Dating someone with STIs is not unusual since many people do it daily. But it can still be complicated, and you might not even know how to proceed.
If you are dating someone with an STI or at least planning to, but you have no idea where to start, it's no big deal. Many people living with partners who have STIs don't know how to go about the STI aspect of their relationship. The process is difficult, but some simple rules make it super easy to date someone with STIs.
While this is not an exclusive list, here are 5 basic rules to date someone with STIs. If your partner has an STI, you can adopt these rules to make dating life simple and rewarding.
5 RULES TO DATE SOMEONE WITH STIs
Dating someone with an STI is an enormous challenge and a challenge you are willing to take. For this purpose, you will need to equip yourself much better than you already are.
The best way to establish a connection with someone is to make them feel valued, and the best way to make someone feel valued is to try to connect with them on a deeper level.
By learning more about your partner’s STI, you indicate to your partner that they are not alone in their struggle. This indication goes a long way when your partner struggles with a chronic disease that might not have a cure, such as HIV or herpes.
Learning more about your partner’s STI can also help alleviate the feeling of alienation they might be feeling because of their diagnosis.
Be a pillar of support
People with STIs have an inherent feeling of loneliness, which often stems from having a diagnosis that separates them from the general population.
They have to take medication often every day for the rest of their lives, practice safe sex even more diligently than other people, and maintain some boundaries not to transmit their disease to other people.
With so much added pressure on your partner, the best way to help them is to be supportive. Reach out to your partner on a fundamental level. Let them know that you have their back no matter what happens.
If they are unsure or scared about their diagnosis, you can help them read up on clinical research to learn more about their disease. Moral and educational support often goes hand-in-hand with an STI diagnosis.
Practice safer sex
One of the most essential rules when dating someone with an STI is to establish safe sex boundaries.
Practicing safe sex behaviors helps you protect yourself from acquiring an STI from your partner and lets your partner enjoy a healthy and fun sex life without worrying about hurting you.
Condoms are the best way to practice safe sex. Always use a condom before any sexual act. It is also important to use a new condom before every sexual act.
Condoms protect from STI transmission through all types of sex, whether oral, vaginal, or anal.
Additionally, you can use dental dams to protect yourself and your partner during oral sex.
It is also important to know that certain sexual behaviors carry more risk of STI transmission than others. For example, anal sex increases the transmission risk of HIV and other STIs manifold when compared to receptive vaginal sex. Therefore, either use caution or avoid completely any or all sexual acts that put you at a greater risk of acquiring an STD.
Embrace, don’t shun
People who have STIs are looked at differently by the world. This is because there is a considerable stigma associated with having an STI.
People often look at STI-positive people like they've committed an unforgivable sin when in reality, STI transmission is so much more than just having sex with multiple people.
If your partner has an STI, the most important thing they need from you is acceptance. Embrace your partner with all your support, and don't shun or shame them for having a life-altering disease.
Remember that STIs can happen to any sexually active adult, so having an STI should not be as alienating as society thinks it is.
Repeat testing is key
Another good way to stay protected when dating someone with STIs is to get regularly tested for common STIs. Both you and your partner should get tested for STIs regularly at your local health clinic.
The benefit of getting tested for common STIs is avoiding catching STIs from your partner. Testing will help you determine if your safe sex measures are working.
Moreover, even if you get a positive test back, there is a good chance that the disease is caught in its early stages and, thus, can be managed effectively.
The benefit of getting tested for common STIs for your partner is that they can be sure that they haven't acquired another STI since having one STI can increase a person's chances of acquiring another.
It can also help them realize that their medication is working, thus, reducing anxiety and nervousness.