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what is he waiting for?
Feb 9, 2006

I recently met a lonely single man who is HIV pos. He seems to like me and gets an erection when he hugs me. I've made it clear that I'm OK with the HIV and knowledgeable about safe sex. Due to our lifestyle, we are able to see each other almost every day in a public place for casual social contact - either one of us could avoid this activity if we didn't want to see the other one, but he keeps showing up. He seems to move forward emotionally and then pull back (approach/avoidance.) At first he seemed interested, but then later he mentioned that he wants to keep his options open, but I don't see that he has any other options in his life right now, certainly not better ones, and I'd be a great catch for him and he knows that. He went through some incredibly terrible losses the past few years, and so I understand his reluctance at some level, and I know he doesn't want to infect me, but it would help me if you could explain typical behaviors of HIV+ single heterosexual men with regard to dating. He's been pos for three years and has not had a partner during that time. Assuming that he IS attracted to me, why won't he make a move or accept my advances - I would think he would at least welcome the comfort, if not the sex. How should I behave around him? If I'm too aggressive, he'll think I'm a psycho-stalker who won't take no for an answer, and if I'm too passive, he'll think I'm rejecting him or that I just want to be friends. Since we've agreed not to discuss his condition (for the time being), I can't even ask him about this and where he really stands. I'm frustrated but not ready to move on yet to someone else unless I know for sure he's NOT interested. Thanks for any advice or consolation.

Response from Dr. Horwath

He may have many reasons for moving at his own pace. If he has had some important losses recently, then he is probably inclined to protect himself from further intimate involvement that might lead to further losses. The best remedy for this is time and talking to him about his experiences in an understanding way.

He also may be reluctant to be more invloved because of fears of infecting you. If he likes you (as it seems he does), then surely he does not want to be in a position to harm you. Again, patience will be required for him to feel more comfortable.



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