21 Feb

But one big issue remained: Dates rarely reacted well when she shared her news.“I used to tell guys on the first date, which was way too soon,” she recalls.

(Case in point: 90 percent of people with herpes are unaware they have it.) This approach shows that you’re serious about your health — and your date’s — which will soften the blow when you say, “As for me, ten years ago I was diagnosed with herpes.” Your date may be a little scared when he hears this, but explaining how you felt when you found out you had it and how you’ve dealt with it since will help him better relate to what you’re going through and see how well you’re managing your health.

What to say: If you do need to mention your financial past, put it in perspective.

You could say, “I took a financial risk to pursue a career path/work project/travel plan I was really passionate about, and as hard as I tried, things didn’t go as planned.” Paint your bankruptcy as the solution, not a sign of defeat, by focusing on the positives.

“the good news is that I’m now out of debt,” says Chris, “and I’ve been given a second chance to manage my finances better.” What to do if your date freaks: “Some people will fear you’re financially irresponsible and that you won’t be able to provide for a family,” says Tyson.

Combat this assumption by emphasizing the bankruptcy was in your past—and that it taught you many valuable lessons you employ today. “I’ll tell dates I only use American Express and pay off my balance in full every month,” he says.