Tyler Curry knows it can be scary to hear someone you like say they have HIV, but it is far from a deal breaker. Here’s how you can talk through it together.
There are plenty of good reasons to utter the words “let’s just be friends” after a first date. Perhaps there was no chemistry or a lack of shared interests, or maybe he was just a little bit of a dick. Regardless of your reasoning to either call or not call him again, his HIV status shouldn’t be a factor.
HIV isn’t one of the variables that determine whether you and your partner are an emotional and physical match. It is merely a measure of logistics and science. If all of the other elements of a relationship seem to be in place – sexual attraction, similar tastes and a mutual like for each other’s weirdness – both of you would be a fool to let mismatched statuses get in the way.
But there are a few things you should know when starting a relationship with an HIV-positive guy. Pay attention, and you two will live happily ever after – or at least not break up over HIV.
IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION, DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK IT.
You may be worried that a question or concern you have may hurt his feelings. Don’t be. People living with HIV understand that you may have fears or trepidations, especially if this is your first time dating someone with HIV (that you know about). So, when in doubt, ask as many questions as you’d like. He will be happy that you feel comfortable talking about it with him and, more than likely, he will be able to allay any worries you may have.
What will hurt his feelings is if you make assumptions and don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Speak up.
RESPECT HIS PRIVACY.
If he respected you enough to tell you about his status right away, respect him enough to keep his status to yourself. Talk to your friends about how he made you laugh or how much you like his kisses. But unless you have talked with him about it first, leave HIV out of the coffee talk conversation. You won’t have to keep his status a secret from the people with whom you are the closest forever, but ask yourself if you would want him to share something so personal with his friends when the two of you are still getting to know each other.
DON’T ASSUME YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO IS AFRAID.
Just because he was upfront and honest with you about his status, doesn’t mean he is a pro at dating while HIV-positive. He may have just as many fears or concerns as you do. Don’t assume that if you are comfortable with something, whether it’s a sexual or social situation, or somewhere in between, he is, too.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
The good news is that rumors have a zero percent chance of transmitting the virus. Don’t worry about whether ot not people will assume you are HIV-positive. Instead, worry about whether he makes you laugh, likes the things you like, and is good in bed. There will always be people who talk negatively about you, no matter what you are doing or who you are dating. So make them jealous by making yourself happy and not giving a damn about what others think.
DON’T HOLD BACK.
As long as the two of you are honest with your feelings, he isn’t going to break and you aren’t going to become HIV-positive. Have fun, date with abandon and don’t limit yourself from the potential of a great relationship, HIV be damned.
Originally appeared at HIV Equal