For the newly diagnosed, there is nothing quite as intimidating as the thought of getting back out into the dating scene. Even though you are the same person as you were before – same interests, same likes, and same qualities – you can feel as if a potential love interest might view you differently.
Nothing could be further from the truth. You've still got all the goods, but it can take a minute before you realize it. In the meantime, here are five dating don’ts to follow until you figure it out for yourself.
To be a little insecure is expected. It takes a while to get used to discussing your new HIV status with a potential match. But never feel ashamed, because you have nothing to be ashamed of. Dating with HIV is just a new matter of scientific logistics, not a magnification of your flaws.
Just as you shouldn’t hold yourself back, you don’t want to rush into a relationship just because you think it will be the fix you are looking for. At first, your HIV status might make you feel lonely and undesirable. You might think a relationship is exactly what you need to overcome these feelings. Not true. If anything, jumping into the wrong relationship can have the opposite effect. Being alone can be challenging, but being in the wrong relationship is absolute hell.
He isn’t doing you any favors by going out with you, so don’t treat him like he is. Far too often, people with HIV act as if they are lucky to find someone who will look past their HIV status. However, that flawed way of thinking could lead you to look past bad chemistry just because he likes you. HIV isn’t a bad quality that you possess, and someone worth your time won’t pat himself on the back for being with you.
Your status does not define who you are, nor does it dictate the kind of person who you should be with. A relationship should be based on similar interests, likes, and qualities, not whether the two of you are on the same medication schedule. With treatment options today, HIV does not have to separate or even complicate matters of the heart. Take advantage of that.
If you don’t believe you are a total catch, how can you expect someone else to? If you want a chance at finding a relationship worth something, you must first realize that you are just as valuable as you have always been, maybe more. HIV doesn’t diminish what you bring to the table. In fact, being poz can lead to positives like personal growth, giving you even more lovable attributes.