The "Dreaded Herpes Talk"
By A Dale
You've heard it talked about as "the dreaded talk" but it doesn't have to be so dreaded. Unless you make it
dreaded. It really comes down to your own perception on what "the talk" is all about. If you convince yourself that
it is bound to end in rejection, it'll have that flavor; on the other hand, if you go into the talk dedicated to
trust and authenticity, you can't go wrong. This doesn't necessarily mean that all the talks will end in flowers,
rainbows and unicorns, but your personal values shine brightly. And the talk actually has quite a good change of
bringing you closer together in the process. So a lot of it comes down to how you yourself perceive the talk. Is it
a dreaded rejection-maker or is it an opportunity to go deeper into trust, authenticity and vulnerability?
One of the banes of herpes-havers isn't necessarily that they have herpes. No, it's that eventually they will
have to tell a partner that they have it. So when should you disclose that you have herpes? There's the classic
catch between disclosing too early or too late... if you disclose too early, there isn't enough connection
and they can leave easier lacking that emotional entanglement; on the other hand, if you disclose too late
into a relationship, they might feel manipulated into falling for you without this vital piece of information at
their disposal to make a fully informed decision.
So there's the catch. Here's the solution.
I'll make it sound super easy so you can apply it with super easy expectations. Deal? Disclose to your partner
when you can honestly say: "I feel we're developing a special closeness. I love it. Part of closeness to me means
being authentic and vulnerable with each other. I feel it's really important that I tell you something that is very
private for me. I have herpes." Say it from a place of strength, not shame - because you are stronger than many to
even consider bringing it up. It is something to be proud of. It's an act of humanity and integrity. You have set
yourself apart from many who choose to not even disclose. Being transparent in a strong way is confident, sexy and
Use this conversation not as a possible reason for disconnection, but maybe even a way to kick a relationship
off with vulnerability and authenticity. And here's something to try on: how about go into having the talk with
some excitement? After all, the very fact that you're having the talk signals that you care about this person
enough to be truly vulnerable with them... to disclose something very private about yourself. Just the fact that
you're willing to disclose to them says a lot about the potential of the relationship.
But what if they reject me? In this way of being, there is no such thing as rejection.
Rejection is all in our heads. What I mean by that is it is only rejection if your identity is tied to herpes, if
your sexuality is tied to herpes. You are simply doing your part to be authentic with them, which is what any good
relationship is built upon. Granted, disclosing in this way isn't a magic pill to get everyone to be in
relationship with you; there are still perfectly decent people who would rather not risk getting an STD. If so,
don't fault them for it. Understand that people have preferences. To some, yes, STDs are deal-breakers; to others
it's just a risk that comes with all sexual activity. To some, a low credit score would be a deal-breaker - or no
college education, or having kids... to others, a lack of honesty or compulsive negativity is the ultimate
deal-breaker... The point is, everyone has that checklist they run through when sizing up potential dates. To many
people, the deep values inherent in disclosing that you have herpes will overshadow the negatives of the herpes
itself. Be open to that being true and it just might be.
Herpes Life is a place for people with herpes who want their confidence and happiness back to live a more
fulfilled and aware life. For more articles on the positive side of living and thriving with herpes, jump on over
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