Whilst looking after Val, Darren met Val's employee Finn Barton and they began a relationship. Finn's best friend Victoria Sugden recognised Darren from one of Val's HIV lectures. Although Finn wasn't fazed by Darren being HIV positive, Val, who herself was HIV positive, and Finn's mother Emma were not pleased. Darren soon began receiving text messages telling him to stay away from Finn and his car was also vandalised. Darren suspected Finn was behind the texts and the vandalism as Finn's phone was found inside the car. Val confided in her husband Eric that she was behind everything but was adamant she was doing it for Finn's own good as their marriage was put under pressure due to her status. Eric forced Val confess to Finn, who forgave her and he and Darren got back together. Finn soon became fed up with Darren, but didn't dump him as he didn't want to upset him. After overhearing Darren talking to David Metcalfe in his shop, Val wrongly concluded Darren was going to propose to Finn. She told Finn, and as a result, Finn did his best to try and put Darren off him. Darren ended up dumping Finn in The Woolpack and got back with his ex-boyfriend.