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j_avalon

When is too soon to disclose

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Ive had herpes for 5 years now and am still struggling with the thought of disclosing. 3 out of the 4 guys i have disclosed too didnt care. But as of lately im finding it really hard to navigate the dating world. I feel like guys always only care about sex at first and then if they spend time with you they may develoo feelings later. But since my original approach was to spend time getting to know a guy first and then disclose, this hasnt worked out in my favour. It seems like after about 3 dates if the guy senses i am 'frigid' hes not trying to deal with that and moves on but then i also feel like if i disclose right away before they even know me they'll run anyways. I just feel like no man is willing to wait and disclosing right away is not a good idea. Its like this road block im not sure how to get around. Either i disclose right after meeting them or i wait and withhold sex- both end in being tossed to the side.

How soin do you guys on here disclose? How can i not feel like a burden or like im just wasting these guys' time?

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I think some of this depends on what you're seeking in a partner and how soon you would otherwise want to be having sex with them. If you're looking for something romantic, committed and long-term, maybe it's not such a bad thing to weed out the guys who give up after not getting laid on the first or second date. Unless you *want* to be having sex with them on those dates and you feel like your method of disclosure is preventing you from enjoying that.

 

For me, it's important that my partners are generally okay with me having HSV and that it isn't a situation where they are only taking the risk because they got to know me well but otherwise would not feel comfortable with HSV. That's because I'm in a casual dating phase of life, not seeking a life partner. So I choose to disclose very early. If it feels like a casual sex vibe, I often disclose even before meeting. If it feels like a dating thing, I usually disclose between the first and second date after I've determined whether there's chemistry and mutual interest from the first date. This is because often I'm not interested in a second date so it seems unnecessary to get into that before the first date.

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@j_avalon - I am in the exact same boat and this has been a tough road to navigate with online dating. I also find that men want and expect to have sex by the third date. I am only looking for a potential long-term relationship right now, and yet I feel pushed to date in a way that hasn't served me. I've had one guy who has decided not to date me, and used herpes as the excuse. The other two guys turned into boyfriends. I think the best thing to do is get clear about what you want, and what you can handle. For example, I'm a pretty anxious and sensitive person in general. I want to know when I meet someone if herpes is going to be a dealbreaker and I'm so tempted to just put it out there and find out. What I've realized is that I can't handle it - it fundamentally violates my own boundaries to tell someone something so personal until I feel I've gotten to know them well enough. If they can't handle waiting for sexual intimacy, then they just aren't worth my time and attention. Try not to feel pushed into dating in a way that doesn't serve you and good luck!

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@j_avalon I have disclosed to several people in the very beginning. One guy I told during our first conversation, and his reply was "My ex wife of 12 years had it, so I probably do too." Two other guys told me they have it as well. Another guy wasn't fazed in the least. The last guy I mention, I had a difficult time telling because I had gotten to know him and like him, but as I said, he wasn't fazed. Many others that I've disclosed to haven't been deterred. Unfortunately, we weren't looking for the same thing (I want a relationship, they wanted something more casual). When to disclose is a purely personal decision. I've found that it's easier for me to do it in the very beginning, because once I start to really like someone, I become more concerned with whether or not they will accept that I have herpes. I want to add that telling them in the very beginning seems to make them more interested, I can only assume because of the honesty factor. If I'm honest about that, I'll be honest about everything... Ya know? ;)

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I think most people who are already educated about HSV will handle the disclosure at any time quite well. I think your mindset going into the disclosure is important - don't make it sound horrible. When I've made the disclosure I tell them sincerely that protecting them is important to me, and although it's not a huge deal to have it, I don't want them to get it. I explain that there is a chance that they might still get it due to asymptomatic shedding but that with daily antivirals and condoms, the statists of female to male transmission is about 1%. I got this info from Arial's handouts.

 

From reading others stories, it sounds like there are a lot of success stories about disclosing. The two boyfriends I disclosed to reacted differently but the outcome was still positive. The first was a doctor who actually teaches medical students about HSV and he and I talked quite a bit before the first date, but we ended up in bed on the first date and he was so unconcerned about it, it was a true blessing. The second is much more conservative about sex in general, I disclosed on the fourth date and I gave him the info and told him to think about it and he said that he didn't want to get it, but liked me well enough it wasn't a huge deal. These guys didn't reject me because they saw me as more than a disease. They saw me as a person they wanted to get to know and have a longer term relationship with.

 

I can only really speak to disclosing when I am thinking about a potential long-term relationship. Are you looking for casual sex or a long-term relationship? I've had plenty of the former and have zero shame about it, but HSV has made me more cautious in general about who I have sex with and the timing of the disclosure. If you are looking for a potential LTR try to remember that rejection after disclosure is often more about the overall fit between you and the other person, not about HSV. This article posted in another thread has been hugely helpful: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/big-little-secret-rejection-get-past-quickly/. I truly believe that the person I'm supposed to be with next (whether they have HSV or not) will deal with my status because they want to be with me. If they don't really think I'm LTR material for them, HSV is a really easy excuse.

 

This is a really long answer to your question but let me sum it up - I have decided that the best course of action for me is to get to know someone and them me, before I make the disclosure. They may still end up rejecting me, it will hurt and there is a chance it's due to HSV. But if they do reject me, I need to believe it's because they have determined we are a good fit, and they just saw it first.

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@j_avalon Most prospective partners have been fine with it. Because I disclose so early, I sometimes disclose even before I know if I'll want to become intimate with the person, so I've disclosed to way more people than I've ultimately become intimate with, but I'd guess 75-80% were fine with it. Those who were not fine with it were mostly polite in explaining that. One or two just stopped communicating but weren't mean.

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