Monday, August 29, 2011

Dating with HIV; my experience and thoughts

I am now 18 months post my dual diagnosis of HIV and Hepatitis C, and 9 months post successful Hepatitis C treatment. I thought it was time to meet someone; no, not just for sex, but for something more.  You see since my dual diagnosis I have felt completely a-sexual, and I’ll admit, feeling a bit ‘tainted’ too.  Even HIV + guys are hesitant to meet me when I tell them I also ‘had’ Hepatitis C.
So, wonderful, where does that put me in the dating scene?  Someone would really have to be desperate to meet me!  Recently I met someone by the name of ‘Dustin’. He smoked, and I said I would NEVER date a smoker, but I have been desperate to make a connection with another positive individual.  I thought I could ignore the smoke.  He was handsome, professional, similar in age, and a sweet talker, among, *uhm, other things….
I hear the knock on the door, I’m a bit nervous, I look through the blinds (pictures match), and open the door to meet him.  He reeked of smoke. We had some drinks, but all I could smell was the smoke emanating from him.  Almost immediately I had withdrawn all interest, and my body language turned very cold. He got the hint, and excused himself.
I’ve met one other person since that night, and a non-smoker! While the physical connection was there, I couldn’t allow myself to open up. Again, my body language turned cold, and he too left. Why am I having such difficulty meeting people, why can’t I open up, why does my body language turn so cold, why can’t I let anyone in? Before HIV I always had fear of rejection, having HIV compounds this fear.  I feel like damaged goods.
I am also stuck in the mindset that I would never date anyone who is HIV negative, and think how could I ever be in a serodiscordant relationship? I would not want to give to someone else what I have, no matter how small the chance. I wouldn’t wish HIV on anyone. I know that limits the pool of potentials as well.  Since day one of my diagnosis I made a commitment to myself to always disclose my HIV status when it comes to dating, maybe this is my dilemma?
I’ve allowed my emotions over my status dictate my single life. I had withdrawn and isolated from the World. I am trying to slowly build the confidence again to meet someone, and crawl out from under the shadows of my illness. As alone as I feel with my diagnosis; I hold out hope. I have been in three relationships prior to my HIV diagnosis, and one for over 2 years. I’ve traveled the world, been on many adventures, have a creative and intellectual mindset, caring, kind, honest, and have a super loveable personality. 
I keep the hope of meeting someone, because I know that really loving someone means loving them for who they are and accepting the whole package.  I guess you would call that a soul-mate and I believe that person is out there somewhere.  So, today I make a commitment to myself to never settle for less than my heart’s desire. And to anyone reading this with HIV/AIDS or any other chronic illness; YOU deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and YOU shouldn’t settle for less.  
Usually I am the one to offer tips and advice, but when it comes to dating and HIV I feel hopeless. I hope whoever is reading this will chime in.  Are you in a relationship? How long have you been together? How did you meet? How long after your diagnosis did you feel comfortable seriously dating someone?  Until next time….

Sexless in Seattle,

Kevin Maloney

4 comments:

  1. :)
    Never settle, my friend!!!

    The right person will happen...the first guy I was intimate with after diagnosis...2 years later...it was a strange feeling...once I got over the initial hump...the sex was great..and then I let my trust issues get in the way...the trust problem is what broke off our relationship... Not my HIV.

    take your time...and go slow...the emotional aspect of a relationship is just as important as a physical...oh, and he was Negative...try a Negative guy...you may like being MAGNETIC!! :)

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  2. You are very brave, and I respect that alot. Keep you head high, and never settle for mediocre in a soulmate. It will come...
    hugs big guy, MMARK|+

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  3. This article is very informative and full of idea's. I never seen like this article before. Good thing i follow your site and ended up here. Thank you for sharing it so other people on the can read this too.

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  4. My story is I've just found out some months ago but Im 35 I feel like my world is falling apart I've never felt so alone in my life my friends have turned there backs on me I cry myself to sleep every night wishing it has been a terrible mistake the doctors have made a mistake I don't want to date because I'm scared I was not aware of the person that gave it to me but he knew before he met me and slept with me anyway I was very angry at first still am but I have to deal with alot I would never do to someone what was done to me.

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