Dating with an STD: How to Make It Work
By Ashtown Halley
People who are diagnosed with an STD often end up with emotional devastation because of the possible isolation and solitude that may occur to them. Their mental health and psychological aspect become severely exacerbated at the thought of being STD positive because the illness is actually difficult to cure and is highly contagious. You would feel a mixed set of emotions like embarrassment, anger, hurt, and even worthlessness, which may all hinder you to talk to your loved ones.
However, being silent about the situation doesn’t prove to be helpful and healthy at all because it increases the opportunity of emotional distress and trauma. You might think that there is no hope for you to live a normal life because of the infection in your bodies, that people around you, especially your families, may shun you for the rest of your remaining life, and that you might not have the chance to love or to find love because of the fear that encompasses the disease. But that is not all true—there is always hope and optimism in every darkness. You need to take charge of your life and deal with the problem responsibly as what the old quote says by Spencer Johnson, “Life moves on and so should we.”
Even if you are willing to look for your special someone despite your condition, you are still free to do so but with some special considerations this time. It is possible for you to date and you can make it work with your partner following strict precautions to avoid spreading the disease. Here are some suggestions that can holistically heal your negative thoughts about being STD positive and that can help your relationship thrive with your partner:
- Visit your doctor frequently and avoid relying on the internet for information
A condom does not always guarantee safe sex when you are already infected with STD because it is usually transmitted through physical contact, especially when outbreaks are present. You need to protect yourself and your partner to avoid complications by having frequent tests. Spending more than enough time with the doctor is an investment for protection and your way of being vigilant with each other’s health. Moreover, it is best not to trust information from the internet about STD because you may never know if it is true unless you consult with your doctor.
- Be honest with your condition. Always
If by any chance, you are having a mutual understanding with the other person, you must be honest and truthful about your condition because it is crucial for the other person to know. You must also be strategic enough to find the right timing and be dauntless enough to say it. It can be nerve-wracking from the start but it is for the best. You don’t want your special someone to have the disease and blame you for not telling in the first place, do you? When you talk about this, be sure that both of you are in the mood for a private talk, which means that both of you must be attentive enough to listen to each other. Don’t hesitate to initiate the talk and avoid delaying it with some intimacy like you are about to have sex because either of you might not be rational anymore to have the conversation.
- Give your partner some time to think
Once you confess to your special someone about your situation, you must wait for him to process the information that you share and wait for him to respond. This is a very sensitive and a serious topic in which your partner needs sufficient time to contemplate because both of your health and psychological aspects are in the line. You have to be considerate even if he or she needs days to ponder about it, and you don’t need to rush things over.
- Accept your partner’s decision
You may want to listen to your partner’s decision whether it is a rejection or an acceptance of your condition, and you have to respect that. You should be ready if your partner decides not to stay. That is okay, at the very least, you are honest to yourself and to your relationship. You may feel heartbroken towards the rejection, and that is completely normal and reasonable but that is not a reason for you to feel depressed. You may actually feel worse and guilty if your partner gets the disease from you and he may probably blame you for that. You don’t want to end up having a bad blood with your former partner, right?
But if your partner decides to stay because of his or her genuine feelings for you, then that is a great start to thrive with the challenges of STD in your relationship.
Remember that your life doesn’t end with knowing that you have STD but it is a beginning of a new life with challenges, which can help you grow stronger and appreciate life more. If you’re feeling furious or melancholic upon hearing the news, then let your true feelings show. Let them all out because those feelings are normal. You feel devastated about your long-term disease that is why you’re angry or lachrymose. But life still goes on and you have to move on as well. Don’t get carried away with your negativity because there are still people who are willing to spend time lifting up your mood and assisting you with your healing.