Looking for Love
I did not want to spend the rest of my life without a partner; be it years or even shorter than I hope my future to be.
I was tired of living vicariously through friends spouting tales of their latest conquest or conquests. Then, my parents’ health became such a personal issue for me at the end of June which motivated me even further. I looked at them, then my siblings and realized I do not have a spouse or children even, when I enter my waning years. I am sure that that thought gave my quest to find a lover even more urgency. I also had even more pressure when I got my last T-cell count of 853 – I just may have a long life after all.
So, I began where I could, and being mostly homebound, the Internet became my primary choice of initial contact. I was very focused on finding a man who would be worthy – well, not an asshole at the least. I did not limit myself to just one option – I went to the mall, various stores and restaurants too and will embellish those later.
I went to two old stand-bys on the Internet first, one of which is dedicated to HIV positive people and the other, probably the largest and most diverse. Diverse, yeah, that’s the best word to describe it. It has guys and girls of every persuasion and mainly geared to the twenty and thirty year-olds and sex fiends. I find that I have very little patience for their naivety, inhumanity and downright stupidity of some; not all. But, it makes you wonder what ARE they thinking? I made a few acquaintances with men on both sites who I knew were positive and those that never committed themselves to an answer. That they would choose not to disclose their status is fine with me in their profile, but I would think they would, or hope they did, when talking on the telephone or having lunch.
I did find another site by chatting with a guy and found this one a bit easier to connect with men. It had members that seemed much more mature mentally and skewed to an older group of men – forty to seventy mainly – “daddies.” I am in heaven because I prefer men to act like men – that is MY preference. So don’t berate me for my choice of the “31 Flavors.” Everyone is entitled to their own.
I think I hit pay dirt with this new site even though some guys remain egotistic assholes when they are too old to play games anymore. The site itself is not an HIV positive service but the members seem to be a very good mixture of both and so far, all have been understanding with only supportive comments. I am surprised yet though by how many list, “Let’s discuss” under safe sex but never mention HIV in their profile, but YOU know, right?
Over the past few months, I had felt almost emotionally forced to find a connection and in a way, began feeling like a “cyber-slut” whenever my chats went to sex. I hate to sound so hypocritical – I am a sex maniac in a prude’s clothing. I am apt to keep their attention with promises of wild sex but whenever I stray to another subject or show that there just may be more to me – silence. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I want it all. I think I am done with the hour-long relationship!
To give you an even wider idea on the depth of the deception of this method, I did meet one guy at a restaurant with high hopes. He knew about the wheelchair and my status (I am always very frank in my profiles) and when we finally met in person we had a lot in common – joked and laughed. Plus he was a handsome forty-seven year-old guy with a career and he told me I was handsome. So, I was confident about this one. I should have been wary of him when after meeting he said to me about there’s more to me and that he liked me; his original thoughts about me were wrong. So, I guess that meant I was more than a sex thing which meant personal work. But the relationship or whatever you wish to call it, fizzled out more as I wished to talk of other things than sex. Sadly, I don’t think he was looking to date and I was not looking for no-stings sex.
So, I added to my profile, “Just because I say ‘hello’, does not mean an instant marriage proposal.”
Another very adorable guy in his mid-thirties (that age makes me wince to be honest unless they can back up their mental stability and maturity with the right words) said he is a very spiritual man and has adapted his homosexuality to his religion. He is also positive. OK, I was intrigued by his spirituality and his look. Yet again though, the connection seemed sex was an underlying issue and the conversations waned. I felt as if he wanted to be rescued.
Not all guys I have met initially online in the area have been without note or substance. I have had wonderful lunches and phone calls with guys accepting of the wheelchair and my HIV status and also the fact I want to take things slow. I can count them as friends for a good laugh or someone to vent to without feeling obligated. I think that’s the best word – obligated. In a way, I am more of a prude now, more afraid of the entire intimacy thing; so I keep my distance and remain cool. I have to wonder though, “Am I being too cool or too worrisome about my HIV?”
One case in point involves a very nice man who felt that waiting was too aggravating, more so than the HIV thing. We had been very open about the entire issue being that he was negative. Again, maybe too open because a few weeks into our “relationship” he felt the need to date another negative guy AND tell me about it! It was almost as if he was throwing down a gauntlet. I kept calm and asked him he had been safe. His answer was basically that they did not have to be since they were both negative. I reminded him that telling a lie is easy and retorted, “I can’t do this again.” He was confused by my stance, so I explained that God forbid, if he gave him some STD, it would wreck havoc on my system and I was not about to allow that to happen. To bring you to the finale of this condensed soap opera – we went our own separate ways.
I can go on and on about the men I have met online the past few months: some are down right stupid and nasty (and younger) for no other reason than self-loathing; others are nothing more than mindless sex machines unconcerned with consequences; and then there are those that give me hope by just talking and being a friend.
Oh, and in other venues while I am shopping or eating in a restaurant: the men are all smiles and flirtatious while I am at the table or behind a rack until they see me in a wheelchair. I can almost see the “pfffftttt” as they run for the nearest exit. And those that talk to me, more or less, feel I need them – like I am desperate or helpless and they are doing me a favor; which is worse, I do not know. Those scavengers that haunt the men’s rooms see me as helpless and are surprised when I give them a look of disdain and wheel away with my head held high. To me, they are the desperate ones!
I think I may have a little bit more to deal with when guys back away from the wheelchair like they have seen a skunk. And to have them almost trip over their feet like the hapless, stammering victim in a slasher film trying to get away when I add HIV to the combination.
I am thoroughly amazed when talking to friends or even the men online about the bars, clubs or chat rooms – it seems not too many men are concerned with getting an STD. Maybe I am being overly sensitive now as my intelligence is ruling my libido now because of the HIV. I am so concerned when I hear of so much apathy about STDs and HIV by the “younger” set. But even the “should-know-better” guys act un-phased by risky behavior and seem not to care.
Silly me, I read too many romance novels when I was younger and still gravitate to those stories and movies with implausible love affairs!
I am nearing fifty and I still dream.