I have been in a relationship with fellow contributor Christian Dolan for almost five months and I've never been happier.
Christian isn't like anyone I've ever dated; he's super honest, never holds back on his opinions and can talk for the whole continent of Europe.
I love his drive and ambition to succeed in his career in digital marketing. I love the random fun we have. When we go out, he tells me he loves me at least 15 times (yes I've counted), we share treats like Haribo.We love Haribo and buy enough packets to assume production is coming to an end and we have to stock up.
There have been difficulties for us both which could be categorised as 'first world' problems. Both of us are going on big holidays separately, which means expenses have been squeezed resulting in some activities being postponed until next year. It seems silly, however during the infancy of a relationship you want to be doing different things. Nevertheless we have joined in many quiet nights watching Netflix.
Christian has always wondered what our thing is because we all have a certain thing that we have with our friends. For example my friend Mark and I enjoy photography. Christian and I do have a thing which is our love for each other and all things that come with it. Life fluctuates constantly and we have to ride the tide that comes along so I envision us having many enjoyable moments that will only be meant for us and will not be so easy to define.
I haven't mentioned anything about Christian's HIV status or even mine thus far, and that's because it's not what defines our relationship. I'm HIV-negative in a monogamous relationship with a guy who is HIV-positive. We had the chat right at the beginning of the relationship. Christian told me pretty much straight away, by slipping it into conversation. There wasn't some big dramatic scene and I didn't scream in hysteria or use a slur. I don't judge people for their mistakes. We all have done things that have lead us to where we are today. Christian hasn't hid his past and I thank him for it.
I fully trust Christian. I know he wouldn't put me in danger and you know what? We have a killer sex life (no pun intended). I think that's what some HIV-negative guys worry about, contracting the virus, thinking of the worst. The LGBT community is very good at raising money, awareness and wanting to give a hug to someone with HIV; however when it gets too close, we form the 'cross' with our fingers and run. We are better than this, and when all it takes is a little conversation plus education, the chances of us catching the virus are small.
Of course lots of questions will need to be asked in a relationship like this but there is plenty of online literature out there. It's largely willful ignorance that leads to transmission of the virus.
Christian and I have our whole lives to live. Some day we will be living under the same roof, battling time with ourselves, family, careers; this is what we do as humans. I'm not ignorant to HIV, but I will not let it rule my life or Christian's life. There are so many other obstacles that have to be challenged just for being gay even in liberal Blighty (Great Britain).
Like Oprah said, live your best life everyday.