Music now streams on demand instead of playing on vinyl and the Dewey Decimal System has been replaced by Google, but the art of finding love is still as basic as ever.
You don’t need me to tell you that looking for love can be the most exasperating, often humiliating, and most certainly maddening quests of your life. Often, the harder you try, the more hopelessly desperate the situation may feel (and the more desperate you'll appear).
For many people with HIV, it might seem easier to quit while you're ahead. But however frustrating finding love may be, the ability to find it isn’t made any more difficult by HIV.
Living with HIV and, more importantly, being open and confident with your status isn’t exactly a walk in the park. However, neither is having a lazy eye, being born without a limb, being overweight, or even being insecure about the size and shape of your body or any of its parts.
When dating, HIV is an obstacle to overcome, not for your partner, but for you. If you are constantly paranoid about how others may judge you, then finding a match is going to be pretty damn difficult. You might even settle for the wrong person just because he or she is willing to date someone living with HIV. This is not the kind of love you want, but it is exactly the kind of love you will attract until you stop judging yourself and realize that HIV is not a characteristic that you need to overcompensate for. HIV doesn’t have to lower your worth if you don’t let it.
On the flip side, approaching your dating life without giving a flying f*ck whether he or she will accept your status is exactly the attitude you need find the right lovebird for you. Sure, there are some jerks who will take a pass on dating you because of HIV, but there are also people who won’t date black guys or Asian women, or who couldn’t get past someone being blind or hearing impaired. They are called assholes, and you wouldn't want to date such a small minded person anyway.
The rest of the process is up to chance. You will likely meet some people that you like. Some people will like you. But it might not always happen at the same time, and that's just fine. Brush it off, move on, and don’t waste one second taking it personally.
Pardon the cliché, but a good relationship is like an elaborate puzzle made up of two pieces. The grooves and ridges that make up your part should consist of your characteristics and interests, your strengths and your flaws, and that indescribable thing that you can never articulate but makes you so undeniably you. Sure, HIV might make up some miniscule part of who you are, but it won't overpower who will you fit with.
No matter how fancy our phones get or how our communication changes, finding love still boils down to one simple, archaic thing — chemistry. You either have it with someone or you don’t. No matter how much the subject of love is studied, chemistry is still something that is unexplainable, indefinable, and impossible to get around.
HIV is the opposite of chemistry. It is simply one of the many ways that we are beautifully imperfect. If you embrace who you are, HIV and all, then finding love will be just as excruciatingly wonderful as it would be without it.
Now get out there and start seeing who fits your grooves.