Whether dating casually or in a more serious relationship, sexual health is an important topic to be mindful of, and how to discuss it with partners, whether potential or actual, can be tricky territory. That's why some choose to avoid discussing it entirely, or find difficulty in when or how to communicate it, and what actions to take around it. With assistance from bustle.com, we are here to help.
Before even talking to your partner about sexual health, you should be mindful of where you're coming from and what the intention of the conversation should be. Do you want to know the last time they were tested, how many partners they have? You should also consider the timing of your discussion. Experts find that over dinner or when walking together are two great times when one is at ease and can process the discussion with the most clarity.
Make it something that bonds you, once you have the discussion. Get tested together for solidarity, and to show you wouldn't ask your partner to do it if you weren't willing to do the same. Think about what kinds of contraception you want to use and what the responsibilities of both parties are based on that arrangement to ensure continued safety. Condoms shouldn't be a tricky subject in this day and age and if your partner is making a big issue of it, it should be something to take into serious consideration and be a big red flag in terms of being realistic and mature in other areas of the relationship.
In the following video licensed marriage and family therapist associate Erin Lefler provides suggestions on how to more easily talk about sex with your partner.
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There is no exact formula as to when to tell a partner you have an STI, timing it at moments of intense bonding or when both parties are at ease, such as at dinner or when walking, as stated above, are also good options. It is advised to be open, to be ready to answer questions, have resources available, and to offer to go to the clinic or go over your treatment process to familiarize your partner.
The bottom line is that as long as both parties are respectful, open and confident, the discussion can, should, and will happen, with an equal outcome and plan of action that will strengthen your relationship and your ability to communicate the more serious areas of sexuality with future partners. For more information check out these tips here on bustle.com