I contracted HSV2 about 4 years ago from the second man I'd ever slept with and the first sexual partner I had after a 15 year realationship. We used condoms and discussed sti's, but he was unaware he had it. We remained sexual partners and friends for sometime after my excruciatingly long first OB.
After a while, this virus was emotionally crippling. I am an awesome, "gorgeous" (as I'm often told), single mom with a great education, career, family, friends, house, car...everything most people want and yet, I was harboring this horrible secret and didn't think I was WORTHY of sexual love.
I'm very goal-oriented, so last December I decided that in 2017 I was going to find an awesome boyfriend! I said it aloud to myself, and then completely freaked out! And then signed up for a couple online dating sights. I'd only had two disclosures up to this point (ironically, both were positive and face-to-face), but I was tired of living alone, in shame, with a secret.
Since January, I've disclosed 7 more times (5 in the past two days as sort of a empowering experiment) and I'd like to share the responses:
1- guy made a herpes joke over text, so I texted him that I had it. He felt like an ass, actually knew quite a bit about it since he had HSV1, still wanted to take me out, and was more interested in pursuing a relationship than I was so it ended with no sex.
2- had a few awesome conversations with a guy who wanted to start dating me exclusively, tho we hadn't yet met. I texted my situation to him, and he still wanted to see me. We ended up having sex a few times but we didn't agree on lots of different things, so it ended quickly.
3- met a guy who lives a few hours away. Communication became very sexual, so I disclosed to him over text. The direct quote, "I respect you for telling me. I still want to fuck the shit out of you." That was easy! Lol.
4- went out of town with a much younger man who also lives out of my area. We spent two nights together, made out, no sex. He was really busy finishing his degree so we didn't correspond for a few months. He came back on the scene this week and asked if we could "make something happen." So I told him yes, after I shared my situation with him. He replied that he didn't know, but that he wasn't saying no, the last girl he was with had it, and he was paranoid checking himself for a few weeks after they were together. I told him that's not something I want to deal with in a relationship, that I respect any choice he makes, that he didn't need to know tonight, and we agreed to leave the ball in his court. Normally I would just say goodbye, but I see TONS of value in this person as even a potential friend.
5- met a guy online. We had everything in common! He couldn't stop texting me and wanted to talk to me every night. The other night our texting got pretty steamy, so the next morning I sent him (my now semi-standard) text since we were supposed to meet and go out over the weekend. He told me it was a deal-breaker for him. I was sorta shocked because I was on a winning steak! But my feelings weren't hurt at all. I did say, "That's the first time a man has said that to me! Lol" and he was surprised. He thought he would automatically get it from me if we had unprotected sex! So I told him that it's way more common than he would think, that I respected his choice, and then I asked if I could send him the disclosure form from this site and he said yes and agreed to look at it. I haven't heard back from him. I'm not bothered by it and actually feel sorta bad that he is among so many people who are just uneducated about it.
6- told a guy I was chatting with online about it before we texted or talked...he said he was sorry that happened to me and that he gets cold sores. He still wants to talk.
7- had an AMAZING conversation with a man I totally connected with last night. We talked for over 3 hours and made plans to talk again tonight. Well now I'm on this disclosure-spree-high so I (while I've been writing this post) told him that he's someone I'd really like to get to know more but that I have something personal about myself I want to share early-on. Sent the text. He replied back quickly that his ex had it, he does not, but he thinks with open communication it shouldn't be a problem. The highlight is that he said "I so so appreciate your honesty and transparency. I look forward to talking with you more tonight."
SO. It really can't be this easy!!!! And why did I wait so long? Well, the answer is that I wasn't ready to invite anyone into my life and herpes was my cave. Since I decided to come out of the cave, I'm realizing that I deserve to find the love that I want and am indeed worthy.
I know lots of people don't like the texting method but I dated a lot earlier in the year and could never find the right moment to get the words out! So this method works for me because I can send it (I just say "fuck it" while I hit the send button) without feeling too much anxiety and without too much emotional involvement on either side. I sorta figure that I want someone who isn't afraid and who is open enough to have the discussion with me because those are important traits to me in a partner. I also like it because they can have their reaction in private without worrying about hurting me. I know everybody does it differently, but this seems to be working.
I have spent countless hours on this site, worrying and wondering if I'd be alone forever. Now I feel so silly!!!
Below is my standard text; I change it up a bit for each scenario:
"You seem like a man I'd really like to get to know better. Because of that, I have something personal about me that I want to share with you. I like to share this early because I think it's more fair to us both.
A few years ago I contracted HSV2 (one of the viruses that causes cold sores/herpes) and I'd like to know how you feel about this and also give you any time to ask questions and/or do research about it. It's just part of my life, something that is not a big deal for me, but also something that I like to be up-front and open about. This issue hasn't had a negative impact on my dating/sex life, and I respect any choice you make. Please let me know if you'd like to continue our conversations. And thank you!!!