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Two Months In, Two Herpes Talks, Two Amazing Reactions

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Some of you may recall my first post - don't worry, I'm not going to post a monthly update :) Although there have been good days and bad, I still say the good ones have outweighed the bad. Most of the bad days have been when I was stressed about having to disclose at some point. Over the past few days I've been watching the "Herpes Talk Success Stories" post count hoping someone would post one so I could get another fix of encouragement. Turns out my own story will be the next one. My apologies in advance for the length but I really hope this will encourage people.


In the first post I mentioned planning to tell another close friend soon. I did so that week, and as I expected she was amazingly supportive and said of course this didn't impact who I am as person one bit. And that I'll find the right guy one day and he'll see it that way also. She offered that one of her sister's friends had it and shared what info she knew from that (no names). She listened to every detail I shared day after day (I would often apologize for it being one of my main topics of discussion). She offered to let me practice disclosing on her, and did. And I trust that she would never share my personal info with anyone else.


Last week I had dinner with this friend, and I was sharing with her how much I valued her friendship and support, and that I had a glimpse of us laughing as old ladies together, knowing that we'd be friends for life (something I knew long ago). She smiled and got very quiet, and after a pause she said "There's something that I want to tell you that I have never told a single person on this planet in my entire life." My mouth dropped and she said it. 13 years she's had HSV and not a single person knew aside from the Dr. that diagnosed her. I burst into tears and we hugged. She said she had felt so guilty ever since I told her and that I must feel so alone. That she had felt alone and never wanted to reveal it to anyone. But after 2 weeks got the courage to tell me, and that it felt amazing to say it out loud and knew it would be ok.


So.... It is very, very common.


Second one. After getting this I figured I wouldn't bother meeting anyone or dating for quite some time. I'm almost mid 30s and I figured that I already had that against me in the dating world, now this too. Boo! But, three weeks in, I unexpectedly met someone. Someone awesome. Someone who I feared having to disclose to, but who was pursuing me. Both of us thought we'd get along and liked each other's personality and of course were attracted to one another, but neither of us expected to REALLY like each other. We've been seeing each other since meeting, we've hung out once or twice a week and talk by text or via phone call daily. And... there were a few makeout sessions and talk of future sex, but mutually waiting to allow eachother to really get to know one another first. I figured might as well see where it goes, and NOT get PG-13 level physical or disclose unless there's really something good there. The last two weeks have been stressful since I was realizing that if this was something he could deal with then it was going to go somewhere, and discovering that the odds were in our favor that he would be ok with it, because of the good I was finding in him. Panic! Ahhh! Not even two months and I have to disclose to a guy!?! We had a date last night and I promised myself I would decide once and for all if I'd need to disclose by this date, and either do it on the date or the very next time we hung out. I even prepared a notecard to reference if the moment felt right and if I started to forget what I wanted to say. (Nerd alert! But trust me, I'm good at balancing meaningful discussion with levity, and that was my angle with the card.)


Well the date went great as I expected. At the end of the night, we ended up falling asleep on my bed together (no hooking up). This morning, we started to make out and again talk about intimate things. He was saying how much he really, really liked me and would wait as long as necessary, and that there was a lot of fun in store for us, talking about future dates, etc. Then he started talking about the "details" of if/when we have sex, offering when he gets tested, that there's nothing that I should be aware of, wondering if I was on birth control, etc etc. I guess he could sense me getting nervous and quiet. So he asks me if if there's anything I wanted to tell him… or anything he should know… meanwhile I'm mentally begging for this convo to be over so I can tell him next time we hang out on the couch - not when we're intimately entwined… but I had to tell him, and took a deep breath and thought Here Goes Nothin'!


I said, "Yes. There is something you should know." And verbally fidgeted for a moment as I searched for how I'd planned to begin. I stayed pretty calm and he didn't move…and I found the starting point by bringing up a convo we had a few weeks earlier where he'd mentioned Herpes in an unrelated story. I referenced what he said and said "well… I have that." Then I acknowledged that I know that not everyone is open to dealing with that, but described how MY perceptions have progressed from total stigma and fear (before having it) to it not being a big deal. I said "what do you think about that?" and he shrugged and said "It's not a big deal. In the past 12 years I've dated two girls with it. So don't worry. I'm not running for the door." :)


Then I cried. But it was tears of relief and happiness that he was so wonderful about it. And he hugged me the whole time and said it was ok to cry, that he knew it can be tough to tell someone. I settled down and offered some of the statistics, some of which he was familiar with. I told him I was on daily meds. He asked a couple of technical questions. Then we talked/joked about how I wondered if he was just being nice and I'd never hear from him again because by then he had to leave to run a work errand (another reason I didn't think it was good timing). But he promised he'd come back in a few hours.


And he did. And when he did we just laid around and napped and then had a make out session until he had to leave AGAIN for work. But he took a key... to come back after work and spend the night. So. He's a good egg. And I knew that early on. And that's why I told him.


I'm not sure where this will go permanently, although things are headed in the right direction and we've had the time to get to know each other enough that a lot is aligned and we do want the same things in life. But I do think this is someone I'll be seeing a lot of for the foreseeable future.


Don't fret. Just seek out the good people... and sooner or later you'll be well positioned for happiness.

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YAY! I can feel the love radiating from you in this post. I love the mixture of self-confidence and raw honesty. Wishing you the very best Nigella! I hope all goes well with the gentleman. And, just as importantly, I am so glad you gave your friend the courage to come forward and open up. No one should ever feel that lonely and isolated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update - things are still going great with the guy. Soon after the post we slept together and have been having tons of the most amazing sex ever since. We talk or see each other every day. He regularly tells me how crazy he is about me and how much he cares about me. He wants to meet my sister and brother in law this weekend, since they live in town.


Yay! Sometimes I wonder if the best thing that could've happened to me and this relationship is H. I doubt I would've gone into it the same way, so slowly and carefully and I truly think it made all the difference.

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