Starting a new relationship can be daunting. You’ve made it passed the awkward first few dates, and now that you know you have enough in common to make a go of a relationship
There are a few more questions you need answers to get your relationship started the best way.
Knowing your new partners medical past and present can help you make informed decisions about your relationship and also help you both stay safe and keep each other safe.
Have you ever had any STIs?
Knowing your partner’s sexual history shouldn’t just be about finding out who they’ve slept with and how many people they’ve been with. It is an important part of planning and deciding on your sexual relationship.
General practitioner, Dr Linda says being forthcoming with information is closely related to consent when it comes to sexual relationships.
“When you agree to have sex with a person, it should be an informed decision. You need to share whether either of you has ever had or currently have an STI. If you have a sexual relationship with other people you need to share that too because it will influence your sexual relationship,” she says.
Do you have any allergies?
Finding out your partner is allergic to cats or a specific medicine can take years and often happens by chance but allergic reactions differ in severity.
Contact allergies or allergies that affect your breathing can be deadly, not knowing your partner is allergic to peanuts and sharing a kiss after snacking on peanuts or a peanut butter sandwich can take your new romance straight to the emergency room.
Do you have any mental health conditions?
Opening up about mental health can be a scary conversation to have, especially in a new relationship, but it is a very important conversation. Skipping out on this difficult talk could affect your relationship negatively in the future.
“ When most people think about their mental health they think about anxiety, depression and the like but addiction is also a mental illness, it is important to be upfront about a history of substance abuse and addictive behaviour, not so you can be judged on it but to avoid situations that can trigger a negative response,” says Dr Linda.
READ MORE: I was raised by an alcoholic, then I married one – How I found the strength to seek help
Do you have any chronic illnesses?
Chronic illnesses can become a concern when you are considering having children with someone, but Dr Linda says it should be open knowledge from the beginning not only in romantic relationships but with people you spend extended periods with generally.
“Your colleagues, housemates, friends and family should also be aware of any chronic illnesses you have. The main reason is your safety, If they know what to look out for, the people around you notice signs that you are unwell, they will be able to help you avoid triggers and they will know what to do should you fall ill or if they need to share the information in an emergency,” says Dr Linda.