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Dating and the Positive Woman

Fall/Winter 2000

These are just a few of the qualities that I've tried to look for in a mate. It's hard of course, to find all of these in one man, but I try to get as many of these qualities as I can!
  1. An educated man.

  2. A man with direction and ambition.

  3. Someone who is sensitive to women's needs.

  4. Someone that loves children (of course).

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  5. Someone very responsible and independent with a stable income.

  6. A man that's open-minded.

  7. A man that can appreciate me for the woman that I am.

I must admit that being back in the dating scene is scary. Having HIV and dating requires a lot of maneuvering. Once again, I have to deal with disclosure issues. One thing I'm not going to do for sure, is sell myself short. I've met a lot of very nice HIV positive men and that's a good thing. But I've also met the kind of men who think that just because I'm HIV positive, that now I have somehow become desperate and easy. NOT true. Women with HIV can still have meaningful relationships and still be able to keep our morals, our expectations of men, and our self respect in tact.

Where is our self-esteem now that we're positive? It's there, don't lose it. We just have to remember the values that we've lived by all our lives and not let it all go out the door because of HIV. We don't have to settle for anything less than what we originally wanted in a mate.

In talking to different HIV positive women, self-esteem is a very big issue. Dealing with HIV, they sometimes feel "less than". Some HIV+ women think that they should feel lucky if anybody wants them at all. So they give up on thinking they'll ever have a healthy relationship. But in all actuality, it's very possible. You might just meet that one man or "partner" that will give a whole new meaning to a meaningful and healthy relationship. Meaning, that the person is in the relationship because of you and who you are and not just the sex. A loving relationship is what we really want anyway.

Flash!! If enough women really thought about how they became HIV positive, I think there would be more HIV+ women frequenting the adult toy stores these days! So, you men out there, you should really give this some thought. Because they didn't get this s*#@t (oops! I mean HIV) by themselves. And not all of them/us were IV drug users either. But we're not gonna go there!

You know, it was different before I was positive. Dating was second nature and no one took anything too serious. But when you have to disclose to a person about a life threatening disease that you're living with, and that can and will alter their lives along with your own, it becomes a serious situation. I'm not an "OH WELL" type of girl. And disclosure is not my specialty. But, as a woman, I demand respect. Therefore, in return I also have to give it. That means, whether I like it or not, disclosure comes into play.

Dating can be very discouraging for the average HIV'er. Being a long-term survivor of HIV, I've more or less gone through the heartaches and headaches of dating. And I've come to the realization that I don't want to deal with all the bull. I don't have the patience or the time for that. I do not anticipate dying anytime soon, but I have a different outlook on life now. I take life very seriously and I think all of us should. Life is short for everyone, not just people with HIV. So if you're in the dating scene, know what you're looking for. Get what you want and deserve. Stick with it, don't give up and DO NOT SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS!




  
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This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.
 
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