As difficult as disclosure is, there are certain things you can do to prepare yourself for what’s coming. Your crush will be sitting across the table from you, and we all know they’ll be shocked when they find out you’re HIV positive. At the same time, you must not buy into their shock. You have to stay calm and composed for both of you, like you’ve done this a hundred times before. HIV positive dating comes with disclosure no matter how you slice it, which is why we’d like to offer our top 4 tips to reveal your status and not stress over it.
#1: Find the Right Time and Place
Despite the fact that disclosure is a case-to-case kind of situation, preparation goes a long way. This isn’t something you should do in the spur of the moment, which means plan the time and place where the conversation is going to take place. Places such as clubs, crowded restaurants, or the middle of the street won’t provide the peace and quiet you need to discuss this important matter. Choose a location that will give you the necessary privacy and a place where you can really talk. You should create a moment of safety and trust and disclose fast. Like you’re taking off a band-aid. You might end up having a really long talk but say what’s on your mind quickly to get it off your chest.
#2: Be Prepared to Answer Questions
As difficult as disclosure is, you have to do it so you might as well prepare yourself. Think of it as studying for an exam, only this time you know exactly what questions you’re going to be asked. How did you get infected? Do you know who infected you? How long ago did you find out? What does your day-to-day look like? What does your sex life look like? How does your family feel about this? The list goes on, but these are the basic questions you should prepare your answers to. Practice in front of a mirror if need be so that you’re not derailed by your crush’s reaction. Go over your answers as many times as you need to make sure you don’t lose control of the situation. Remember, your date will soak up your energy and attitude about this, and if your disclosure style is confident and non-threatening, they’ll be that much more likely to see your status as something that might not be such a big deal after all.
#3: Choose Your Words Carefully
Choosing your words carefully will directly impact how the other person perceives what you’re telling them. If you don’t make a big deal out of it, they’re more likely to see it as something ordinary. You should only share as much information as you’re comfortable, but you should also have a handle on your emotions. Be honest about what you’re saying and the way you’re saying it and remember why you chose to disclose your status to this person in the first place. Mind your body language as well because you want it to convey the same message as your words. Try not to fidget or show you’re nervous or uncomfortable.
#4: Be Prepared for Any Reaction
HIV positive singles have gone through lots of disclosures and know that every person reacts differently, and that’s something to be expected. Unfortunately, not everyone will stay on your team afterward, but you know it in your heart that it’s for the best. The right people will be able to see past your status, and those that can’t do that are at a loss. Most rejection regarding HIV happens out of ignorance, and the more information and facts you’re armed with, the better you’ll handle the situation. You’d be surprised when you see how much people relax when you explain to them that you’re not an immediate threat to anyone and that with the right treatment, you can lead a long and healthy life.