Once upon a time I was in a very successful relationship. A partnership in where I thought that person was utterly perfect for me. Sure we had our arguments but the thing about it was that we were able to put our issues aside and agree to simply disagree. He was as slow and our relationship moved at a glacial pace in the beginning. We went on multiple dates, hung around each other’s friends, had long hours of deep meaningful conversations, and truly fell in love with each other. We had both been through very abusive relationship so when we found that trust within each other it was unbreakable. Then I found out my diagnosis and overnight things started to change. I was being blamed for putting him at risk, I had to watch him go on PEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) before I started my own medication, seeing our sex life decrease tremendously, and just a new negative energy making its way into our relationship.
Things soon folded during the fortnight of Valentine’s Day and I was left all alone and untrusting of guys. Sure I dated, had sex and even thought about having a relationship; however, there was no spark or X-FACTOR in terms of having the same feelings I had before. Flings would last for a week or month but it honestly wasn’t anything I truly valued. I guess you can say love at first sight is a bitch. Well back in May I really decided to put myself back out there and really date. It’s discouraging to think that someone could be the one for you only to find yourself waiting by your phone or be given the run around. With my new job I thought it would be perfect to date and just have fun with guys from around the world (take the word fun how you want).
Surprisingly I’ve found that guys from other countries are willing to hang out with me, go on a date, chat etc. More importantly they understand HIV and know of the ways to reduce chances of transmission even without the availability of PrEP in some countries. Real talk even having sex abroad and in places that are a little more liberal and willing to have productive conversations about sex and HIV/STI status (say California, NYC, Miami) creates for a more enjoyable and less worrisome experience. It is already difficult having to disclose your status but then having to receive 30 texts and calls after the deed is done about concerns about transmission, STI status and if one should go on PEP If they are negative just turns me off from hooking up in the first place. It is enjoyable not having to answer 100 questions or give a brief HIV 101 course prior to going on a first date or into the first round of sex with a stranger.
With that said I recently found a guy I am very interested in. Although I like to now keep my personal life more protected I will say that I am happy that someone is enjoying me for me. It is refreshing to just be able to remain who I am without having to change my appearance or demeanor for someone else’s enjoyment. I have talked about the importance of staying vulnerable and affirmative before and this too is no exception. In life we all go through troubling times and it can seem like you have no one around to hold you or care; however, keep your faith, family and true friends close. Being lonely is no joke. It can suck seeing your social media friend booed up or being that third wheel. My advice is just continue to stay your authentic self, don’t compromise just to be cuffed (cuffing season is among us) and most importantly work to improve you. We all should have a set of short-term and longterm goals that we are constantly working toward. Where are you at when it comes to achieving your goals?