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Looking For Love in Negative Places (Mixed Status Dating)

November 29, 2010

When I was first diagnosed HIV positive I was afraid that no one would ever love me again. So, I didn’t really pursue dating until I became a little more comfortable with my status. And even then, I decided I would only date men who were also HIV positive. This way, disclosure would be easier and they would have an understanding of the necessity of using protection. Unfortunately, this option limited the choices of the men that I could date.

Even when I decided to live publicly with my status, I wasn’t sure that negative men would accept me being HIV positive, but it opened up new dating possibilities and as long as I disclosed to potential sexual partners and protect them and myself all would be well, right?

Of course not. It just was not that cut and dry. The very first mixed status relationship I tried to have had to end, oddly enough, because even after I disclosed my status, he did not want to use protection! Yes, you read that right, he did not want to use protection. So I told him that his choices were not “with or without” but “with or not at all”.

Before I go on, I need you to understand that for me, because I live openly with my status, I decided that disclosure at the beginning would be the best option for me for two reasons 1.) If someone they know also knows me and knows my status I would not want it revealed except by me. 2.) If my HIV status is going to be the deal breaker, personally, I would rather it be sooner then later.

So, I met someone else I thought I was interested in and disclosed my status and he asked me why would I lie about something like that and told me if I just wasn’t interested that I should have said it. So, frustration started to set in and I began thinking I should go back to my first thought of exclusively dating HIV positive men.

Then finally I met him…the one who would change my mind about dating. Now, I liked him a lot and disclosing my status to him was harder then I thought it would be, because like I said, I really liked him. I mustered up the courage, told him I was HIV positive and his was response was “And?”.  I was so shocked at the response that I had to ask him if he heard what I said. He told me that he heard what I said and that it didn’t change his feelings. He admitted that he didn’t know much about it but would be willing to learn what he needed to know to keep us both safe.  So I didn’t limit myself and I found a great guy who is not ashamed or afraid of my HIV status. It’s really a personal choice but we don’t have to limit ourselves just because we are HIV positive, because HIV positive is not all we are.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. bee2art permalink
    November 29, 2010 10:10 pm

    What a great post Elahan! I have always said we are not this disease. We are so much more! I too felt the only men who would date me would be those who were positive as well. So I’ve dated a few pos men but I have an issue I can’t seem to get past. Every man I’ve dated who is positive was infected by a man. I just don’t want to date someone who is bisexual, can’t seem to get past it. I’m so glad you found someone who said “and”, someone willing to learn and accept. You give me hope girl! Thanks! Bee2art

  2. November 30, 2010 8:52 am

    TO Looking for love….you’re very brave! Also wise. I spent my life like a nun. I never dated or even tried. You weren’t afraid to take chances. I wish I had met you years ago, and maybe you could have given me a “boot”in the right direction! But I’m certainly happy to hear that you found someone who is clearly meant for you. Way to go!

  3. Dorothy Ajowi permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:45 am

    Your story touched me. I am also positive with two kids. My husband left me and i have been struggling to bring my two kids up. Apart from my family members and my doctor, my status has remained a secret. I meet men but i find it so difficult to tell them my status. The relationships could not last because I had some guilt eating me from inside.

    Recently, I met a guy whom I liked so much. He fell so deeply in love with me and was talking marriage. At first i could bring myself to tell him the truth, then one day while we were chatting on facebook, i told him….and he was like, so what? I couldn’t believe it….and i too had to tell him twice and he told me he heard…his love for me never died, we are so close and looking to get married soon. I feel like av been given my life back.

    It is possible, and we are still humans with feelings. Just don’t live a lie, tell the truth from the word go, it will set you free and give you the love you’ve been yearning for.

    May the Almighty give you the strength and bless you abundantly.

  4. joy permalink
    May 10, 2011 9:54 am

    Elaine am from Uganda and will be immigrating to the US soon to cleveland ,ohio. i would like to know you better because i believe you will be of great help and encouragement

    • elahen permalink
      May 11, 2011 9:09 am

      Hi Joy, I think that would be great, When are you expecting to arrive in Cleveland? How can I get in touch with you? I am looking forward to talking with you.

      Elaine Henderson You’ve really only got 2 choices, you can lay down and be weak, or you can stand up where you’re at and still be strong. Bill Whithers

  5. barely_coping permalink
    December 14, 2011 12:59 pm

    Hi all. I’ve just discovered this forum. I’m from South Africa and as my name suggests, I’m barely coping. I have accepted my status and am living positively, but relationships are a challenge. I am also thinking of getting into a same status relationship as the one I’m presently in, if it still qualifies to be called such, is still existing. My negative partner has just gone awol and I don’t have the strength to chase after him. I really need support especially from positive people who understand what it means to be hiv positive.

    • elahen permalink
      December 14, 2011 5:22 pm

      Congratulations,A Girl Like Me is agreat discovery! Relationships are definately difficult being HIV positive and I have delt with all kinds of comments! Finding the right person HIV+ or HIV- is a chore 🙂 Don’t limit yourself though you might miss out on someone fantastic. You will be in my prayers and I hope that soon you will be in a position to change your name. Keep your head up Eleanor Roosevelt said “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. ‘You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

      Elaine Henderson You’ve really only got 2 choices, you can lay down and be weak, or you can stand up where you’re at and still be strong. Bill Whithers

      • Barely_Coping permalink
        December 15, 2011 8:29 am

        My name will definately change to something very positive. Thanks for the words of comfort and you know what – there is more to life. For anyone who loves reading, I would like for you to get a book called “the four agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I draw a lot of inspiration from this book even though it is not about HIV. It is changing my outlook on life one day at a time. Thanks Elahen.

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