Magnetic Couples - More Than Just Attraction
When you think of magnets, many different things might come to mind. The main idea is always the same: two things being drawn together by an invisible force. Well, I can tell you - love can work very similarly: two souls drawn to one another by a different, yet much more powerful, force. But this is about more than just objects or people.
What is a magnetic couple?
In the wide world of HIV, building relationships is always a topic of discussion. Disclosure, PrEP, U=U - there are so many messages to try to bring people living with HIV out of the darkness created by stigma, and into the light of the world of loving relationships. This brings us to the topic of magnetic couples: one living with HIV (the positive side of the magnet) and the other without HIV (the negative side of the magnet). I use the term magnetic for a very powerful reason.
Dating, relationships, and important terminology
First of all, I despise the term “sero-discordant”. It’s disgustingly stigmatizing. Discord is never a word I want to use to describe my relationships. Sero-different is ok but, from my perspective, there is still a separation. “Magnetic”, however, means now you have something that draws two things together. Two objects. Two souls.
But what happens next, after you get over the hurdles that come with building relationships? This is where the word “magnetic” truly finds meaning for me. HIV takes a village and now two souls are walking the same journey.
Being part of a magnetic couple
A magnetic couple, in many ways, is just like any other couple. You share experiences and challenges, supporting each other. But I can tell you when you are living with HIV, that partnered soul can be the difference between life and death.
My partner's presence
Having someone next to you when you visit the doctor, take your meds, have your bad days...it is a constant reminder that you are not alone in this anymore. Living with HIV has many, many challenges, and those challenges change from person to person. Having someone that knows those challenges, and takes the time to learn how to help, makes living with HIV much easier.
When I was young and internalized stigma really hit me, I was ready to martyr myself to a life of loneliness for the sake of keeping my HIV to myself. Then as I grew out of that, I began experiencing what it feels like to have someone second-guess being with you in a long-term relationship because they don’t see the future in it because of my HIV.
Partners in shared journey
Finally finding the person I not only connected with but wanted to spend the rest of their life with me gave me more hope than I had ever felt. She has happily joined me on my journey, not just with HIV, but with my advocacy.
Thanks to her, we are able to show the world that people living with HIV are able to have healthy, loving, and physical relationships. We are not pulled apart by my HIV, we are given more ways to be drawn together. Two souls, one journey.
At what age were you diagnosed with HIV?