Learning to date again...
Finding out that you have HIV is a dosey. Doctors cannot tell you exactly how long it has been in your system, but we as human beings still try to pin point through symptoms when we became infected. One of the symptoms are flu-like symptoms. Our minds race to figure out when we experienced those symptoms and more importantly, who we were with during that time.
The heartache of contracting HIV from someone can greatly damage your trust. Especially if you were in a heterosexual relationship. Specifically if you were in a committed relationship. You simply can't understand why.
Hopefully, you have given yourself some time to mend and heal before diving back into the dating arena. Your heart, mind and spirit need time to adjust to the shock and then need time to return back to their regularly scheduled programming. There is no recommended or set amount of time that you should allow yourself. Take as much time as possible. You have sustained quite a hit to your psyche. Go through all the feelings that surface and deal with them. Don't stuff them to the side and act as if they don't exist. If you do, they will resurface during the most inconvenient times. Going through these feelings are just steps on the road to healing.
Dating with HIV/AIDS is difficult; but not impossible. You have to decide whether you are going to date people in the same situation that you are in only or if you are going to date those who are not infected. Both sides have their benefits and liabilities. Whatever your decision is, understand what comes along with your choice.
Dating someone who is already infected with HIV/AIDS may take some of the pressure off of you. This person already understands what you are going through. You still have to have safe sex. Dating someone who is taking medications for their HIV/AIDS doesn't let you off the hook. You can still contract their strand of the virus. You can pick up a strand of the virus that is resistant to medication. You can become infected with another STD. Co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases is a complication that you should not risk. Be smart. Use condoms.
Dating someone who is not infected with HIV/AIDS can present some complex problems. When to tell? Will they accept me? Are we going to use condoms and dental dams to prevent any chance of infection? Are we going to use condoms forever? What if they reject me? These are just a few of the questions that can arise when you choose to date someone who is HIV negative. I am not advising you one way or the other. You may find someone who is HIV negative who is sympathetic to your situation and decide to be with you nevertheless. The best thing you can do is have the facts about HIV readily available.
Getting back into the dating arena once you find out you are HIV/AIDS positive can be a difficult task. Don't let the fear of never finding someone trap you into a life of loneliness. Things are not as bad as you may think. There are websites dedicated to connecting people who have HIV/AIDS together. You never know where or when you may meet your special someone. It may be someone in a support group that you attend.
The most important thing to remember is that you have to have yourself in order first. It is not until you are alright with yourself that you give others the signal to be alright. Surround yourself with a dynamic support system.
Understand like anything else, this is going to take time. Don't get discouraged. Give yourself realistic time frames in which to find someone. As a matter of fact, don't put a time frame on it at all. Let it come to you when it is time.
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