As we approach National STD Awareness Month in April, it's important to address what for many people can be a hugely anxiety-provoking conversation: speaking to their partner about sexually-transmitted diseases. Let's say you meet someone, are getting to know the person, and intimacy is starting to develop. How do you have that awkwardly dreadful talk?
Before having such a talk, you must first deal with your own issues around the topic. Make your health a top priority as you get to know someone. Not doing so could lead to guilt or fear, or both... while doing so doesn't take away from the relationship nor does it mean you're no fun, uptight, or boring. It means you care about your health and your partner's and are serious about developing a healthy relationship.
If you don't have an STD, then suggest to your partner that you both get tested to provide peace of mind. If you have an STD, then of course this conversation becomes even more important. See the STD for what it is and not what you imagine it to be. You're not wearing a scarlet letter and advertising it to the world. Nor does it define you. It's an illness that in most cases can be treated and managed, and you can prevent the spread of it by taking certain precautions and measures. Before talking to your partner, educate yourself fully on the STD. Use a reputable source such as your doctor or reliable medical resource online. Be careful of online chat forums that might only instill more fear and anxiety in you by perpetuating false claims and information. Stick to the facts and what is supported by the medical community.
If you have an STD and when you are ready to talk to your partner, follow these tips:
- Have the conversation in person when you're both feeling relaxed and distraction-free. Don't have it in the throes of passion because of obvious distractions. Also, when you do talk, make sure you're both free of phones, TV, and other gadgets that might be a distraction.
For more tips on how to face difficult situations check out my book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days.