A friend of mine survived cancer in her twenties and often told stories about the “cancer date.” Apparently some singles on the hunt for “the one” don’t exactly rush into relationships with those who’ve survived a life-threatening disease. My friend had read a few books and websites, and determined the 3rd date was the right time to bring up her past illness. She jokingly coined it the “cancer date.”
When to bring up your STD
Just like my cancer surviving friend, if you have an STD, you might also be wondering about the “right time” to tell that special someone; particularly if there’s no cure (like HIV or herpes) and only medication to manage the symptoms and prevent further transmission. While I’m sure telling your date that you’ve had cancer is no cakewalk, telling them you have an STD could be even scarier. Unlike cancer, by telling someone you have an STD, you could be saying they’ll also have one soon, too.
Disclose your STD based on your comfort level
Opinions will differ when it comes to when and how to disclose your STD. Just like the “past relationships” conversation comes up at different points in each relationship – that’s also the case for discussing an STD. However a few questions to think through as you determine the right time to discuss or mention it:
Is your relationship physical?
Before your relationship gets physical and goes anywhere beyond mouth-to-mouth kissing, you need to discuss your STD. While it’s not a fun conversation, fully disclose that you have an STD before any anal, oral or genital contact takes place.
Does the relationship have long-term potential?
Sometimes you’ll know after the first or second date that this person is NOT the person for you. And if your relationship HAS NOT GOTTEN PHYSICAL, it may be best to NOT bring up your STD. Unfortunately, not everyone will be as understanding and graceful… so if you don’t see yourself with the person long-term AND you’ve not been physically involved, consider holding off on sharing about your STD.
Could this person be a caregiver?
Even if your relationship has not gotten physical, but you’re close enough to where this person would rush to your side in event of emergency – consider disclosing your STD. Some STDs can cause flu-like symptoms, low immunity and more. In the event you need medical treatment or care and you want that special someone there – consider disclosing your STD to them when you’ve hit the point you want them around for the long haul.
Is your STD being treated?
Last, if you’re still in the “getting to know you” phase and you’re currently treating your STD, you may want to hold off on disclosing the STD (if it’s NOT GOTTEN PHYSICAL.) Common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea may be cured with antibiotics. You’ll want to make sure they’re completely gone after treatment trough follow-up STD testing; however you might not need to bring up your STD “out of the gate” if you are undergoing treatment.