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Herpes disclosure: Don't know how to tell him I have herpes

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I found out I had herpes in June and I have not had to disclose to anyone yet. The only people that know are my sister and my best friend. I am talking to this guy and we've been talking for about a month. Things are getting kind of serious between us and I'm starting to get real feelings for him. We've talked about sex and we both want to have sex, but I don't know how to tell him I have herpes. And I'm afraid that he'll reject me once he knows. He's young and I just feel like he'll judge me and start treating me different. And we work together, so I definitely do no want things to be akward at work and I hope he doesn't tell anyone we work with. I haven't had sex since I found out I had herpes. This will be the first partner that I've had to tell. I'm so sick to my stomach about it, because I don't know what to say, or how he will react. But I need to tell him soon, before my feelings for him get any stronger. Please give me some tips and advice on how to bring it up and how to tell him. And how long do I give him to take it all in? I'm a wreck over here, so prompt responses are appreciated!

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I had to tell 3 people about it

All of which were quite understanding and I think just thankful I told them

I tried dating but have been rejected twice

The only thing I can suggest is research yourself, give them tested websites and understand you're asking a lot from them, as even with protection you can still pass it and try to understand if they don't wish to continue

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Hey PrettyLady!


First off, congratulations for being at the point in the relationship where you feel disclosure is coming up! It may sound weird to hear a congratulations coming here, but ultimately when you switch your focus away from the fear of disclosure and into this meaning that you trust this guy and like him a whole lot, the desire to disclose actually signals a desire to go deeper into connection with him. And that's exciting! Any time we want to go deeper into connection with anyone, as beautiful as that is, it's also normal for fear of rejection to come up, too (whether or not herpes is involved). So don't lose site of the beauty of what's happening here. Sounds like an exciting time!


Have you read the free e-book that I wrote? That's always a good starting point. :)



Remember that ultimately it's more important what YOU think about yourself and about having herpes than what he thinks, because the whole concept of rejection and why it hurts so bad isn't so much about someone else rejecting us, but that triggering us rejecting ourselves. I know, deep, right? ;)


Here's an audio recording I did a while back talking about how to never feel rejected again:



... and here's a blog post all about how awesome YOU are. :)



Please feel free to post any other questions you may have about any of this here after you've read the e-book and listened to the recording. I love helping shift perspectives out of the doldrums and into positivity! :) And most importantly, you got this. And you know it. ;)

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What has you questioning your ability to do it? What's happening in your experience? Fear? Self-judgment? Thoughts that he'd never accept herpes? Take this as an opportunity to get to know your own triggers and reasons so they aren't unconscious motivations. Bring them to the surface and look at them. Maybe they turn out being good reasons to not disclose, and maybe they get exposed by irrational ways we all try to keep ourselves safe from intimacy and vulnerability.


And hey, don't judge yourself for "chickening out." This is a process of learning how to accept yourself on a deeper and deeper level. And processes take time and practice. Don't give up on yourself. We're all here for you to remind you that you're worth it. :)

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I understand that. We all have fear. It's what you do with your fear that counts. Do you understand what I wrote above beyond the fear? Use it as an opportunity to get to know your own triggers. Realize that you won't know how he will react until you disclose. A lot of this is imaginary until it actually happens. And how we assume it will go can actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy instead of allowing it what it will be. You're putting a lot of energy into it possibly going horribly wrong, and that's just not fair to all of the ways that it could go. Ultimately, mindset is everything. Get to the point where you can shift your mindset and how you see yourself and everything shifts.

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You keep answering with very short answers and I want to make sure that you get what I'm saying before moving on to the nitty gritty details. It's more important your mindset and how you feel about yourself than what you say. For example, I could give you an entire script to read off, but if you're feeling like shit about yourself and totally self-shaming, then that script will feel very different than if it's coming from someone who knows their worth on a deep level and will be okay whether the disclosure is accepted or rejected.


Albert Einstein said "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."


Does that make sense? Do you see how you're still trying to solve this little problem of yours with the same mindset that created it?


This is going to take some work for you. It's not a simple answer, but I promise you one thing: All the work you do of getting to know yourself and heal is worth it.


I want to help you, but you have to get that this is deeper than just the words we use. It's all about our beliefs and feelings and understanding ourselves on a deeper level. Once we get clear on that, then we can talk specifics. :) Deal?

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I accept the fact that I have herpes. I don't feel ashamed and I'm not even angry anymore. I no longer feel disgusting or like I'm not worth anyone's time. When I first found out it was devastating. It was the lowest point in my life. Bit after learning everything I could about herpes I realized that I wasn't being fair to myself and that I was just reacting to the stigma behind it. I finally came to the realization that its just an annoying skin condition and that it doesn't make me any less of a person. I'm a wonderful person. I do good things and live a relatively good life. I have alot of friends and am very well liked. I am not bothered anymore by the fact that I have herpes. I love myself regardless. it actually made me realize who I am ad discover myself more than I thought I could. But it took me awhile to get to this point. I just feel like people who do not have herpes can't possibly understand and that they will just go by the stigma that surrounds herpes and let themselves be scared away because they don't wanna take the time To learn about it and try to accept it. And that's understandable I guess. It's a hard thing to do. And it's a big risk to take to still decide to be with someone even though they have herpes. I personally think I am worth the risk. I just don't know if he will see it that way.

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Ah, that feels REALLY good to hear all of that from you. So you feel solid in yourself, but you're just afraid of how he will react? Well, that's a huge lesson in life (one that I'm still practicing), to control that which we can control and let go of that which we can't. If you have opened yourself up so he can truly know the beautiful person you already clearly know yourself to be, then all you can do is let him make his own decision. When it comes down to it, herpes really is just herpes. You can educate him all you can with the disclosure handout here so the stigma doesn't give false facts:



That's what dating and the ways of love is all about — getting to know the other person in all their good and bad stuff and allowing yourself to be known. Then each of you make a decision on whether you want to be together or not. Herpes is just one thing in a list of many "pros and cons" ... And it certainly isn't a dealbreaker when it comes to someone who is genuinely interested in getting to know you on a deeper level.

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Well I just told him and I think it went pretty well but he wouldn't really look me on the eye after I told him. I could tell his mind was racing and I kept asking him what he was thinking. And shortly after that he said he needed to get home. He said it didn't change his feelings toward me, but he seemed distant. I'm afraid he'll go home and think about it and change his mind. I guess I just need to give him space to make his decision.

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Understand that his emotions need to be absorbed now. This is not a reflection on you but the curcumstances. It's wait and see now but if you are solid and he is as solid as you trusted than this will strengthen your bond and not weaken it. Even if he says he wants to be friends and thanks you for telling me.. Thats aeesome too! Don't be afraid of that much. You are an awesome person and I'm sure if anything he will see that and maybe so much more that he will go forward with what you hope :) good luck.. Praying for your happiness :)

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Ever since I disclosed, things have been different. We haven't hung out and we've only seen each other at work. We have texted but I'm not sure if we haven't hung out because we're both kinda busy or because he doesn't wanna hang out with me now. He's been kind of distant lately and I don't know what to do about it.

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