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 1 - 15 (of 26 total) next
Kathleen Hartman Davis, Roopville, GA, 2012-12-09 01:09:56
I'm very saddened to say that my husband Brian Davis died on June 22, 2012. We were lucky we had just over 4 years together. HIV took hold of him quickly in his last year. It's a diificult thing to watch your love die before your eyes. Our story getting put into the "Couples that Clicked" article was a proud momment for Brian. So cherish your time with your loved ones. You don't need just the one so many search for, fiends or family can take on those aspects of support and love, so can a petkid.
Megan, Douglasville, 2012-05-06 23:43:56
Brians story truly moved me. You and your wife have battled such a courageous fight. I really appreciate the resources and story you provided. My heart reaches out to your family and any other suffering from this virus. God bless the both of you
marcus, amsterdam, 2011-05-05 19:05:16
im happy to see somebody can find a relationship even if they are pozitive .i zelf still have difficulties in accepting this.hopefully i will meet somebody to make me happy , anyway i wish u too good luck
Hari Singh, Delhi, 2011-02-11 13:04:32
Being a HIV+ of india i love you both & never forget you in present life...keep in touch..Cheer
Brian Davis, roopville, 2010-05-19 09:44:52
Well this is Brian from Brian and Kathleen Davis and this IS an AWESOME site . Took me 17 yrs 8 1/2 months thinking i would NEVER find ANYONE to love my dumb infected ass but now i HAVE FOUND THE ONE AND ONLY woman for me . THANK YOU again Poz and staff
Marty, WARNER ROBINS, 2010-05-13 11:13:45
I met my husband here on POZ!!! before we met, I found a lot of interesting people and quite a few frogs too. Make a list of what you want in your mate, and it will help you realize better about yourself also. And having friends is good, cause they have friends....who know?
If you haven't found someone yet, don't give up hope, be open to other types of people, you might find that diamond in the rough.
Thanks to every one here at POZ...you have given me a new lease on life!!!!
Wayne, Boston, 2010-04-17 20:33:16
I want to thank you for helping me to finally fine someone to love again, after a long 14 yrs I found the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I couldn't have done it without this site. I thank you
dawn, brooklyn, 2010-04-09 18:02:32
I would gratefully thank poz for helping me meet the most wonderful in my life today,We live 200 miles away from eachother and im planning to relocate to be with this wonderful man.Thank You so much, Inever thought that I would find someone to make me feel whole again;I lost my Husband in 2008 of November, and Im so excited to be moving on with my life. Thank you so much
beckyy, lagos, 2010-03-19 11:40:39
You guys are really doing a wonderful job. pls give it up and may God bless you all. i have read lots of testimonies about people meeting on this this site and building wonderful relationship even some ends up in marriage. really wish that someday, i will have to cause to meet someone and have a testimony to tell.
bobby, philadelphia, 2010-03-08 22:03:24
been on here for several years and yet to meet anyone of substance. Have met scammers and guys who claim they want a relationship when they really should be on Manhunt. I have seen the same ads on here year after year---"oh yes my picture is recent" lol. i thought that since we are all poz on here that it would give us a good starting place and weed out all the BS and liars. That has not been the case.
I rarely come on here anymore. I do better at the bars in person and disclose my status upfron
karry, , 2010-03-07 13:42:50
Its a rare and good thing people can find real love here. I met someone on this site and dated for more than a year, just to discover that he uses this site as a place to get women from all over the world...some even going as far as travelling abroad to meet him, and all he wanted was to cheat on all of us. Many people here are not genuine. They just come here to pry on people looking for stable relationships because they are not comfortable dating negative people and disclosing to them.
Brehmin, Kisumu, Kenya, 2010-03-02 09:40:41
I am disappointed that having met a few people who are HIV positive. They still do not understand that unprotected sex puts their live in danger. When will we learn that our lives depend on one day at a time
peachesnrichmond, richmond, 2010-02-24 01:42:56
I have hope and faith of a mustard seed. What i see if bi-sexual men by hugh numbers. There has been maybe one man I found interest in and he was so many miles away. I found lots that just want to have unprotected sex just because you're both positive which is insane, non willing or wanting ot commit to a meaningful relationship...more waiting to just pass on this terrible disease. I thought this site would be different than the cruel people who are still in a negative hiv status.
robert-h, eureka, 2010-02-24 00:45:33
we should have more people in the world like these two who give so much and ask so little in return.they truly have shown true compassion by helping those in need re-guardless of who they are.some will not help there own families the way these two have helped complete straingers!!!God bless them in all they do!!!!!
Timothy aka Jordan, Cape May NJ, 2010-02-19 20:00:33
comments 1 - 15 (of 26 total) next
What a refreshing change to hear a story like Richard and Deans. I have been member of poz Personals for many years while I have not found a LTR I have dated and learned much about people and HIV. Many of the dates have become friends and PP has been a great source when I traveled overseas. It does level the playing field removing much anxiety about rejection. I wish you a long and happy life together Richard and Chippy! Cheers!!!
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