"I am a 45-year-old straight acting dude. Iâ€™m not poor nor am I ugly, just somewhat overweight. I am HIV+, but healthy with nothing to stop me from living a normal, loving life. Do all gay HIV+ men have to face a lonely existence? Iâ€™m thinking of maybe having a makeover or something, because to be completely honest with you, if I have to live this lonely existence, Iâ€™d rather be gone from this earth already. I donâ€™t want pity; Iâ€™m just tired of being alone. I am an outgoing person and can be lots of fun."
For your makeover to work it needs to be an internal one. You need to change how you feel about yourself and the world. If changing how you look helps this process, then great. But how you look is not enough to bring you genuine friends and lovers.
You seem to think that your status of wealth, health and looks determine how lonely or not you will be as a gay man. I sense you also think others are judging you by these standards. So, if Iâ€™m right, you think if you looked somehow better, were HIV negative and wealthier, then other gay men might take away your loneliness. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s worth seeking any sort of relationship with those who will judge you only by these measures. Instead, seek out those who will accept you as you are. And you might start by doing exactly the same!
I think you could let go of what other HIV+ men may or may not go through. You are you, and you seem a bit sorry for yourself. I take the fact youâ€™ve written to us as a good sign: you donâ€™t want to wallow in self-pity; you want to be happy. Iâ€™m sure you recognize how fortunate you are. Two decades ago your chances of leading a healthy life as an HIV+ man would have been slimmer. But as you say, youâ€™ve got nothing to stop you from leading a normal, loving life. If youâ€™re tired of being alone, itâ€™s for you to do something about it. Only you can act to end your isolation.
You canâ€™t do anything about your HIV status, and you certainly donâ€™t have to live a lonely life because of it, as many in the same situation will tell you. But you can decide how you live it and celebrate being alive. If it makes you feel better to do something about your looks, your shape, then do it, but do it for you, not others. Donâ€™t worry how rich, or poor you are, but go and be that outgoing, fun person. Hold you head up, look people kindly in the eye, and be, supremely, you!
(Photo: Getty Images)
Life partners for more than 20 years, Adam Clark and Tony Dines are the United Kingdom's leading life coaches specializing in the needs of gay men. They have a private practice in London and offer face-to-face, telephone and email coaching to men throughout the world. Check their website for information about private consultations.
Do you have a question about how to improve your life or your dating situation? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org