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Telling my partner I'm positive
May 19, 2011

How should I tell my partner that I am positive? Should I sit him down and come out and say it, should I take him out for a nice dinner then tell him after he's finished his steak? We are a gay couple and we've been intimate and I see our relationship really going somewhere. I just don't know how to tell him or what way to tell him or in what atmosphere?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Disclosure is a difficult issue and best handled, for obvious reasons, early in any relationship. I believe it's important to have this discussion in a private space where both individuals are safe to express their feelings. Such conversations elicit a tremendous variety and confusing mix of responses from fear to sadness to anger. It takes time to move from initial shock through all those emotions, and the unique way an individual processes these strong feelings needs to be honored. I would suggest planning a time where you each have the full attention of the other with no distractions. It is also helpful to use more "I" statements than "you " statements and allow the other person to identify and express their feelings. Some people find it helpful to have this conversation with the support of a professional who can help guide the discussion and process feelings. This is tough terrain - bringing love and compassion for each other into the process can only help.

-David



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