While it may seem like it, having herpes isn’t the end of the world. It just changes the way you go about dating. This is not something you can keep hidden from your boyfriend. Well, you can keep it hidden if you don’t have visible outbreaks, but if you do and he finds out, you could end up losing him, not because of the herpes but because of the dishonesty. It is best to be up front about this, but you need to tell him in a tactful way. Here are some tips that will help when it comes time to tell your boyfriend that you have herpes.
1. Don’t Overthink It
The more you think about having this conversation, the more nervous you are going to be about it. Don’t overthink things. You will end up psyching yourself out, and likely it will be for nothing. If he truly loves you, he will be able to get past this and work with you so you can both enjoy the relationship, including sex, without putting him at any risk.
2. Prepare Yourself
This is a talk that no one wants to have, but you must do it. So, you need to prepare yourself. Practice various ways to tell him, and practice the possible outcomes for each way that you tell him. The more you are prepared, the easier telling him that you have herpes is going to be. You don’t have to plan out every word, but know what you want to tell him and how you want to tell him. Start at the beginning, and don’t leave anything out.
3. Talk TO him, Not AT Him
When you are ready to tell him that you have herpes, don’t turn it into a monologue. Approach this as a low-pressure discussion, beginning with how you feel about him and what you are looking for in the relationship. Then, you can start talking about sex, protection, etc. Ask him when he was last tested for an STD, and explain that you would like to use condoms because you have an STD and you want to keep him from getting it as well.
4. Provide Facts
You need to be prepared with actual facts about herpes. Many people only know what they hear on the streets, and they are not aware of the truth about this STD. “For instance, you can’t get herpes from sitting on a public toilet seat, no matter how many times people tell you that you can. Get some literature from your doctor, a sexual health clinic, etc. so you can help to assure him that you can enjoy a healthy sexual relationship,” says an expert from Meet Positives, an STD dating platform.
5. Keep Some Things Private
Just because you need to tell him you have herpes, it doesn’t mean that you have to tell him all of the details of how you got it. Some things are often best left in the past, and he doesn’t need to know every aspect of your former relationship, how many lovers you have had, etc. All he needs to know is that you are into him, and that you want a relationship with him.
6. Let Him Digest Everything
Don’t expect him to just be ready to jump right into bed with you simply because you have told him the truth and are willing to use condoms. He will need time to think about what you have told him. After all, this could have a huge impact on the rest of his life, and there may be other health issues to consider. For instance, if his immune system is already compromised, he may be more susceptible to catching herpes. Give him time to come to terms with your STD.
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