Telling your partner “I have genital herpes” is not the most desired of conversations nor the easiest.
Maybe this is because of the awkwardness and discomfort that can come with talking about the subject or the fear of rejection from your spouse. Whatever the discomfort, its a conversation that needs to be had.
Here are some tips on when, planning, where and what to tell your partner that you have genital herpes:
At what stage of the relationship should you have the conversation? Some people may want to get it out in the open straight away and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, I believe you should have this conversation when you know the relationship is going to last. There is no point in telling someone who you’re going to date for 2 weeks, why put yourself through that kind of discomfort.
When you know you want to make a commitment to that person, then you need to be honest with them. I usually know within a few weeks if I want to have a relationship with someone, though each person differs.
Another question arises, do you tell them before you have SEX or after?
That depends on the person. If you aren’t showing symptoms of a genital herpes outbreak then engaging in safe sex is perfectly fine before you tell them.
You may feel you don’t truly know someone until you have sex with them, that’s normal. Sex is a huge part of a strong relationship. And you may feel you need to know them intimately before you disclose everything.
So, the question is ‘should you tell the before you have sex or after?‘ Really its up to you. Just put yourself in their shoes and how you would feel if the same situation was reversed.
Note: Do not tell them directly after sex or before, choose an appropriate time and place. See below for some tips.
Be prepared in advance for the conversation.
Write down what you want to say in either long form or bullet points so you have a reference.
Then practice what you’re going to say in the mirror. Go over it again and again until you feel confident.
As with anything, it gets easier with time and practice. I have had this conversation many times and it gets easier each time.
99% of people I have told, have been completely fine with it and thanked me for my honesty. So keep that in mind, honesty is always the best policy.
So now you know at what stage of your relationship you’re going to tell them and you have planned what your going to say. Now you need to find the best location of where you’re going to tell them.
From experience you should choose a normal time and location. Nothing romantic or with significant meaning.
Like if you decide to go for the romantic dinner cruise, it will surely kill the mood, no matter how you deliver the news.
So make it a normal night on the couch or go for a walk together in the fresh air. Or simply make them a cup of tea or coffee and tell them you want to talk.
Do NOT tell them in public.
Other people may listen in on your conversation or your partner may need some time to think.
Keep it private.
So what do you tell your partner?
Usually the easiest way to start the conversation is by telling them how you feel about them: “I have really enjoyed the time we have spent together and really I like you a lot.”
Then you can tell them that you need to tell them something: “So I want to be completely honest, there is something I need to tell you.”
Keep as much eye contact as you can and try having at least one hand touching them on their hand or leg.
“Do you know what cold sores are?” Or “Do you get cold sores?”
Then you can go from there, if they say yes they get cold sore or know what they are, great. You can same something like “Well I get cold sores but type 2, which is on the genitals.
Its call HSV-2 or Genital Herpes.”
If they don’t know what it is, that’s okay. You can ask, “Have you heard of chicken pox?” Pretty much everyone know’s what chicken pox is.
Go on to say, “Cold sores or herpes is apart of the same family as chick pox, its a virus that effects 1 in 5 people in the world.
As will chicken pox cold sores show symptoms on the skin.
Red, risen, irritated skin. There are 2 types of herpes. Type 1 effects the mouth area while type 2 effects the genitals area. I have the type 2″
Once you have told them you have genital herpes, give them a bit more detail about what it is and how it affects your relationship.
“I have had this for ……… months/ years. Its just a skin condition that has effected me in the past, however I wanted you to know about it to be honest with you.
I look after myself to make sure I don’t get outbreaks. So it won’t interfere with our relationship.”
If you undertake The Solution to Herpes treatment,
(a successful genital herpes treatment) you won’t get outbreaks as it suppresses the virus. Allowing you to have a normal relationship with no interference’s.
If you haven’t used The Solution to Herpes treatment and you still get outbreaks, you will need to explain to your new partner about it.
“I am letting you know about this because I get outbreaks sometime and during this period we won’t be able to have sex and I will need you to understand”
Explain to them about having safe sex and what the risks if you don’t have safe sex. “When the virus is not active in my body, its 98% safe to have sex.
There is something called Asymptomatic shedding where the virus can be active and I won’t know.
Its a very small chance but it can happen. For this reason its best we practice safe sex.”
Ask them if they have any questions for you, or even tell them about this site for any additional information they may need. And close on a positive.
“I always want to be open and honest with you as I like you so much”
Most people will have more respect for you. However, remember everyone takes in information differently, so give them some time to compute what you have told them. And be ready for any kind of reaction.
I personally never had anyone react badly when I told them. And 99% treated me exactly the same after.
Ask them if they need to go home and think about what you have told them.
If they want to, respect it. It really isn’t a big deal for most people, but you may come across someone who won’t know how to take it all in at once.
Have patience and understanding.
If once you told them and they don’t care, and want to continue on with your relationship.
Remember 99% of people will.
You should suggest they get tested. As we have mentioned 80% of people with genital herpes don’t know they have it.
And before you get really serious with someone its best to have all your cards on the table, both of you.
And who knows, they may have it and not know.
Telling someone “I have genital herpes” may not be the funnest conversation, but you will feel relief once you have. And telling them can bring you even closer together.
They now know you are honest, it shows good character on your behalf. Be proud of yourself.