Dating and Herpes:
How To Tell Your Partner "I Have Herpes"

Have the Courage to Say It

Here's some tips on how to tell your partner "I have herpes". This challenging conversation is known as "The Talk" in the Herpes community.

Giving "The Talk" with your partner is one of the hardest things you'll have to do once you have Herpes. It can feel embarrassing, awkward, even terrifying.

Why is this? Maybe because of the social stigma around Genital Herpes. But more likely, we are just afraid of getting rejected and cast away.

Many people in the Herpes community avoid "The Talk" altogether and instead just date other Herpes positive people (which you can find at Herpes Dating Sites).

I've given "The Talk" numerous times now. My partners appreciated the honesty, and we had a romantic relationship afterwards.

If you don't want to or are scared of giving "The Talk", then consider approaching people in the Herpes community. There's a lot of great Herpes Dating Sites where you can meet someone who already has Herpes.

Otherwise, here's some tips and suggestions that will improve your herpes and dating by learning to have "The Talk".

How to Tell Your Partner "I have Herpes"

1. Practice giving "The Talk". My experience is that the more you give this talk, the easier it gets. Like anything.

So it's challenging to give "The Talk". One thing I tell people is that practice giving "The Talk" to good friends or family members first. They'll love you regardless, so why not practice telling them this information. That's what I did, I told my brothers and good friends first. Then it was a lot easier to tell some beautiful women I was interested in.

You can also practice giving "The Talk" to the mirror.

2. Where to Give "The Talk". From my experience, best is to tell your partner "I have Herpes" in a quiet romantic place. You want to be in a place where you can focus on one another, your words, and your feelings.

Good places to have the talk include:

  • a walk on a beach or in a park (my favorites)
  • with dinner, best is in a quiet place (not McDonalds!)

Take some time to plan this out. If you care about this person, this is a huge step in your relationship. It shows how you approach and deal with difficult topics, so don't rush it, don't carelessly do it.

3. When to Have "The Talk". Lots of different ideas on this. But here's the general rule for telling someone "I have Herpes".

Give "The Talk" early in the relationship (like third date or so).

And...

Do not give "The Talk" right before you have sex or afterwards. Trust me, your partner will not appreciate this. It is inconsiderate and selfish. Not the basis on which to build a relationship.

So get yourself some courage and do it early (before you get sexual).

4. Here's what to say: There's lots of ways you do this. You will find your own words but here's a simple script to start with.

Look into their eyes and hold their hand when you tell them this:

"I care about you a lot. I feel we have a future together as a couple. But there's something I must tell you."

"Do you ever get cold sores?" This is a good question to ask. Because if they say yes, you can reply with "Well that means you have the Herpes Virus. That's type one (HSV-1)."

"Well I get cold sores in my genital region. It's called Genital Herpes."

"Lot's of people have it... something 25% of the adult community."

"I've had genital herpes for many years. It's not a big deal. It's just a minor skin condition. I do things to suppress it like take medication and boost my immune system. But every now and then I get outbreaks."

"You need to know this because when we get intimate, I will not be able to have sex during these outbreaks."

Here's the hard part: "The big thing is... I can pass Herpes to you. There's a small chance because of something called asymptomatic shedding. The chances are like less than 3%, but you need to know."

"I care about you a lot. I want to be completely honest and open with you. So I want you to think about this before we get more intimate."

5. Let them sleep on it. Your partner will need to process this disclosure of yours that "I have herpes".

They might be very upset initially. They might be shocked. They might get very emotional. They might also be very understanding about the situation.

Stay calm and supportive. Don't try to get sexual at this time. Give them time to think and feel through this. That's why it's good to do this at a park, or a beach. So you can just walk. And you might be answering more questions at this time.

Then take them home. And give them an evening or so to process your self disclosure. That's what I like to do. I've even given girls websites and literature to read about Herpes. You can even send them to this article I've written.

It's a big deal when someone says "I have Herpes", so give them a little space.

6. Suggest they get tested for STD's. Suggest this calmly to your partner. Suggest they go tested for Herpes: Testing Resources.

Many people, up to 75% of women, don't even know they have genital herpes. So if your partner goes and get tested, then they will know for sure about their STD status.

But the good thing about this is.. they might end up testing positive. And if that's the case, then you are a match made in Heaven. Because you cannot pass it on to another positive person.

  Go to War with the Virus

Some other Good Tips and a Course to Help You

How To Have The Herpes Talk

There are some other great resources on the Internet on how to tell your partner that you have Herpes.

One of my buddies in the Herpes community, Ed DeVinney, of LivingwithGenitalHerpes.org has some good tips on giving "The Herpes Talk".

One of his suggestions is to make sure that you understand what Herpes is exactly before you give "The Talk". That way you can relay the facts to your partner including some basic statistics.

Spending some time researching Herpes can do you a world of wonder before rushing out and giving "The Talk".

He has also developed a home study course on giving "The Herpes Talk". You might find that useful.

Finding Happiness with Telling Your Partner "I Have Herpes"

More than anything, you'll find a lot of peace and serenity in telling your partners "I have Herpes" up front and early in the dating process.

That way you see what their reaction will be.

If they care more about avoiding this little skin condition instead of dating you, then they won't be a good long term partner for you anyway.

And when they do accept you, you are well on your way to love and happiness.

And if you don't want to go through all this hassle, then just join a Herpes Dating Site, and you can meet someone special that already has the Herpes virus.

Page last updated: January 12, 2014

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