healthy relatiohnshipBlog:HealthyRelationships?

Getting pregnant is not the worst thing that can happen to you in a relationship.  A major concern in healthy relationships is the growing rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).  In 1970 there were 2 known STIs and now there are over 30.  Over 20.5 million Americans each year contract a new STI.  One in four teens today have an STI and most do not know they have it.  Your “right” to have multiple partners opens you up to a multitude of health problems and risks that no one should have to deal with.  The psychological effects of sex are scientifically substantiated.  Neuroscience shows that during the sexual act, hormones are released (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine) and they act to help you bond.  These bonding hormones were designed to allow two people to become one.   This is why break ups are so painful and leave life-long scars.

What can we do to aid in our sexual health and the health of those around us?   Educate yourself and pass that along to those around you.  Whether you are a teen, a parent, or just a concerned individual, you can be proactive in protecting others against STIs and psychological pain.

Talk about the facts, talk about the feelings.  Think about how the media, music, peers, etc speak to us.  We are being fed the notion that it’s unrealistic to have just one partner for life.  Those that have only one partner for life are often unnoticed and shy about sharing their choice.  Speak up and let people know that it is realistic to have one partner for life.  Bring the conversation of sexual health up with those you care about over and over again.

Talk about the fact that being sexually active involves us not only physically but emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.  Remember that establishing a relationship and choosing a partner should not be rushed but carefully considered.

Talk about the medical facts of sexual health and the importance of asking your partner to be medically tested before sexual activity.  Talk about the fact that what you do one night now might affect your entire sexual married life with diseases that are not curable.

Inform those with questions of same sex attraction that it is not uncommon and it doesn’t mean they are homosexual.  Do not “stamp” your sexuality when you are young.

Communicate that you are on the same team.  You are there to listen and help them have a healthy, happy life.

Make a list of the many things you can do with a potential partner that will allow you to draw closer emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually before becoming physically intimate.  Make a list of things not to do (go on dates alone, be in a room with a closed door, etc) until you are ready to commit to one partner and have been tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

Remember that we are here for you, will answer your questions, and provide you with educational material, so that you can make a healthy, informed decision today that will give you a bright future.   If you have found yourself in a crisis, without hope, and needing healing, we are here for you too.   There are always opportunities to begin anew and change the path of your future.

If you would like more material to share with a loved one check out Focus on the Family’s guide .