It’s not as if wanting a partner is a new thing. Most are born into a family seeing loving parents, and as children we try to emulate everything from how they dress, how they drive, and yes how they love someone. We go through elementary school, to middle, to high school exploring our sexuality and coming to the conclusion that we want to share ourselves with a partner. This is completely natural and it doesn’t end because some one gets older, or in millions of people’s case, because they are HIV positive. . But I’ve noticed in the positive gay dating community the urgency has increased to the point that once another positive man finds out you are as well, they automatically want to date and become partners. Pump your brakes.
Being positive ( poz for short ), doesn’t end that craving for a life partner that originally was a mirroring of parental love and relations, that now had been packaged and advertised by society at large. No one can escape the Facebook status updates, the Instragram couples pictures, the E-Harmony commercials and the numerous magazine articles instructing you on how to get a mate and why you have to have one right now. Being poz myself yes I can say when I find another poz man I feel a weight lifted off of me because I don’t have to fear the uncomfortable disclosure conversation. Say what you will about Grindr, Scruff or any other online hook up/ dating site ( make it what you want people ), but being able to put it in your profile really makes the conversation that still has to happen a lot easier. If the guy still wants to have a conversation and meet you after reading the profile then most of the battle is over and done. Of course the flip side is meeting guys in the real world and let’s face it, you can’t know someone’s level of awareness of the virus and what reaction they could have. Meeting another poz man just relieves that particular situation but it doesn’t mean dating is automatic.
I might be writing about it now, but this is not a new situation. I can say I date more negative men than poz, but that really is because I am an active dater and negative men outnumber poz men so it’s to be expected. This will come off more cocky than I am intending, but I’m also a decent, maybe attractive looking man; as such, I feel like I probably get a slight pass on being poz, as opposed to if I was unattractive. This to me is pretty normal, because those that are considered good looking always have a leg up, and again those with basic understanding of the virus wont see a poz man as really an obstacle, but it happens. You have to think, most aren’t going around looking to put themselves in potential danger, no matter how small the risks. I don’t like being seen as dangerous when all I am looking for is to love and care for someone, but I understand the fear so when I see a profile that has listed poz ( and there are other ways to pretty much know if they are poz by how they construct their profiles ), I do message as long as the other qualities they have seem to fit what I’m looking for.
The fact is dating is the same process. I need to find someone who I believe to be kind, have similar interests but enough differences to keep things lively and we can learn from each other, and be health conscious as that is more a must for someone who is poz than it probably was before ( I’ve always enjoyed the gym and healthy eating ). I need someone spiritual and grounded who occasionally has his head in the clouds because he is that open minded and optimistic. My list is still my list and yes a poz man is helpful but not something I have added to the list. It is just as much a non-issue as it was before I was poz. I’m looking for the right man and status wont determine that.
I understand I am at a level of comfort with life and being poz that I can have this kind of attitude. I am able to date with the same frequency as before ( sometimes more which is interesting ), as others have seen a steep decrease in their dating interests. I understand wanting to just snatch up the first poz man that doesn’t seem to be a jerk, or has enough looks you wont feel like you settled, but I am truly going to say this is about self-worth. I feel like it is more about feeling they will be alone forever, sick and no one there to take care of you. I feel like the rejects based on status has put many in a state of panic, latching on to the next poz man they can stand for five minutes. I understand and I still have higher hopes when I am dating someone who is poz as much as a non-issue status is when I am checking out things. But with all that, the process is still the same and your options aren’t as limited as you think.
I can’t say it wont continue to be hard and long. Every area is different in terms of what is available and each person is looking for something different. I can say first and foremost be comfortable being alone and love your own company. That makes the world of difference in how you date and how you come across to that person of interests. From there know you don’t have to pick up the scrapes and give yourself a break. There are wonderful men out there who want the same thing you do: a great mate to hold and care and you are worth their time as much as they are worth yours.
Be brave and know life and love doesn’t end with a HIV diagnoses. And as mushy as it sounds, love truly will have it’s way in the end.