Sexually transmitted infections are a big deal, or are they? With millions around the globe catching STDs left and right, it's no surprise that STDs have become the talk of the town. But why is it so hard to talk about them to your partner, and how to do it?
What's worse than having a conversation about STDs with your partner is preparing for the conversation itself. Telling your partner that you have an STD when your test results just came positive can be daunting. But there are several ways to make this process smooth and easy. The idea is to research as much as you can, try to remain calm, and be honest about everything there is to your test results. Your partner may or may not take the news well, but this is the right way to go about it.
While it all sounds good, preparing to discuss your STI test results with your partner is a big deal. Therefore, here's a step-by-step approach that you can take to prepare for the difficult conversation that lies ahead.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE CONVERSATION?
Imagine that you've just got your STI test results, and they've returned positive. You're sitting on your couch, thinking about your new diagnosis and how it'll affect your life. Suddenly, you've got a new problem to worry about because it just hit you that you will also have to talk to your partner about your newfound diagnosis.
We understand just how rough the anticipation before the conversation can get, and to save you from nerve-wracking overthinking, here's a simple approach that you can take inspiration from:
Before you talk to your partner about your STI test results, the first step is to research everything there is to know about your diagnosis.
While STIs are dangerous, not all rate the same on the danger scale. For example, most bacterial STDs are virtually harmless if caught early, easily curable, and asymptomatic more than half the time. Viral STDs, on the other hand, are a completely different story.
Therefore, learn more about your STI before having the conversation. You can talk to your doctor, research on the internet, and even read a book to learn more!
Have resources ready
Before you talk to your partner, have important and accurate references at hand. Your partner will have questions about your diagnosis, and while they may trust you completely, you may want to have verified resources vouching for everything you tell your partner.
Pick the right occasion
This step is super important because talking about STIs with your partner is already stressful enough that you don't want to make it even harder.
Pick a time and place that is comfortable for you and your partner. You should do this in advance to save yourself from trouble later on.
Be prepared for the worst
Pro advice: not all conversations with your partner will go right, even if you are as prepared as you can get.
While you should do everything in your power to ensure that the conversation with your partner goes smoothly, tell yourself to be prepared for the worst.
Easier said than done, but staying calm before you tell your partner about your positive STI test results is super important. Remember, if you are not calm, you will project your nervousness and fear onto your partner.
WHAT TO DO IF THE CONVERSATION GOES SOUTH?
As it turns out, conversations can be challenging. Not all conversations go smoothly, no matter how much you prepare for them. Telling your partner that you have an STI can either go smoothly, or it can go south, and the funny thing is that both options are equally probable.
It is important to understand that while your STI diagnosis affects you the most, it can also affect your partner. They have to decide to either be supportive and risk acquiring an STI or protect themselves and leave a relationship in which they've been putting so much effort.
If the conversation goes south, and your partner decides to break up with you, there's not much you can do about it. It might be hard to digest, but taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do.
You can always reach out to a professional for help. Reaching out to a friend or a family member may also be helpful.
It may take you some time to come around to it, but the reality is that everyone has the right to enjoy a healthy sex life. Some people don't mind their partners having STIs, but others can't risk it. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have an open mind and prepare for the worst regarding telling your partner about your STI test results.