I wanted to see about getting feedback about an issue that I recently faced. I know that sometimes we see things the way we want depending on the situation, but here goes...I am a big flirt and sometimes it's very difficult for me to actually meet people due to my "fear" of rejection, etc. I've been single for 8 yrs now and rarely ever a real date has been had over the years. There are many issues that I've since come to terms with relating to the specific issue of dating, etc. I was reading facebook posts and came across a guy whom I thought was very good looking. He was on a friends page & so with nothing to lose, I decided to hit him up with a message saying how attractive I thought he was. To my surprise, he responded positively and a subsequent meeting was set up a couple of days later..fast forward, we had gone out with some of his friends and then after a fun night, which I rarely have, he asked me to spend the night and being that we were both attracted to each other started kissing. Before anything went any further, he asked me my status. Now, here's the difficult part, never having been asked this question before, for a split second, I felt like lying to him, but before I knew it, I told him I was positive. Fearing he would get angry & kick me out of the apt., he was very accepting and supportive by not being mean putting my fears to rest. However, we engaged in mutual masturbation. It was a good feeling nonetheless. Anyway, we talked more about this the next time we saw each other the next week. I sent him a message before hand letting him know how much I appreciated his understanding. His response was very nice to read and that he was up front about the "concern" of being involved with a guy who is positive, but he was open to the idea by stating that "we could get to know each other and become friends or maybe more...". The question I have that baffles me is that him knowing that and responding the way he did, how should I take his response? Even though I know he seems to be a good guy & understanding, I've never encountered such a person over the years. Despite my lack of experience with dating/relationships, I am unsure. Fearing the obvious, I want to take the easy route & just see if a friendship could develop and not to get my hopes up about anything in the way of a relationship. I've experienced many disappointments in that respect, but I want to know from your experience, how someone who is negative, want to even entertain the idea of a relationship with someone who is positive?
Thanks for your question. Disclosing one's HIV status is never easy and no two situations are exactly alike. Consequently, it's difficult to give you a concrete answer on how "someone" would react to learning his friend, date, lover or whatever is positively charged. Generally speaking, I recommend disclosing sooner rather than later. I recently wrote a blog on this topic for this site. Check out "A Telling Tale of Trick or Treat: Remember to Spit, Don't Swallow!" on the blog page. I would also recommend you read through the information in the chapter in the archives of the forum dedicated to HIV disclosure.
As for how to proceed with your potential Mr. Right, I suggest you continue to be absolutely honest and give him time to adjust to the reality of your virally enhanced status. Don't push him faster than he's willing to go. Ultimately it might be helpful for him to review the information in the archives' chapter dedicated to magnetic couples. Should your relationship progress, you could consider some of the harm-reduction measures discussed in that chapter. In addition, if he has questions, suggest he send them to this site. You might want to point out that two of the HIV experts on this site (Dr. Steve, the expert in the Tratamientos forum, and yours truly) comprise a highly successful magnetic relationship, demonstrating conclusively for the past 17 years that happily-ever-after can indeed exist for magnetic couples. I'd also recommend you check out Dr. Steve's podcast. He discussed what it's like being the negatively charged partner in our fairytale romance.
I'm confident you will find your Mr. Right. And if someone rejects you because of your HIV status, remember, he is rejecting the virus, not you. As it turns out, these folks are ultimately the ones who wind up singing "The One That Got Away" blues.