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When should I tell? (Driving me mad)


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I've had Herpes (type 2) for about a year now, I caught it from my ex-girlfriend who I split up with some 5 months ago(for unrelated reasons).

Since then I've grown closer to a girl I know from back home. We've known each other for over 10 years and always had a bit of a thing for each other but nothing has happened until now.

We've been e-maling, texting and calling in a more romantic way a lot lately and she is due to visit me and my housemate in a few weeks (we both know her)

She is staying at mine with a friend of hers too so I dont think anything will happen sex wise but I can imagine something will start up between us.

To get to the point, she doesnt know i have herpes but i know i have to tell her pretty soon. I guess at the moment i feel "guilty" for leading her on romantically when i have such a bombshell.

Should i tell her now before the visit and risk her cancelling, and bringing up questions from my housemate who doesn't know about my herpes?

Should i tell her while she is at mine?I think this might be uncomfortable for all if it goes badly.The upside is this is the kind of thing that should be told to someone in person really.

Or,do i wait and see how the visit goes,obviously avoid any kind of sexual contact other than kissing,and talk to her after the visit?Im tempted by this but i may have to tell her over the phone(is this even acceptable?I dont know the etiquette for this,it's the first time ive had to deal with it!)

Your opinions would be most helpful. This has been driving me nuts and i need the advice of people who have been through it all before.

Thanks in advance


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I would wait to see how the visit goes.

Being intimate with a friend can feel fantastic - it just feels right. But it can also backfire.

I have a male friend and we have tried sooooooo many times to get together 'properly' but it never feels right - I mean physically.

I'd go on a date. Have a few kisses ;) , and see how you feel then.

You sound VERY thoughtful - she'll appreciate that I'm sure.

I guess at the moment i feel "guilty" for leading her on romantically when i have such a bombshell.

This is a good point. I've been thinking about this myself recently. But I think if the person cares about you - even if they decide not to continue with the relationship, then I think they SHOULD understand. And anyway, the bottom line is that we're not going to tell someone we have this unless we're certain we like them enough, and that we're certain they like us!! And that's not goiing to happen over night - well, rarely.

Best of luck to you.

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Tell her soon!

As I find myself in a situation where I'm crazy about a person who I didn't tell right from the start, my advice is to tell her as soon as you can. Herpes affects 22% of the population over 12 years old, it's a reality that just about everyone is touched by. If you can, do your homework, get your facts, know what you want to say. When presented with the information, a person can make an informed decision. And don't wait too long. No, nobody wants to hear you have a disease over dinner, or when just making out, but if you think that it might possibly move beyond that, you should say something. I know I wish I had.

Look, you're hardly alone in this and you shouldn't think of what you have as some terrible disease. That's the problem. We've got a germ. And a quarter of the adult population does, too. Maybe you'll "luck out" and she'll have it too.

I wish you luck and love, and twinkles.

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Thanks so much for your input so far, one of my self acknowledged problems is that I think far too much, this is a real tough issue for me and I didn't think I would have to deal with it so soon :s

I actually live in the UK so the stats are something like one it ten people for HSV, just to help make me feel even more alienated! Maybe I should move to the US :D

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Hi Non - that's exactly what I've written on here before - that it's only 1 in 10 in the UK have it genitally. Why is that? Does anyone know?

Sorry to sound heartless, but I wish 1 in 4 DID have it over here.:rolleyes:

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in other countries aside from the UK and US the stats are even lower for certain countries in terms of the herpes population....you can find exact statistics but it is definitely a lot less people infected in many coutries.

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my advise is to find tell her when she gets there but before u both start the specially relationship. 1st is, herpes can be transmitted by skin to skin contact, if u accidentally touch ur mouth /face after touchingthe infected area. 2ndly, to avoid heart breaking later when relationship get deeper

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I have to disagree with Floraa. I don't think that should be something you tell her immediately. At the same time, you need to make sure you don't find yourself ABOUT to have sex, and realize you still didn't tell her.

I'd suggest trying to keep the physical somewhat innocent at first. This is what i did with my last romantic interest, and it was SO hot. I know i've had a lot of relationships that basically jumped right into a full sexual interaction - and i have to say that it's never as good. I think you'll find that if (or when) you do finally have sex, it's going to be incredible. The anticipation is such a turn on. I made sure to touch only the PG-13 areas on her for the first month. Yeah, it takes some self control - but every time i saw her, she was basically going crazy from all the teasing i did.

If your friend tries to initiate something that's starting to overstep the boundaries, just tell them "Look, i've jumped headfirst into a lot of relationships, and i want to make sure the physical doesn't distract us from really getting to know each other romantically. I think you're amazing, and i want to do this the right way." I bet she'll be into the idea.

When you can see that things are really getting hot, you need to schedule a time to talk to her. How you actually inform her is up to you. Maybe you'll be too nervous to do it face to face - but i guess that's probably the best method. Make sure you have all the facts. You want to make sure she understands the risk, but without making it sound worst-case-scenario. Tell her the fact that this disease is nothing more than a very mild skin condition - and in many cases (such as my own) has no physical symptoms at all. Tell her how widespread it is, and remind her that because you KNOW you have it, you can take precautions to avoid transmitting it. If you're on medication, like Valtrex, remember that it does a LOT towards reducing the chances of transmitting it to her asymptomatically. The clinical trials found that over eight months, the chances of transmitting it was 0.4% when valtrex and condoms were used. 0.4%! You might be more likely to get struck by lightning!

In my case, i like to write out everything i want to say, then turn it into an outline, and practice. Yeah, it may seem kinda lame that you're almost preparing for a speech - but you'll probably be nervous, and you don't want to leave out something important. Don't forget to tell her how you feel about her - that you care about her and want to protect her. But she should understand that a relationship where one person is infected can still be safe, sexual, and enjoyable.

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I have to make the same choice

Hi - I'm in the same place - have a promising start of ... something right now. My hope is that eventually I'll be in a position where I have to tell (i.e., that he likes me, too, and things get physical).

I see no reason to tell her before you're in any kind of romantic relationship. If she asks, "Why didn't you tell me sooner so I didn't have to waste my time with you," she's a bitch and not worth having. If she asks, "Why didn't you tell me sooner," without implying that you should have known herpes makes you ineligible, then she may just need some education. I don't see any reason to tell right away. Do you broadcast this to every girl you're friends with or even meet, just in case they might want to date you someday? No. Why would you tell someone until they have to make a choice about physical intimacy? You and I know herpes shouldn't be a dealbreaker. Telling someone before they're involved with us, just in case, feels like we're being doormats to an unreasonable stigma. If someone wants to ditch ME because of stupid HSV, they're gonna have to leave knowing they left something that might have been great. I'm not going to protect someone from their regrets if they're doing something that's regretable.

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Right on! I agree. Herpes is largely in the mind, in my experience. Certainly the stigma, anyway. But the mind is a powerful thing, and you don't want to fuel hers with a premature confession. If we all thought of ourselves as normal people with a minor germ, this would not be so hard.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So the rates in the UK are lower than the US, but is the negative stigma attached to herpes in the UK any less? Just wondering if it is accepted more in the UK than the US because it seems the UK is more open about sex - from my experience with guys in the UK. I live in the US.

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When to tell

I have been a student of sales my entire life; I actually wanted to be a saleperson since I was 12 years old!

When we are faced with a decision in life whether buying a new pair of shoes, or deciding whether we want to seriously date someone with HSV we naturally take a look at the benefits and the costs of the situation.

If that new pair of shoes is $50 they may bring more value than the cost and we buy them. If the shoes are $100 we may find that the cost outweighs the benefits and choose not to purchase the shoes.

When you tell someone you have HSV they will naturally weigh the benefits and costs associated with dating you. If he/she finds the value of being with you is higher than the cost of potentially getting HSV she will choose to date you. If not, she won't. Every person sees HSV as a relative cost based on their perception of the virus.

To tell someone right away is not in your best interests. Until someone gets to know you, how you might fit into their life, and establishes a value to being with you they would most likely chose not to date you. My opinon, wait until you feel like you may want to take the relationship to the sexual level; in the long-run you'll have better luck with it than telling them right away. I hope this helps.

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OKOKOKOK has a great point, someone has to get to know you and develope feelings for you before they would risk contracting HSV. The stigma of this is the mother, its easy to take it for more than what it is...a germ thats unkillable! So you need to make an informed choice about when and how this will be talked about. Today so much of a relationship is bassed solely on sex...look at divorce rates today. Now take our parents...or atleast my parents generation...they wern't quick to have sex...they developed a loving relationship first then they brought sex into the picture. I think that many of us feel we have to have sex to have a relationship...not true. I am coming out of a 13yr marraige...based on sex. Now before I contracted herpes I told myself that I was going to develope a working relationship with the next woman I dated before having sex...I should have stuck with it. I think in the long run you'll be far ahead to take the sex thing nice and slow...you'll probably also gain more respect from her too...its almost expected that you'll try to get in her pants asap...but when you don't she'll be impressed.

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