There’s no way around it: dating with an STD is difficult. The person with the STD is faced with a lot of tough questions and delicate situations.
When do they bring it up with a potential partner? Do they say something early on and get it out there? Do they wait until the relationship is steady and committed? What if their date won’t accept them or want them after they know about the STD? Is the affected person still lovable?
These are all valid questions. However, straight off the bat, one thing should be clear: dating with a sexually transmitted disease may be tough, but it is not impossible. Lots of people with STDs are in happy relationships, or have no trouble dating. Their secrets and solutions contain wise advice that is worth following.
Advice for Dating with an STD
Fight the Stigma
Having an STD comes packaged with stigmas and stereotypes. People may be worried what snap-judgments others will form when they know. Some may worry that other people conflate STDs with risky sexual behavior, and thus will end up thinking of the affected person as a slut or a lothario.
While risky sexual activity is indeed never a good idea, and often does lead to transmission of STDs, that is not the only way they are spread. Nor are they limited to certain types of people, including those who have multiple sexual partners without much emotional attachment.
Be a Good Example
The best way to fight the stigma and change people’s minds is to be an example. The affected person can’t control how others think. They can only control their own actions. They should let others know in a way that is to-the-point, informative, and calm. If the other person doesn’t react well, they’re probably not a good fit, anyway.
Talk to Others with Similar Hurdles
Another good way to fight the stigma associated with STDs is to gain back confidence. Affected people can join support groups where people with STDs build each other back up and talk through difficult situations, such as dating, when they need advice. Talking to others who have been there and successfully emerged on the other side can be incredibly valuable and rewarding.
Be Open, Honest, and Straightforward
The right moment to talk about an STD while dating someone will be different for everyone. It depends on how the two people mesh together, and how open with each other they are. The person with the STD must also gauge their level of comfort with their potential partner, not to mention their own level of comfort with speaking out.
Some people prefer to open up about their STD before any intimacy, emotional or physical, can occur. They like to lay all the cards on the table, so to speak. Others prefer to wait to see if there is a deeper connection with the person they are dating, and if they feel safe disclosing the information.
However, when the time comes, it’s best to be open and honest, and always let a partner know about an STD before any intimacy occurs.
Meet Each Other Halfway – STD Testing and Prevention
Plenty of people are perfectly okay with dating someone with an STD. They just may need some precautionary measures in place, things that both parties agree to, in order to feel secure in the relationship, not to mention secure about intimacy.
Have Conversations About Intimacy
For instance, before intimacy, it is a good idea to talk about how things will work. What protection can be used, how do both partners ensure the lowest risk for spreading the infection, and what are the risks that the non-affected person is willing to take for the sake of intimacy?
Different people have varying comfort levels. For a person with herpes, their partner may ask them to get on a daily drug that suppresses the virus, for instance, for them to feel comfortable with intimacy. Someone else may ask their affected partner to always wear protection, even if they are between outbreaks.
For those with a bacterial infection, their partner might ask them to get STD testing in Frisco, TX, before they are intimate, just to get confirmation.
Of course, meeting each other halfway needs to be reciprocated. In order for the affected person to feel accepted, they might need extra reassurance from their partner, or support while they are getting treatment. If a person isn’t willing to do these things, then they might not be the right one.
For Healthy Dating with an STD, STD Testing is Vital
Dating with STDs in Plano, TX, doesn’t have to be an ordeal. There are basic things that an affected person can do to ease the necessity of informing their date or potential partner about their STD.
However, the one main thing that a person can do, both for themselves and others, is get tested. If a person has a bacterial infection like chlamydia, they have to get tested more than once, anyway, in order to make sure the infection is totally gone. Others who suspect they have an STD need to get tested in order to come at relationships from a healthy place: with full knowledge about their own health and how it may affect their potential partners.
Knowledge about all aspects of a person’s health will lead to open conversations and realistic expectations. Both parties will be able to protect themselves better if they have all of the information at hand. This goes for the person on the other end of the stick, too: each person needs to be tested so everyone knows where they stand, and where they can go from there – together.