Jump to content
  • Want to be a part of a supportive community? Join the H Opp community for free.

    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

Post disclosure rejection

Recommended Posts

Hi All. I'm new here and hope I am posting in the right section. I am seeking support. I'm smarting from a post disclosure rejection.


I am 58 and contracted HSV-2 8 years ago. It has been dormant for 7 years. I haven't passed it to a partner. I haven't had a relationship for 4 years and I don't do casual sex.


I started seeing a man a few weeks ago. We had a 3 great dates on consecutive days where conversation was easy and we were both very comfortable. He followed up after the first 2 nights with messages about how gorgeous he thought I was and how much he enjoyed my company. On the 3rd date we agreed  to spend more time with each other. I then returned to my home base 3 hours away. (I am about to move to the region where he lives.) In the 2 week interim before I visited his city again,  we chatted via messenger constantly throughout the day (his job has lots of lulls and I'm not currently working) and had long phone calls at night. Our texting became sexually flirtatious and we both knew sex was on the cards when we saw each other next.


We had our first kiss when we saw each other after those 2 weeks apart. We rode his motorbike to a lovely lunch spot where I initiated a talk about sexual health. I was concerned about his past habit of having unprotected sex. He had already willingly agreed to use a condom when we had sex. I led into my herpes disclosure which I'm confident I delivered in a positive and mature way. Ideally, I would liked to have had 'the talk' well in advance of any sexual activity but I wanted to wait to have a face to face conversation.


I could see he was taken aback a little but we rode the 30 minute trip back to his place and had a wonderful afternoon of sex.


The following afternoon he sent a message about some internet research he'd done. I suspected he meant he didn't want to be in relationship with me but when I said his message was unclear he still didn't articulate it. I thought perhaps I was jumping to conclusions and if I wasn't,  that he really needed to tell me clearly.


We had 2 prearranged social group events which we attended together one evening and one the following day. His kisses were only pecks. I stayed at his place after the evening event. He wore clothes to bed but slept with his arms around me all night. He dropped me at my friends place at 5pm the following day after the next social event and I haven't heard from him since. That was 3 days ago.


I was hurt initially and now I'm just riled that he didn't have the decency to communicate his decision to me.

Link to comment

He may be gutless....or he may just need time to process the disclosure. Personally speaking, I would probably say something like, "I can sense a bit of awkwardness between us and I want to make sure you have the time and space to figure out if you'd like to move forward. So I'm going to take a step back and put us on hold. If you decide you'd like to continue the relationship, you know where to find me."


Maybe that's harsh, but the older I get, the less tolerance I have for men that can't come right out and tell a gal they don't want to continue dating. If he just needs time, no problem. He'll get it. But that doesn't mean you have to wait around either. You're worth more than that. {{hugs}}

Link to comment

Thank you HikingGirl. I feel his total lack of contact, whatever he is currently thinking, is cowardly and disrespectful. I am planning to give him another 3 days and then send the following email. I'd appreciate your thoughts.


I'm presuming I know why I haven't heard from you and I can understand your reason (but not your mode of communicating it).


I felt the sting of your rejection for a day or two but now I am just riled that you didn't have the decency to tell me.


I am aware that I shared something  confronting. Please understand how incredibly difficult it was for me to make myself so vulnerable. As heart wrenching as it is for me to have to deliver that news to a potential partner, I chose to do it out of respect for you and because integrity is high on my value set. In contrast, your response was cowardly, unkind, disrespectful and immature.


If I'd been given the choice to be in relationship with someone with HSV-2, I don't know what decision I would have made. I guess it comes down to how terrific you think the person is. I wonder if you'd react the same way with a partner with cold sores. Same virus (different strain) but with less stigma.


Your rejection has actually made me reaffirm my worth and, while I accept your decision, I know a worthy partner for me will look beyond the virus to see the person they were keen on before disclosure.



Link to comment

I think you probably need to give him a little bit more of a break. Disclosing an STD to someone I know from experience is a hard pill to swallow. I've had 7 sexual partners in my life and I'm 47, two of them told me they had herpes and I didn't want to hurt them, and I didnt have the courage, to tell them that it scared me off. I was one those who thought I could never contract such a thing. Now that I've been diagnosed with herpes from firsthand experience I can understand if a woman backs away without telling me straight out it's because of the diagnosis. Interesting thing is I've heard that upwards of 75% of single women over 45 have genital herpes. And as we all know 85% of people don't even know they have it.

Link to comment

@Molly I agree with Hikinggirl 100%. I don't know that I'd even email him...you did the right thing and he may just need time. I had a guy tell me "well, that's something to think about" after I disclosed. We worked together and after two weeks, he came up and said "I handled that completely wrong, can I have another chance?". We dated for about 3 months and ended up parting ways. We had great sex and are still friends to this day. I am married 20 plus yrs to a man who didnt need even one second to think about it and he is negative to this day. I have hvs2 for 30 plus yrs. He always said I'd never have to tell another person and so it holds true. However, if it turns out I ever have to disclose again, it will be just as it was with him....matter of factly "oh by the way..... and did you bring condoms"?

Link to comment

@Katidid and I are on the same page today. Instead of sending the letter, I'd probably print it and burn it while drinking a nice glass of wine and burning incense or something. I burned my wedding dress, so I can say with confidence it's very therapeutic. ;-)


As @camilo referred to, some people genuinely don't know how to react when they're scared. Now some people are just assholes, I'll give you that. And if that's the case here, an asshole doesn't care enough about your feelings to take your words to heart. Someone that's scared (of contracting it, of facing the possibility he may already have it, of uncertainty, of the stigma, of the prevalence he was previously unaware of, etc.)...will do stupid, immature things as a result. You may never know which was the case here, but there's nothing wrong with choosing to believe whichever option makes you feel better.


The lack of closure just sucks. I'm sorry.

Link to comment

@Molly FWIW, in my experience disclosing my HSV2 status, I have not noticed any pattern that suggests depth of emotion is the major driver in acceptance. I'm sure it may be one factor, but one of very many factors, and sometimes someone can feel strongly about a partner but other factors have greater influence.


I've experienced someone with feelings for me being unable to quell his anxiety about possible transmission, and I've experienced someone I've not even met being absolutely fine with the concept. Those who have been fine with the risk have been fine with it for a variety of reasons. Different people assess risk differently. One guy said he would never choose not to date someone for this reason. Another said he had oral HSV1 and therefore understood how it all worked and was not afraid. One guy even said he felt safer with me than someone else because he knew I was honest, aware of my status and taking precautions. The one time someone disclosed to me, years before my own diagnosis, I don't recall factoring in my depth of feeling for him.


As Camilo stated, given the age group we're talking about, it is likely he will encounter this with half or more of his prospective partners but most will be unaware of their status. It's possible that after doing some research, he may be able to put things into a new perspective, but also possible he will prefer to believe he is somehow immune. Regardless of his thinking, it is in your own best interest to be with a partner who is not overly concerned about contracting HSV.


I agree with the suggestions to consider the letter therapeutic rather than sending it.



Link to comment

I hope he just didn't disappear on you, and does eventually contact you..but.. this sort of thing happened to a friend of mine...twice...I didn't know what the term "ghosting" meant until she went thru it...one person she was actively seeing for almost a year, no indication of a problem and boom gone...disconnected his phone...wouldn't answer texts or messenger....the other person backed off quickly and stopped responding....I felt awful seeing her go thru this....

I advised her to just walk away and keep walking..,.although h has made myself weak in some areas, being tolerant of acts like this is not one of them.

Link to comment

Thanks everyone. I sent a short polite text message acknowledging that I shared some confronting news, expressing how difficult is is for me to make myself vulnerable by disclosing and saying that I did so out of respect for him. I don't expect to hear back from him but I feel that I have maintained my dignity and integrity. I can put it to rest now.

Link to comment

Well guys, the wine wasn't a good idea. I phoned him. He didn't answer but messaged me. His 'reasons' were all over the shop - didn't contact me because I had my daughters with me on Sunday and he was at work (he was in the habit of messaging me constantly throughout his work shifts; yes, my daughters were with me on Sunday but that was 3 days ago); his adult son is in remission from cancer and he doesn't want to risk my herpes affecting his son. What the??? Anyway, that's that now. Done and dusted.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...