Dating is hard enough, as you got to find someone who is geographically and emotionally available – a person who shares similar interests as you and who you find attractive. Couple that with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and it can be really complicated to date.
While telling a partner that you have an STD is a must, telling them too soon could mean your date doesn’t get very far. While an STD such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or herpes doesn’t ban you from dating, it does mean you need to have an open-minded possible partner.
Relationship expert David Bennett said 25 percent of people living in the U.S. have some kind of incurable STD, so that means many people on an online dating site also have this problem.
Full Disclosure Before The Sex Act – You want to be honest, but you need to know when the let your potential partner know about the disease. The best time to talk about it is when you have gotten to know each other well. If things turn serious or toward sex, you need to let them know your status.
Be In The Know – If you’re going to let them know about your STD, you need to educate yourself first about it. Clear communication is important here. You never go somewhere without doing your research; the same rule applies here. You have to understand what you’re talking about and present yourself in a way that defines you by your STD.
Be Ready For Questions – It’s not uncommon for people to question the unknown, so be ready for your date to ask questions about what it means for them dating you. Don’t dismiss their questions, as it’ll be seen as dismissing their concerns.
Use Protection – This should be obvious, STD or not. However, once your partner knows about your condition and is still okay with it, respect their body and cover-up. The only surefire way not to spread your infection is to abstain from any kind of sexual activity, but if sex does occur, wear a condom.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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