71°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UM’be’ Mine

UMb Mine
UM”b” Mine

Dear UMBeMine: Recently, I began dating someone. He just told me that he’s HIV positive.  We’re both attracted to one another, but now I’m not sure if I want to take this relationship any further.  I told him that if I were to sleep with him, I’d want us both to be monogamous.  He says it’s too early for that, and that I’m giving him an ultimatum, which he doesn’t like.  What should I do next?  Is he right, should I back off and just go with the flow? Sincerely, Attracted but Confused in Jamaica Plain Dear Confused in JP, Wicked Pussycat says: Come on, in this day and age we can all live happily with people who are HIV positive. I understand that dating someone with HIV can be extremely daunting, but doesn’t this person deserve to love and be loved in return? If you like him, date him. It’s that simple. People live for years with HIV and never get AIDS. You could experience many wonderful, romantic and exciting times with this person and you will probably forget that he’s ill. There are also medications for HIV and AIDS which are being continuously tested and improved to help people live longer, fuller lives with the virus. People who we love and love us back are few and far between. Don’t let him go… But you know to always use protection during sex, right? Meow. Lovechester adds: I sense a little fear on your part, here. Ask yourself why you want the commitment?  Are you looking for security? Do you just normally move really quickly?  Or is it that you don’t trust him and think that because he’s positive he can’t be sexually responsible, hence you feel you have to put a tie on him? Don’t do that.  You always take a risk when you have sex-be it emotional, spiritual or physical, so you should apply your sexual responsibility across the board equally. Basically, you should be as safe and responsible with everybody as you are with him.  Your commitment should be to your own health and wellbeing, foremost. More love, ‘Cat and ‘Chester The Equation of Love Doesn’t Add Up By Lovechester So, I turn ABC’s Good Morning, America every weekday morning first thing.  It’s the right balance of fluffiness to keep me from starting the day as a coach potato, but enough serious journalism, snippets of local news (plenty of time for that) and weather to start my mind moving toward the upcoming day.  Last week, I caught a segment about an online test that predicts the solidity of your relationship.  Oh god, I thought to myself, it’s one of those stupid Cosmo quizzes a lot of women like.  But, I admit, I’m a sucker for online quizzes.  Especially if they’re well designed and FREE, i.e., do NOT require more than anonymous registration. I know which song by The Smiths best represents me, my Myers-Briggs score, which Thundercat AND X-Man I am, what the physical type I’m typically attracted to according to facial recognition, all of which I found out from online quizzes. So, I took the online test from Family DynamicsTM (musn’t forget the Trademark), called the “Love and Relationships Test.”  I scored much lower on “Commitment” than I thought fair (would you believe “Just So-So?”) according to this test, from what turned out to be a Christian non-profit organization.  A poorly thought-out question tripped me up. Re-reading the question betrays a certain cultural bias behind the test that runs afoul of my Buddhist tendencies.  Also, I became suspicious of the “We Can Help You” links after each scoring section.  This screams cult to me.  (For information of what’s a cult and what’s not, and how to tell if you’re a member of a cult: I recommend the Web site www.rickross.org.) I’m a deeply committed lover. Which brings me to my point.  I know who I am.  Although I don’t mind wasting a little of my mind’s auto-pilot on these silly quizzes, I refuse to let my life be ruled by anyone’s equation or plan for me. Been there, don’t that. It didn’t work out.  Check’s in the mail, give me my sweater back, et cetera.   I have spent my life seeking my own heart’s equation, and I find this standard, my own, to be the only true test of love and relationships.  (Perhaps MY personal bias is showing, now….) But seriously, do we need a test to know we’re in love?  Think hard before you answer the question.  Life is action. Actions have consequence. If, by the magical algebraic property of substitution love = life, than love has consequences, which are a sort of test.  (The real question is, how many re-tests do you let your lover take and vice versa?)  Just love. Make mistakes. Love again. So, I think love is tested all the time; it’s just that I don’t want to be the tester, nor do I want my partner to be.  Nor do I want some organization with a certain agenda to be.  Good morning, America, indeed. Have you got a burning question for ‘Cat & ‘Chester? Send an e-mail to [email protected].  Your privacy is guaranteed.