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Long story short I had my first outbreak at the end of May. After a month I decided to try and date and I didnt really have that much luck until about a month ago when I met this guy. The guy was super sweet and different from any other guy I’ve met, or so I thought. I ended up telling him that I had herpes through text, which I didn’t want to do, but I was scared since he lives an hour away that when I told him he’d reject me and I’d have to drive all the way home. After he read my long text explaining and apologizing he declared that he knew “I was too good to be true.” Then he said “bye *my name*.”  I blocked out names in the picture... I’ve given up on dating and finding anyone at this point but for future reference I have questions. My questions are; how do you guys handle rejection? Have you been able to find someone who is okay with it? When do you tell them that your positive for herpes? How do you handle your depression? Sorry if these questions seem personal but I am so lost! 


Thank you for those that respond. 



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The problem seems to be that we, as Americans, are not educated about sex and everything that goes along with it. I’ve told a couple of close friends of mine and their reactions were completely different. One of them knows people who have H and the other doesn’t. The person who has a couple of friends, and an ex, with H was completely understanding and actually knew more than I did about it. She was comforting and reassured me that I was still me and that this wasn’t a big deal. My other friend was like “damn, you’re fucked!”. People will have different reactions based on their level of familiarity with HSV.

I’m going through my own mess right now, I was recently diagnosed and I’m struggling disclosing to my SO. We haven’t had sex since my diagnosis and I absolutely have to tell her before we do.

I admire you for being honest, most of us are in this position because someone from our past wasn’t honest with us. It’s the right thing to do, and the dude you disclosed to treated you like an asshole. Most likely because he’s uneducated and misinformed. I felt, and feel, such a loss of identity but it’s important to remember that you are still you. H is essentially a skin rash that we have to deal with a few times a year. The real problem we are facing is the stigma everyone else has when it comes to HSV. 

Just have hope that not everyone is stupid and judgemenal. 

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Thank you! I’m glad I’m not alone. I feel so absolutely lost and I just want to feel normal again! Most days I forget I have it then I remember and the feeling of loss and heartbreak resurfaces all over again. I don’t know how to be anything but honest, but I  understand how frightening it is to tell others due to the stigma that we carry with Herpes. I hope everything goes well with your SO! I agree whole heartedly about the education on sex, I had no idea that just by giving oral sex with a cold sore you can pass it on to their genitals! People say herpes is no big deal and it aggravates the crap out of me! 

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You’re definitely not alone! I’m 5 months in and still over analyzing every tingle, itch and bump I feel in my groin! I’m questioning everything and still trying to learn the new me. 

I’m struggling with depression but I’ve always been the type of person who deals with whatever comes at me and just moves forward. I’ve been through a lot in my life and this is definitely hard, but it’s nothing compared to some of the other things I’ve made it through. I bet if you really thought about it and put things in perspective, herpes isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to you. That’s one of the ways I deal with depression. It also really helps me to talk to people who understand. Like right now. 

I know how frustrating it is when people minimize this, for me it’s the mental and emotional torture that’s the worst. I’m thinking time and confidence might be the two things that help heal the most. 

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I believe I got it 5 months ago as well. Yea I find talking about it helps me, but I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety my entire life. I was actually doing a lot better then the way that guy treated me momentarily broke me. I had nightmares about it and worried about telling him everyday. I didn’t even kiss him or anything because I’ve come to realize people feel that they can get herpes just by any form of contact, which is inaccurate! But they don’t want to listen or do any research. I thought he was not going to reject me, but he did. I actually drank way to much that night and ended up getting pretty sick and he wasn’t worth any of it. I just don’t know how to deal with this anymore. I have gone through worse, but that’s over with.. this is never going to end! I’m sorry if I’m depressing you or making matters worse for you, but that’s how I feel. I just don’t know if I can handle another rejection like that again. 

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You’re not making anything worse for me, like I said, it helps talking to people. I haven’t really had the chance to talk to another person who has it since I found out. Only two people know and I never really talk to them about it. 

Youre right about people not wanting to research and learn the facts. If they aren’t positive it seems they don’t want to waste their time which makes it feel like you’re not worth anyone’s time. So I get it. 

You shouldn’t drink like that though, I read it could trigger an outbreak! Lol. But it seems everything related to normal life could, so I just do what I normally do. 

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Yea I have read that as well about the alcohol triggering an outbreak. I joined when I thought I was getting my second outbreak because I didn’t want to go through the next one alone! It’s so painful and humiliating...

trust me I can’t even look at alcohol the same way! Haha! But I was so devastated.. I just want to be in a relationship again... which i probably need more time to seek some guidance first. 

I am curious and you don’t have to answer this, but did you actually have an outbreak or did you just get tested and find out? When I was doing some reading after I found out I read men don’t normally have outbreaks, they can have an outbreak it’s just fewer men were reported having outbreaks then women. 

I have talked to one other girl who has it in person, but she’s only three years older then I am and she doesn’t know what she’s doing either. 

I know this is probably unhealthy but almost everyone knows I have herpes. I don’t like secrets and when something bad has happened I need to talk it out with whoever will listen.. also I’m hoping by talking about it that I’m also informing people... I’m hoping it’ll help with the stigma that we all seem to carry. I’m not telling complete strangers though. 

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I’m 33 and I’ve been married for 7 years. My wife and I have been going through an incredibly stressful time and I had what I thought was an ingrown hair that had become infected. It was just a single bump on my groin area about 2 inches above the base of my penis. It was still there after about a week so I went to the doctor and even they didn’t think it was anything but they swabbed anyway and the test came back positive. I was completely shocked.

I have no idea how long I’ve had it, if this was my first “outbreak” or if I’ve had other “ingrown hairs” that were actually mild outbreaks. It’s all so confusing. I was wild when I was a little younger so I think I’ve just had it all along and didn’t have symptoms and the stress in my life brought it out now. I had another red bump in the same spot as the last one and I immediately got a prescription for some antivirals just in case. I’m pretty sure it was a second outbreak. This was about two weeks ago. So it’s about 4-5 months apart. Both very mild, one bump which looked like a pimple or ingrown hair. 

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Well I’m single and I’m 21 years old. That’s very interesting but good thing you got it looked at.

I went to the doctor three days in a row because it kept getting worse I had large blisters everywhere and I was in so much discomfort. My step mom told me after the third visit that she’s taking me to the hospital... so I had my dad, my brother and her taking me. That was one of the most traumatic moments in my life. My dad found out of course as well as my brother. My dad was extremely mad to say the least.  

The guy I believe I got it from still hasn’t gotten tested  and doesn’t believe he was the one who gave it to me. I did sleep with another guy, but he got tested and he came back negative... So the assumption that I have made is that he was the one that gave it to me... it’s a very complicated situation. Either way I’m not handling it very well.

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@Notgoingthere I’m really sorry this guy you thought you had a strong connection with turned out to be a jerk. It really is a blessing in disguise. 

Couple things to consider. His response might have something to do with his age and immaturity. I didn’t get herpes until 28 so I’m probably interacting with a much older group of men than you. Maybe try dating guys a little older? You might find them more understanding and better educated. Less affected by the stigma. 

To answer some of your other questions, rejection sucks, But you move on and get over it. Those people who reject u weren’t right for you period. Disclosing gets easier the more you do it, so there is no harm in just jumping in. Just yesterday I disclosed to two guys on tinder, both of them were totally understanding and seem to be completely fine with with it. Idk if you do the dating app thing but you could always try connecting with people that way and getting some test runs in with disclosing. Starting to exploring disclosing in this way isn’t for everyone,  but for me it has REALLY helped because if someone isnt cool with it or seems anxious, then I move on. Not to mention probably 75% have been ok with it which is a major confidence boost. 

You have to find what works for you in your own time. There isn’t a one size fits all (or even most) when it comes to herpes and disclosing. I have a friend who never disclosed to any partners, decided the risks were so low she didn’t feel a responsibility to. Waited two years to disclose to her partner now 🤷🏼‍♀️ I on the other hand don’t feel i could ever do that. Just have to give yourself time and once you’ve come to terms with it everything will come easier 

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Thank you @annalove for responding.

I was on tinder for a year and I’ve been rejected constantly. Did you tell them first thing on tinder?? The guy was actually older then me, he was about to turn 26. How exactly do you bring up the topic?! I don’t want a guy too old for me because then it gets a little weird, I’ve tried going out with a 28 year old and it was a little strange. Maybe it was just the man though.. I’ve told about 8 guys that I met on tinder that were 21-26 and all of them rejected me, so I guess I fall under the 25%. I honestly don’t know if it had to do with the way I said it or what, but most of the guys blocked and deleted me so I can’t even ask. And the ones that didn’t keep patronizing me telling me, “you’re too beautiful to not find someone! Someone will be understanding and put up with it” It’s just exhausting people defining me by the herpes instead then defining me as the loving, funny, caring individual that I am. 

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@Notgoingthere @Next step  After reading a ton of articles and blogs, I’ve come up with a way that is comfortable for me to disclose.  Of course if this is somebody that I am interested in dating, it’s a slightly different situation (preferably in person after we’ve been on a few dates and i have a feeling about them). But for the most part with my casual Bumble and Tinder experiences, I usually wait until the conversation is headed in the direction of “what type of situation are you looking for” or I look for an opportunity to discuss how I consider myself a very honest person. I also have very often asked the guy if they consider themselves open minded. Pretty much every time their response has been yes. It sort of primes them to be thinking of being open minded and they often follow up with “why do u ask”. I normally say something very blunt and short like “someone from my past exposed me to herpes and so I always let my prospective partners know that up front”. 

Their response is usually something like “oh wow really? I’m so sorry about that” and maybe they follow up with a question. First things first, if there is any sort of pity from them, I shut that down real fast. I make sure they know that for me it isnt a big deal. In my experience, it really is true that a person takes your lead on how to react to something. If you catastrophize it, they will too. If you speak with confidence and downplay its significance, they will often follow. 

I hope I haven’t made my disclosure experiences sound fun, easy or super successful lol. The fact is the first real rejection I got, from a guy I met on Tinder and who initially said he was ok with it only to change his mind, was super devastating. Like I had to go home from work early devastating lol. I didn’t even really like this guy, like even as a person lol, but i was still crushed. I’ve had guys not respond after i told them, I’ve had guys say they are cool with it and change their mind or slowly stop responding. But I’ve also had guys be totally cool with it. And even a guy I’ve connected with recently has said my blunt honesty is a HUGE turn on for him. So I’ve definitely had a mixed bad of experiences. You have to take the good with the bad unless you choose to be celibate for the rest of your life lol

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That guy was a douche. I think Anna is right about his age making him more childish.  I personally don't think there's anything wrong with getting to know someone first and letting them like you before telling them as long as you know you're going to tell them and u dont do anything before letting the person Know. probably before meeting them too, And also don't lie about anything. That's how I go about it.  If (online) you both really are looking for something serious then that should be something that can be over looked if there is a connection.  But if they still can't overcome it it is still understandable. Can't be mad at someone for not being able to.  It's just the way that guy went about it seemed like he's a doucher. 

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@Guy00 @annaloveThank you guys for responding. Tell me if this is okay, tell them at least after the first date? 


And @Guy00 the guy above wanted to kiss me but I refused and played it off on our first date.I disclose before anything happens. Before our second date I disclosed and that’s when that happened. I mean I am 21 and I don’t want a guy that’s way older then me, nothing wrong for those people that do that, but it gets a little weird the more of an age gap. 

I’m trying again and I’m talking to a couple of guys... I believe they are all 25 or older. I’m not about to do that again and really like someone before I tell them... if there’s a connection after we meet I feel like that’s a good time to tell them maybe?? Do you guys do it in person or over text? 

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Yeah that's perfectly fine to tell them after first date before the 2 of u start liking each other. Although I would suggest talking to them a little while before going on a date so that u have a better idea if u could like each other.  Best to take things slow.  And as far as how u tell them it all depends on how ur best able to do it and ur comfort level. Try to feel out the situation as well as u can to know what's best way to say it. And best way the person could take it. Just use ur best judgement

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Hi Notgoingthere

Wow after reading your text screen save, I can only say this:

What a total wanker (as we say in UK 😉 ) I think you had a lucky escape from him.

I've said before I think disclosing early is more likely to get rejection but it also hurts less as your less involved
in the person. To me though, the only time you need to disclose is if you know your going to get intimate with them.

Keep going, you will find someone special 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/11/2018 at 2:17 PM, Notgoingthere said:

@Disgusted check out my other feed called how to disclose and when.. there are a lot of great advice on there. I’m not giving up... there are a ton of people on this planet, one of them just has to be okay with it! Or already has it and falls in love with me! 

Millions of people that have herpes find love. Like, that is the literal reality of the situation. There is absolutely no reason to believe that you won't or can't be one of them. 

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Just now, Notgoingthere said:

@Ishmael I’m not disputing that. All I’m saying having herpes has made it harder. I’ve been dating for 6 months with it and I’ve only been rejected

 I don't mean to minimize that or your experience; I'm trying to say I agree with your response to Disgusted about keeping hope. Also, have you seen the "Disclosure Spree" thread here? It's pretty good. 

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