Telling Your Partner / Potential Partner You Have Herpes
Ok in a perfect world you wouldn't have herpes and even if you did you would still be with the person you got it from. Unfortunately it's not a perfect world and there are a number of moral dilemmas that face you if you have experienced an outbreak of genital herpes. Particularly on the subjects of dating, sex and relationships.
Should you have herpes, whether genital herpes, coldsores or even both there is no reason you can't have as normal and healthy sexual life as before. Sure some changes have to be made and its awkward telling someone you have herpes but its not the end of everything.
You can of course overcome the problem by meeting someone that already does have herpes. This is probably the best solution as you can feel comfortable with your partner from the beginning and enjoy a sexual relationship free from the apprehension that accompanies the possibility of passing on the virus.
Here is a great dating site where you can find people in the same situation so there is no need to feel alone or isolated. You may find a new love or not, but even finding a friend just to chat with can change the way you feel and open up new possibilities.
From the feedback we have gotten over the years it seems the subject that most concerns people who are aware they have herpes is talking about it with a potential new intimate partner.
There are so many questions the person faces and human nature being as it is there is no surefire answer to those questions. Lets take a look at some of the issues you face if you have herpes. See if anything speaks to you and helps you discover your best way to overcome the problem of talking about or telling someone you have herpes.
Remember that even if you don't have herpes the dating and relationship scene is still an unchartered ocean full of dangerous shoals and heavy seas. Sure there is free advice everywhere but look at the divorce rate...shows what the advice is worth.
When it comes down to it there is no foolproof way to predict how another person will react to being told. However if you apply the universal golden rule " treat others how you want to be treated" you may find it will work out ok.
Sometime in the past you have had contact with someone that did have herpes or coldsores and passed them on to you. Statistically there is a good chance that person was not aware they were infected. That's right out of the 45 Million Americans infected with the Herpes virus about 60% have no symptoms.
Unless they have specifically asked for their blood to be tested for HSV1 and HSV2 during a check-up they would have no way of knowing. So remember when you are faced with having to have "the talk" about genital herpes there is a 25% chance that person already carries the virus...and doesn't even know it.
Ok you met someone you like and....So lets say you've met someone you like, you have had a few dates or spent some time together and you'd like things to proceed to the next level. You decide you are going to tell them you have herpes.
Theres no pressure, its all coming from you and your fear. You have to TAKE CONTROL. Make a date with the person to meet somewhere you can control the situation, talk quietly without being overheard and generally both feel comfortable.
Have some printed information with you that explains the true facts. Remember the person could have false data which may cause them to make an uninformed decision or a bad reaction to what they believe - rather than the facts.
(You can print out the fact sheet from the NIAID available for download here. When it comes down to the basics of telling, there is no foolproof method. What you say and how you say it are going to depend on your own personal style. It is only natural to feel apprehensive about telling someone something negative about yourself, so you have to turn it into a positive. How?
Here is an imaginary scene between Sue and Joe. Sue really likes Joe and she wants to get closer but has been avoiding telling Joe - but now has finally decided to do it.
Sue: " Ok Joe - There something we need to talk about and I want you to know that I really care about you"
Joe: " Sure - whats up. Have I done something wrong?" "Coz' you know that.."Sue Interupts: (laughing) " No don't be silly"
Sue: "Its just you don't know how hard its been for me - not rushing into things with you - I find it hard keeping my hands off you"
Joe: "Yeah I noticed you're a little cool when its getting hot"
Sue: "Yes.. well there is something I have to tell you...now..I think you know I'm not a virgin (laughs - smiles) but someone I slept with in the past had herpes... and I have had an outbreak myself.
Joe: "Oh God - is it bad" "I've heard about that - s'posed to be incurable - I can't believe it.. you're so beautiful."
Sue: "Why thank you Joe" " I just want you to know that I care enough about you not to hide anything from you right from the start"
Joe: "Sue you really are beautiful ... look tell me more about it........." etc etc
She can now show Joe the information, tell him about what she experiences and so on.
So you see Sue turned the whole thing around to her advantage, showing she has courage and honesty. . Now its up to Joe - if he values those things in a person he'd be a fool to let her go. If he's just a wanker then its better Sue knows now anyway.
All sounds rather corny but when you see the unhappiness that dishonesty causes in a relationship then maybe the opposite is the way to go to find happiness and a true love. Try it and see what happens, you may be surprised.A good long-term relationship must be based always on honesty and trust.
While some people may experience an unsupportive response, most have found their partners are both supportive and understanding.
Personal rejection, whether you have herpes or not, is a possibility we all face. Fear of rejection can lead some to question why they should risk talking about herpes and choose not to disclose the fact. Instead they abstain during outbreaks, practice safe sex at other times, and hope for the best.
This way of thinking can have more disadvantages than advantages:
You spend a lot of time and energy worrying that your partner is going to get herpes or coldsores. The longer you put off telling, the more likely your partner will find out elsewhere.
It gets harder to do the longer you wait For most people, the anxiety of not telling is worse than the telling itself. Excuses create distance between partners and often lead to dangerous guesswork.
Your partner might interpret your excuses in ways more damaging to the relationship than an honest discussion of genital herpes would be Your attitude will influence how this news is received. Psychologists have observed that people tend to behave the way you expect them to behave, and expecting rejection increases the chances of an unhappy outcome.
It is a funny side to human nature that someone who has coldsores is usually quite open and not embarrased to say they have the infection. Even though coldsores can be caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes it seems more sociably acceptable to have "just a coldsore" than to have "herpes".
Remember if you have genital herpes outbreaks or coldsores occuring then there is something you can do. Check with some of the people in the chat forums who also suffer from genital herpes or coldsores and see what they recommend. Try it. You will eventually find something that helps even if only to a small degeree.
Once you have something that gives you even a little bit of control you'll no longer feel totally at the mercy of the genital herpes virus and that can be a huge morale booster.