Dating With Herpes: Everything You Need to Know

Come prepared and ready to educate.

Then try to go into into the conversation with a calm, positive attitude, and prepare to potentially educate your partner. “There’s a lot of misinformation about herpes, so read up on the facts and be prepared to set the record straight,” Molina-Schneider adds.

Understand that they might need time to process.

Unfortunately, some people might not take it well, Molina-Schneider concludes. “If that happens, try to stay calm and talk about all the ways there are to prevent the spreading of herpes,” she says. “You might just need to give others a little time and space to process the news, which is normal. Most people know that herpes is super common and not a big deal. But if someone makes you feel stigmatised, ashamed, or guilty about having herpes, they’re probably not a person you want to share intimacy and your heart with, anyway.”

Herpes disclosure script examples

If you’re unsure exactly what to say, there are a few ways to go about it. “There is no one-size-fits-all script for these situations; it takes a great amount of courage to initiate an open conversation about your sexual history in a new or short-term relationship,” says Sleeth. “I always recommend being open with your partner, allow them to ask the questions, and provide them with the educational tools they need to understand that a herpes diagnosis is not the end of a relationship.”

Herpes disclosure script sample 1

Says Sleeth: “It could look as simple as, ‘There’s something important I’d like to talk to you about. I value honesty and openness in relationships, so I wanted to let you know that I have [genital or oral] herpes. It’s a common virus that I manage with medication, and I take precautions to reduce the risk of transmission. I understand if you have questions or concerns, and I’m here to talk about it. Ultimately, I care about your well-being and want to ensure we make informed decisions together.’”

Herpes disclosure script sample 2

Dr. Stahl agrees, and recommends you find the right time away from other distractions and that you know your facts about the disease so you can answer any questions they may have. “Here’s an example: ‘This is really uncomfortable for me, but I need to share something with you. I have genital herpes. I was diagnosed several years ago, but I manage it through medication, no skin-to-skin contact during outbreaks, and using condoms during sex. I know this may be hard for you to hear. What questions can I answer for you?’”

Herpes disclosure script sample 3

Wise prefers disclosing either on a first date or while chatting on a dating app. “Once I know sex is on the table, I’ll be like, ‘When were you last tested?’ And they’ll respond, then I say, ‘I was tested recently, and was negative for everything, but I do have HSV-2. Do you know what that is?’ Because a lot of times they don’t know what it is. And I’ve only received really positive responses of people either being uneducated of being like, ‘I don’t know about that, tell me more,’ or, ‘My ex had it so I totally know all about it,’ or, ‘I have it too,’ which is always a very fun response to get!”

Then, depending on how much her partner knows, Wise shares additional information about HSV. “I explain that we shouldn’t be stigmatising people who have it generally, when cold sores are very much a normal part of society and no one really discloses that when it’s the exact same thing,” she says. “Usually people just want more information, so I try to keep it short, sweet, and confident.”

Danielle Sinay is the associate beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @daniellesinay.

This article originally appeared on GLAMOUR (US).


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