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scared to be alone
Jul 30, 1997

I have been confused about my circumstances for along time, I tested positive in Feb of 96. I contracted it from someone I went out with who lied to me. I had previously been with my boyfriend for 7 yrs, and I broke up with him because things weren't working out. Then I went out with the guy who infected me, things didn't work out and I got back together with my boyfriend before I found out. He stayed with me and has been very supportive, but I don't think I'm in love with him anymore, I feel like I'm missing out on life. I am scared that no one else will want me, and about my finances if I'm single. I have had a crush on a friend for about 8 yrs and he's moving away. I thought about telling him, but I am scared of the rejection because of HIV. I think I'm together for the wrong reasons.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

I think you are correct about not wanting to be together with someone out of fear of either being alone or not being able to financially make it on your own. Staying with someone for those reasons can often lead to one or both people feeling resentful, angry, trapped and used. Being HIV positive is not a good enough reason to stay in a relationship that is not meeting a variety of your emotional, social, spiritual and sexual needs in a healthy, and safe environment that nurtures each person's growth and development both as individuals and as part of a couple.

Have you considered trying going it alone for awhile and seeking out counseling or therapy so you could have a safe and neutral place to explore what it is you want out of a loving partnership? This might be the perfect time to find a shared living situation in order to have affordable housing. During this time you might want to consider just meeting and dating a variety of men so as you can get a handle on what you are looking for in another man and what you have to offer. Dating needs to be distinguished from "Husband Hunting." Dating is when you use each date to evaluate how you feel about being with this man, and do you want to spend more time with him or even see him again. It might also be a good idea to not become immediately sexually involved with each new man, as sexual intoxication often clouds our judgement about a man who puts our hormones in an uproar, but may not be good company out of bed.

Hope this is helpful.

Good luck

Michael



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