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How to Tell Someone You Have HSV-2

Finding love can be an exhilarating, yet nerve-wracking process. Whether we are meeting someone for the first time or are going on a fifth date, there is so much to discover about your potential partner. The unknown can be scary, but in the dating world, it can be tremendously exciting. Nonetheless, the fear aspect of dating sometimes interferes with all of these exciting possibilities. It is easy to think about ourselves and our shortcomings. We focus on our downfalls and our weaknesses, hoping that they don’t disappoint or anger our potential partners.

This is especially prevalent if we have HSV-2. HSV-2, as you likely know, is a sexually transmitted disease that leads to sores on our bodies. Most often, they occur below the waist (particularly near the genitals or rectum). HSV-2 is spread by sexual contact, so if you are looking for a partner, you must share your diagnosis before engaging in sexual relations. As you likely know, however, breaking this news can be extremely nerve-racking. You may be so anxious about HSV dating that you would rather not tell your potential partner.

This is the wrong approach. If you are dating with HSV-2, it is important to develop a plan on how you will share the news with your partner. By putting in the hard work now, you will find it easier to tell your partner.

Dating with HSV-2: Breaking the News

One of the first things to think about is how you will frame the news. This is extremely important, and luckily, you have lots of control over this aspect. Meeting people with herpes can be an extremely positive experience—so long as you don’t make it seem like a gargantuan problem.

For example, starting the conversation with something like “I have awful news” is going to make your partner extremely nervous. Even if your partner does not inherently think your HSV-2 diagnosis is a big deal, beginning this way is going to put them on edge.

Instead of making some grand pronouncement, opt for sharing the news in a direct, unemotional way. Explain your diagnosis and what it means for your relationship (or potential relationship) going forward. By staying calm, your partner will likely stay calm as well. While it is an emotional subject—especially if you are extremely interested in your partner—keeping the news short, direct, and unemotional will pay off in the long run.

Also, make sure that you can explain what HSV-2 is and what HSV dating is like. Being knowledgeable about your diagnosis will help put your partner at ease. It will also make it clear that to meet people with herpes won’t end a relationship. On the contrary, by being direct, it can make the relationship that much stronger.

You should also think about when you should break the news. While you do have some discretion here, the rule of thumb is the sooner, the better. At the very latest, you should tell your partner before you engage in any sexual activity. That is non-negotiable, as HSV-2 is spread by sexual contact. The last thing you want is to pass on the HSV-2 virus without letting your partner know that you are actually dating with HSV-2.

Instead, consider breaking the news in a quiet, private place. Try to make it so you and your partner are the only people in the conversation. Make it relaxing and choose an environment where your partner can easily hear your words. Don’t interrupt your partner and ensure that they won’t interrupt you as well. The goal, as always, is to have a relaxed, yet informative conversation where you can explain what HSV dating will be like.

You Can Do It

Dating with HSV-2 can be stressful—especially when you have to break the news to a potential partner. That said, it is extremely important to share this news. Avoiding it due to shame or fear of judgment will lead to more problems down the road. By developing a plan on how you’ll break the news, however, you will be in a much better position to cultivate a healthy relationship with your partner.

At Positive Singles, we help people with HSV-2 find their partners. Whether you are looking to meet people with herpes or simply learn how to break the news to a potential partner, we want to do everything we can to help you find love. To learn more about us, don’t hesitate to visit our website.