February 10, 2010
Couples That Clicked
by POZ Staff
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, POZ speaks with two HIV-positive couples that fell in love through POZ Personals.
Our readers often ask us whether POZ Personals—the fastest-growing online dating community for people living with HIV—actually works. Can positive people really find true love online?
We reached out to POZ Personals members and asked them to tell us how they met their cyber soul mates through POZ Personals, which now boasts more than 95,000 members.
Here are two stories that prove whether you’re gay or straight, in the United States or abroad, POZ Personals can help you find your Valentine.
Brian and Kathleen Davis
Seventeen years ago, Kathleen and Brian Davis were close—geographically. They both lived in Decatur, Georgia, but neither had any idea the other existed. “I literally worked at a house five doors down from her,” Brian says. Even though they might very well have bumped into each other on the street, they never officially met until 2007, when Brian stumbled upon her profile on POZ Personals. They hit it off immediately—and tied the knot in 2007, just three months after their first date.
|Brian and Kathleen Davis
“We were made for each other, and we knew it,” says Brian, 38, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1990.
Kathleen, diagnosed in 1986, says she never tried online dating before setting up a POZ Personals account, and admits she wasn’t looking for romance at first.
“I expected to hopefully meet somebody who was HIV positive that I could relate to and talk with—just a friend,” says Kathleen, 41. “I wasn’t really expecting to find someone I wanted to marry.”
Now married for more than two years, Brian requires few words to describe his marriage: “[We] know a love and happiness neither one of us thought possible.”
Richard and Dean
Long-distance relationships can be tough—especially when cross-oceanic journeys are involved—but that didn’t stop Richard and Dean (“Chippy” to his friends) from finding love, international style.
(left to right) Richard and Dean
In 2008, Richard was living in Los Angeles and had been a POZ Personals member for close to a year. Although while he had met some interesting people online, he just couldn’t find what he was looking for in a serious, committed partner.
“I had about 100 people reach out to me on POZ Personals, and it let me practice dating, get my feet wet and find my confidence again,” says Richard, 43, who was diagnosed in 2005. He had just gotten out of a serious relationship when he signed up for POZ Personals and wasn’t looking for anything casual or fleeting.
But he kept looking. His work as an art gallery director in Los Angeles allowed him ample travel opportunities, and since his parents live in England, he decided to reach out to POZ Personals members in the United Kingdom. That’s when he found Dean. The two spent July and August of 2008 chatting regularly via e-mail and telephone, arranging their first in-person rendezvous that September in Dean’s home town of Bristol—a city about 100 miles west of London.
“This was my first time online dating, and I was incredibly fearful,” Richard admits. “[But] being HIV positive created a common language and gave me a sense of understanding.”
Dean, 41 and diagnosed in 1994, adds, “[POZ Personals] cuts out of all of the rubbish, really. You have an equal platform to start a relationship or a dialogue without the fear of rejection or the whole disclosure thing. And while there is a sex element there, I think a lot of the people on POZ Personals are looking for genuine relationships.”
Genuine, indeed. Richard and Dean got engaged last September on the one-year anniversary of their first date.
“Fortunately we live in England where we can get married,” says Richard, who, along with Dean, advocates for same-sex marriage in the United States as part of the Manifest Equality movement.
Richard’s advice for POZ Personals newcomers?
“Write your profile yourself, be open-minded and be willing to take a risk,” he says. “And have an idea of who you are. It will help you find the person you’re looking for.”
A Personals Invitation
If you’ve yet to sign up, click here to visit POZ Personals and set up your free account and check out our upgraded search functions. Then, once you’re a member, consider upgrading to POZ Personals Premium, our new service that enables you to send instant messages to other users, save your favorite searches and receive new member alerts.
Search: POZ Personals, love, couples, HIV, dating, Valentine's Day
Scroll down to comment on this story.
comments 16 - 26 (of 26 total)
Vee1981, Cape town, 2010-02-19 11:12:46
I completely agree with "HOPEFUL,BUT DOUBTFUL" if th POZ population is so large 95000,How come its so difficult meet any genuine people,we all have at least 1 thing in common(HIV) thats a gud start! I think most of r nt luking 4 a prince charming 2 sweep off your feet and live happily ever after!we r jst luking 4 frnds 2 chat wth,then if theres chemistry it cn progress 2 sumthng more.95000 might b a big number bt th pool feels too small and shallow 4 sum of us.
Natasha Jael, Nairobi, 2010-02-17 07:43:50
Thank you for the good work. But I must say our culture isnt as yours. Men here do not want commitment neither do they want women with children. I met somebody on this site and realised that he was in-contact with many other women. Im yet to meet my match.
Kirk, Dallas, 2010-02-16 20:34:47
Thank you for these stories. It inspires me and so many others. My ex was from this site and he is an incredible guy. Although we did not make it, there are great people here. Yes, I have had my share of weird people but I have talked with some nice guys as well. I have met another really nice guy on this site, recently. We are still talking.
Anyway, thanks again to everyone for sharing your heart. It helps to have hope. Without it, I would not be here.
jas, San Francisco, 2010-02-16 19:52:06
With the large gay population in my city and my loss of hope in finding the one who would take me and the virus seriously, I was actually glad for poz because I found my current partner. Tried other sites and I guess I got really lucky and beat the odds of 1/1000000.
knucklebones, , 2010-02-15 15:15:13
Well I know for sure that Brian & Kathleen met here Brian even ended up helping me meet my own wife guiding me through the scammers and even suggested some other sites It seems like a lot of these sites have the same people. This one is just the largest or larger and it has a few more scammers because of it Im happily married for 2 years in June 2010 It can happen. Be yourself and dont let a couple bad apples get you down They are everywhere Thanks Brian & Kathleen
Loretta, Chicago, 2010-02-13 18:51:48
I'm sorry, but I'm very skeptical. The people I've met on this site are either scammers or people just looking for unsafe sex and I want more than that. I haven't been able to find anyone that's going to be real, so I'm very skeptical and disappointed.
ANTHONYK, BRKLYN,NY, 2010-02-13 17:04:51
Both stories give me hope and a renewed sense of faith in others,it's not easy being positive as it's there every day,being on this site levels the playing field,for both couples I wish you all love,joy,peace and happiness and hope that you will continue to grow in your relationships.For the singles out there I hope we can all connect with someone ,anyway THX POZ for creating a safe space for all of us,peace and blessings
Rich, Aguada,PR, 2010-02-13 06:52:24
I wasn't looking for love because I've had a partner for 15 years but my purpose of sighning up was to find hiv positive friends. I found 2 of my 3 best friends here and I love them because good people are still around! We even travel to meet each other.
Doug, central coast california, 2010-02-11 22:12:49
Nice stories. Bu this is more a response to the post from columbus. It can happen, love through these posts. I agree, i had a lot of strange responses like you describe, but made a friend here who has become the love of my life. niether of us were looking for love relationships, really, but it was a source to find those close in geography in a world where we are so private about our "situation" If I had not tried, I may have never met my love. Don't give up hope here......
NWGaPOZ, Roopville, Ga, 2010-02-11 19:34:45
Hey this is Brian Davis and i am SOOOO thankful for this site and these personals . Yes i FINALLY found my one .Anyway you just cant give up hope . THX POZ
Hopeful, but, doubtful, Columbus,ohio, 2010-02-11 11:50:10
comments 16 - 26 (of 26 total)
Well, it's nice that you found two couples but, that's a very low odds for such a large population.
It's been very hard to even connect with people on here
Most are playing games, some are trying to con people out money. It just makes no sense to have people in our situation having to work so hard just to make a connection
I don't get it. It's been very frustrating.
over the past 6 yrs i've met 2 actual people that i met face to face.One was bi-polar and a con artist the other married
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