Everyone comes to a point in their relationship when they need to have the “talk.” It’s awkward...we know. But just because it’s uncomfortable to talk about, doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Having an open discussion with your boyfriend or girlfriend about what you do and don’t want (aka becoming teen parents) is super important. Need help getting the conversation started? Here are some scenarios:
“Hey babe, I know you want us to take that next step and have sex, but have we thought about how our relationship could change as a result?”
- Unplanned pregnancy
- STI or STDs
- Emotional stress
“Well, what can we do to avoid that?”
- Abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective at preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Get tested for STIs or STDs first. And be completely honest with your partner if you DO test positive for anything.
- Lastly, be smart. Use protection every time. Talk to your parents or doctor about condoms and birth control. Practicing safe sex will make you less likely to encounter an unplanned pregnancy or contract a STD.
“I already have an STI or STD.”
- STIs and STDs are serious business and they can be transmitted many ways (not just by having sex). That’s why it’s important to get tested, even if you are a virgin.
- How to handle this? First, go to a doctor for treatment. Many STIs and STDs are treatable. Next, you must be honest with your partner. Put yourself in their shoes. You’d want to know, right? As embarrassing as the conversation may be, their health is at risk. You can start by saying something like, “I care about you and before we become intimate, this is something you need to know about me.”
- If you and your partner have decided to abstain from sex until marriage, there are a few ways you can stay strong together and plan activities that won’t lead to intimacy.
- Spend more time with friends and less time alone. If you’re constantly alone, temptation can creep in. Hang out with friends and family to avoid that!
- Plan dates that don’t involve the couch. In other words: go out. It’s that simple. No baby-makin’ allowed at Starbucks.
“My partner and I disagree.”
- The truth is you may not want the same things as your boyfriend or girlfriend. In this case, it’s up to you to stand up for what you believe in. If you’re being pressured, remember that manipulation and peer pressure = an unhealthy relationship. We know it’s not easy to talk to just anyone about this, so ask for advice from someone you trust.
Get the facts about teen pregnancy. GO
- Desirée Coleman is a New York writer who can't get enough music, tea or social change. She hopes that one day all people will have access to clean drinking water.