STDs: The Big Relationship-Killer
Testing for an STD is an important preventative healthcare method, and it can save you from tremendous discomfort and even fatal illnesses. It will also help prevent the spreading of these dangerous diseases. But there's a problem. You're worried about what the test will say and how it will reflect on your feelings towards your partner. More than that, how will asking for or taking the test affect your relationship? If you're in a good relationship, the last thing you want to do is derail it by making accusations or dropping a bomb like an STD.
Fortunately, there’s a lot more awareness about STDs these days, and medical professionals all over are pushing people to take STD testing as a form of preventative healthcare. The stigma is declining, and couples are starting to see the benefit of this course of action. In fact, some companies offer 2-person STD tests, so you can test together with your partner.
What’s more, some couples have even used this type of testing as a true bonding experience, helping them move closer to their partners through the procedure. If you’re concerned that you or your partner may have an STD, here’s everything you need to know about taking an STD test at home, how to find a good one, and how to actually use it to strengthen the relationship between you 2.
Foster Communication & Trust
Have you ever had something you wanted to tell your partner but just weren’t sure how to do it? It’s a sensitive subject, and the words just aren’t coming out right. But then you finally do it, and what happens? Well, if you’re in a good relationship, great things happen. Your partner is there to support you, you feel more connected because you’ve shared something important, and your entire relationship levels up.
And that’s exactly how taking an STD test together can foster trust and communication, and ultimately strengthen a relationship. Dealing with an STD is not easy for anyone, but there’s strength in numbers. And any burden is diminished when the weight is shared by others. More than that, relationships flourish on open communication and trust. Give your partner the ability to develop your relationship further by opening up about your concerns and allowing them to share with you in this process.
What Happens When the Shoe Drops
We know what you’re thinking. Oh, how nice, let’s spend a romantic evening getting tested for STDs to bond with one another. Sounds lovely. And then what happens when you get the results? Of course, there’s a very real possibility that one (or both) person’s results will come back positive. Talk about a mood killer.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, finding out together that one or both of you has an STD can actually enhance your relationship even further. Struggling through difficult situations and dealing with trying news together is a wonderful way for you to grow closer on several levels:
Showing one another support
If your partner’s test comes back positive for an STD, this is a golden opportunity for you to show them how much you care. They’ll no doubt be dealing with a lot of emotions, and you can illustrate your love by supporting them during this difficult time. Even if there’s nothing you can do to help physically, showing your support and being there for your loved one emotionally is a surefire way to enhance your relationship and make the bond between you 2 grow even deeper.
Let your partner talk out their feelings. If they don’t feel like talking, just sit with them, hold their hand, give them a shoulder to cry on, or a caring face to turn to. This kind of support is the material that really builds lasting relationships.
In addition to supporting your partner, you’ll also learn important compassion skills. Contracting an STD will come with a range of symptoms that vary in severity from basic flu-like symptoms all the way up to major degenerative diseases that can eventually lead to death. Obviously, someone who contracts HIV will require a lot of support, but even lower forms of STDs can be uncomfortable. And this is where you will need to show compassion.
What to say and what not to say, what to do, etc. are all awkward lessons we have to learn when something out of the ordinary comes up in our relationship. Having to confront a new and often frightening reality like STDs will help you expand your compassion muscles, uncovering new levels of sensitivity and awareness you never even knew you had. When pressed, you’ll be amazed at what a difficult situation can do to extend the boundaries of your relationship.
Accepting one another
Another hugely important relationship-builder is acceptance. To truly have a meaningful relationship with someone, you need to really accept them for who they are. When issues come up, this is where we find out the true nature of one another. And it’s also where we can show them that we truly accept them for who they are.
Finally, there is plenty of relationship-building to do once the emotional element has played itself out. After all, dealing with a physical illness ushers in plenty of practical steps you can take to assist your partner as well. The initial symptoms of many STDs can include painful urination, bleeding, and swelling. But the long-term effects are far more serious. These can include infertility, ectopic pregnancies, brain damage, paralysis, dementia, and even death. Some STDs can even affect the next generation, with cases of syphilis appearing 38% more in affected newborns.
While the symptoms can sound frightening, initially, the good news is that most STDs can be treated. And that's where you'll come in. Your partner will need help, whether it's getting the medication from the pharmacy, dealing with the symptoms, or any other practical steps that need to be taken in order to care for the person during treatment. You can be there for your partner, holding their hand, and ensuring that those practical steps are taken so that the 2 of you can enjoy a loving and safe relationship in the long-term.
Handling STDs as a Couple, Where Real Relationships are Made
Getting tested for an STD will ensure that your sexual encounters are safer and more pleasurable for both of you. Remember that the earlier you diagnose an STD, the more treatable it is. This is especially important when it comes to the more severe diseases that can cause major degenerative effects if left untreated. And don’t wait for symptoms to arrive, either. After all, someone could be walking around with HIV for years before they start to notice something is wrong.
STDs can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and scary. But with a loving and devoted partner by your side, any hurdle is surmountable. Show your loved one you care by putting yours and their health first. Get an at-home STD test kit and walk the path of healing together.