didn't know he had it. (I'm now doubting that a little, based on later behavior.) I had a TERRIBLE time after finding out, I felt extremely dirty and unlovable. I have suffered from depression pretty much my whole life, and this threw me down into a black hole. My partner and I were together for another 6 months, and split for other reasons. I still had a big problem with being H+, and thought I would never be in another relationship EVER. I haven't dated since then (one month shy of 3 years), until last night--first date with an amazing guy I met a couple weeks ago, who I am extremely excited about. This is why I finally did a "disclosure" web search. I knew it would come to that, if things work out with this guy, and I was terrified of having to do it, and being rejected. (This site never came up when I searched previously for just herpes.) I have to tell you, in the just the past few days of reading the posts here, I feel SO MUCH BETTER about myself, and future potential for love. I'm still really worried about possible rejection, but the fact that it gives me a reason to take things slow is an opportunity to really get to know each before jumping into bed (which I probably would have in the past.) I'm also worried about rejection because 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (the reason my last partner left me, and the biggest reason I have felt awful about myself), so I have two strikes against me. This guy already knows about the BD, and he's okay with it, but I know he's still trying to figure out how stable I am--he knows I've had a rough time in the past couple years. (For the record, I am pretty stable now, which is why I finally feel ready to date again.) But honestly, how many guys/people do you know who would get involved with someone with mental illness AND HSV? I'm going to give him some time to really start to adore me (ha) before we have "the talk," but it can't be too long! He already invited me over to his place at the end of our date last night (I declined). So, even though I'm feeling more accepting of myself and more confident, I'd really like to know what your perspective is on having these two strikes against me, and how to have the disclosure conversation. He travels a lot, so we won't get to spend much time in person in the next month, but I see us definitely wanting to sleep together soon. (FYI, we're both in our late 30's-early 40's.)

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Everyone has something they would consider a strike against them. It could be they are deeply in debt, weigh issues, criminal past, health issues, disabilities, crazy families, weird fetishes..(I could go on and on!) You are not alone in having something else you feel has put more than one strike against you. Just remember, they have their issues too. They might not be apparent, but they wouldn't be human if they didn't have some kind of "issue".


(Hope that makes sense, rushing to get ready for work)

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Thank you for your reply. I guess my concern with this is because I've bought into the stigma of both illnesses, and I expect others to feel the same way about them. I've found it really hard to accept and love myself, so why would anyone else? The fact that my ex left me because of my bipolar diagnosis doesn't help, either. I really like this new guy, and I think I would be devastated if he rejects me because of H. I have a lot of anxiety about it, and I'm trying to prepare for the worst.

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If it makes you feel any better at all, I've known quite a few people with bipolar disorder, and they have had many relationships. I'm not saying everyone will accept it (or herpes for that matter) but the ones that run are running for a reason. And that reason isn't you- It's fear, or lack of commitment, or something along them lines.


Really think about it..Would they stick around if you lost a limb? Were diagnosed with cancer? Found out you couldn't have kids? These things happen everyday, and we can't control them. There are so many things life can throw at you, and you just have to be strong and carry on.


If the new guy rejects you because of your situation, just remember, you found him, and there will be others.


And work on loving and accepting yourself more. It really does help.



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I'm in therapy, and it is helping a lot with the whole love and acceptance thing. :)


Now, on the topic of disclosure itself--while I got H in a long-term, monogamous relationship, I am a "free spirit," and have had a tendency toward casual sex, or sex on the first or second date (always with protection). I don't really know how (or how long) to delay a sexual relationship. I know that giving more time to get to know one another will be great for the relationship, but I'm so used to giving into that desire when it comes up. (Pun not intended, lol.) I'm not used to having a conversation about waiting to have sex until I'm in a committed relationship. The last time I had that talk was probably 18 years ago--since then, the commitment talk would normally come after sleeping together for a time. I don't want him to feel like I'm pressuring him into a relationship, but the sooner I have that talk, the less time I have to delay/put off, make excuses to not sleep with him. I'm just not used to that lifestyle. I feel like the timing of the commitment and/or disclosure talk is tricky in this situation, since we won't get to see each other often. I don't want to wait a couple months. I'll see him in two weeks, and then not again until January.

I know no one can make this decision for me, but I'd love all the opinions/perspectives I can get. I have a lot to discuss in therapy this week, lol.

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The disclosure doesn't have to be pressure to commitment, but simply being a responsible adult in regards to STDs. You could bring it up in a factual way- like saying something along the lines of "since I feel we are at the point where sex is imminent, I think it's time we talk about STDs". You will want to know his history as well. The last time he was tested, etc. A lot of times we get so wrapped up in the fact we may transmit something to someone else, we forget they may also have something that they could give us. Sometimes people bring up cold sores as a start. Or have their facts memorized about transmission. The more factual/confident you are seems to help.


You can do a disclosure search. Reading others experiences might help you figure out what works best for you.

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