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Author Topic: Long Beach, CA: Loss, Dating, Depression  (Read 3907 times)

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Offline specialbottom

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Long Beach, CA: Loss, Dating, Depression
« on: December 28, 2009, 02:48:05 AM »
I had a 38 year relationship with a very loving HIV negative man. Unfortunately, he passed away of heart failure in February 2009. I have been trying to keep myself busy with social events and volunteer work. I believe that this strategy has helped me through the difficult bereavement period.

Although I am not desperate to find another partner, I have been dating and am open to exploring the possibility of a long-term relationship. I am not interested in casual sex, anonymous encounters or one-night stands. My emphasis has been on affection, emotional availability, stability, personality, honesty, and compatibility. I am not hung up on lots of specific physical characteristics (age, hair color, height, etc.). I do, however, tend to be attracted to Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic guys, but none of this is written in cement.

I live in Long Beach, California and love the climate here. When I post a profile online, I run into several hurdles:

(1) I get responses from guys who live in other states and in foreign countries. For practical reasons, I don't see much chance of dating someone who lives out of my local area (Long Beach, Los Angeles County, Orange County). I am not going to jump on a plane and fly to another state to meet someone that I don't know. Furthermore, it takes time and a series of dates to get acquainted and develop a meaningful relationship. That simply cannot happen easily with someone who lives in a different state or country.

(2) On a few occasions, I have received angry responses from guys who throw insults at me for being HIV positive. Their remarks hurt deeply. On the other hand, I only engage in safe sex and would be open to dating a guy who is HIV negative or HIV positive. I really don't understand where the anger comes from. HIV is simply another health condition. Moreover, my HIV is controlled and undetectable. I would characterize my health as excellent and I don't have any outward manifestations of being ill. In fact, most people say that I look a lot younger than I am.

(3) Far too many responses seek casual sex, anonymous sex and unsafe (bareback) sex. Although I enjoy sex very much, I prefer to get acquainted, go on dates and proceed to sex when it feels right and is mutually desired.

I tend to have a very happy and optimistic personality. Today, however, I have felt very significant depression and have broken in tears as I think about the loss of my partner. I do recognize that this is the first holiday season without my partner.

I am writing this forum entry in hopes that others may have some insights and advice. Probably, the simple act of writing about my feelings and emotions will help me cope a little better.

Thanks for reading my message.

User ID: specialbottom
age 66, 5'5", 141 pounds, brown hair
Long Beach, California


Online Andy Velez

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Re: Long Beach, CA: Loss, Dating, Depression
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 05:11:18 PM »
Dear David,

You were very fortunate to have found someone to happily spend so much of your life with. It's good that you have been making yourself stay active although of course those things aren't going to replace your loss. You need time to build what is a new time in your life.

In posting your profile you might specifically mention that you are not interested in starting long distance relationships. Doing that ought to cut down on the number of people who respond from far off geographically, although I will say some just may not read or will ignore what you've written and respond anyway. Just skip over those or send a brief, polite "thanks, but I am not interested."

Those who have any kind of negative comments to make about your positive status don't even deserve an answer. Just hit delete and let that kind of ugly nonsense go.

As far as those who are getting right into wanting casual sex and otherwise emphasizing that, in a way they are doing you a favor. By responding in that fashion they are also letting you know they are not the right person for you.

Finding someone who is right for you will take the time it takes. You're experienced with having had a longterm relationship. That experience will serve you well because you have a knowledge about what works and doesn't work in sharing a life with someone. Give yourself time to allow the right person to show up. In the meantime include as much as possible things in your life that make for something pleasant, interesting and engaging in each day to the best of your ability.

Your late partner must have been a rare person from you have written. You won't be replacing him of course. That isn't possible. The first year can be especially difficult because it has so many "firsts" like holidays, birthdays and other significant times that you shared for so long. 

Now you're looking for another good guy to be with. Keep going. You and he will find each other and in the meantime you will have to work on making your life as good as possible.

Good luck to you and keep us posted. And drop in here whenever you want to. You'll find there is a good bunch here to hang around with.

Andy Velez

Offline CallMeSid

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Re: Long Beach, CA: Loss, Dating, Depression
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2009, 07:07:32 PM »
Hi, David.

I just wanted to say that you sound like a very nice man and I'm sorry to hear about the recent loss of your long-term partner.  (You guys were together almost as long as I've been alive!!!  That just boggles my mind!)

I'm sorry that you've been down the last couple of days, missing your very special man.  I wish I was in Long Beach so I could swing by and give you a hug and brew us a pot of tea so we could sit down and talk.

My only suggestion at this time is to try to get out of the house and be around people.  Maybe go have lunch with a friend?  Or just take a walk on the beach or at a nearby park?

Please don't let the difficulties of the online dating scene get you down.  While having an online presence can be helpful in making some new contacts, you might want to consider engaging in/continuing to engage in those social activities that you enjoy which will bring you into contact with men with a similar interest.  Whether that's volunteer work, or visiting museums or playing golf or whatever -- do what you enjoy and you'll likely encounter simpatico men doing those same activities.

Hang in there and be well,

07/2006 HIV-negative
06/2007 HIV-positive
07/2007 CD4: 795 (40%), VL: <50
09/2007 CD4: 629 (43%), VL: 895  (~2 weeks after measles/mumps/rubella booster)
12/2007 CD4: 854 (45%), VL: <50
03/2008 CD4: 880 (45%), VL: 151
12/2008 CD4: 943 (46%), VL: 116
05/2009 CD4: 865 (44%)  VL: 107


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