So recently I went on holiday. For the first time in my life I went away by myself. It was also the first time in my life I had done something just for myself, because I wanted to do it and not for someone else. I had a fantastic time and I’m so happy I gave myself that opportunity.
During my time away I went on Tinder. I enjoyed chatting to local people and you know, maybe I was hoping for a little holiday romance. I got chatting to and then met up with a lovely man who according to his profile had just returned to the country and wanted to meet like minded people with positive vibes. He was cute, seemed genuinely nice and we exchanged numbers quickly. I met him for one of the nicest dates I’ve ever had. We planned to meet for a beach trip early in the morning and then go for some breakfast/brunch together. When he pulled up he was even better looking than his tinder profile pictures suggested (a rare occurrence) he was also one of the nicest men I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. The sun hadn’t come up over the beach yet and we walked, talked, watched the sun rise and lay in it for a while. We had a very long and fun date, where I barely talked about sex at all. I couldn’t get over that this very (very!!) attractive man, who had a good career and an awesome personality was into me. And he did seem really into me, both personally and physically.
You see recently I had stared to become a bit jaded about love. I felt that I wasn’t connecting with anyone. My opinion of men in general was going down and down. I’d been getting bored of casual encounters so mostly stopped have any at all.
One good date, one good man has changed that for me, and it was exactly what I needed. I suppose not having the option to continue any sort of relationship with him is good in this instance. It’ll stop me pining over my crush thinking about what could’ve been. But instead enjoy the memory of what it was. One almost perfect date, to give me hope that I can find someone for me. Some one who I fancy, am interested in and who is their own person as well. Some one who is interested in me for all the right reasons.
Then I thought about my HIV.
I didn’t tell him, I didn’t want his memory of me to be just ‘the woman who had HIV’. I looked at my life and my future of dating. How many times will I be disclosing my status? How many times will I be openly rejected because of it? How many times will someone say they’re OK with it, but then go quieter and quieter until they just disappear. Simply because they can’t (or wont) change their opinion of what HIV is. With three little letters hanging over my head will I ever have a “normal” dating experience ever again?
Thankfully even though these thoughts do enter into my head, they don’t stay there for too long. I do have hope for my future. Hope that I can find a good man that wants to walk along side me, that wants to be my partner and a role model for my daughter. For now, until that day comes, I’ll just look back at my beach date and smile.
To help me deal with my condition and to spread the message of what its like living with HIV in 2018 I did an interview today for a well know magazine. I’m excited that the story will be published, I’m keen to get the message out there about U=U to more people, people like me. They chose me apparently because I fit the demographic of their readers. Hopefully I’ll be able to change a few opinions of how people view someone who is living with HIV. I’m currently having an internal debate whether to share it on my social media, or just let it all come out naturally, I’ll decide in time. When I have the confidence to share it I know I will.