Understanding the Difference between Dating and Sex:
Dating is a time when two people get to know each other better. Too often teens think it is a hall pass to the other person’s body. Your date may say things like, “If you don’t want to have sex, why are we dating?” or “If you truly love me, you shouldn’t say no.” Remember, in any relationship, you have the right to voice your opinion. It is important for you to assert yourself and not give in to things you do not want to do. Be prepared to give answers like, “We’re dating because I love you and I want to spend time with you. If you want to have sex, then you are dating the wrong person.”
In a healthy relationship, couples respect each other’s right to say no. And the best way to say no to sex or affection is by saying “No.” Anything else could be taken the wrong way or could give the other person “reasons” to persuade you. Don’t be afraid to express your opinions and feelings. Any strong, loving relationship is built on the basis of mutual respect. If you feel forced to fulfill your date’s request, maybe that individual is not the right person for you.
- Be well-informed about sexual health issues
- Talk to your partner about safer sex before you two become sexually intimate.
- Choose a convenient time and a comfortable environment to talk.
- Discuss one issue at a time.
- Use “I” statements, such as I would feel more comfortable if we use a condom.
- Ask open-ended questions. For example, What do you think if we use condoms as well as birth control pills? Or, What do you think if we wait until we graduate to have sex?
- Avoid making assumptions; ask if you are unsure. For example, I think you said that you want us to use condoms as well birth control pills, is that right? Or, I think you want us to wait until we graduate to have sex, is that right?
- Be patient to get your points across.
- Give your partner time to response. Don’t interrupt and don’t jump to conclusion.
- Let your partner know that you care about his/her feeling.
- Stay firm with your commitment to sexual safety. Your partner may say things like, If you love me, you would trust me and not use a condom. Don’t give in to such kind of persuasion.
- Understand that it is okay if things do not get resolved right away. Having some time to think first can be beneficial to both of you.
- Planned Parenthood: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/
- National Women’s Health Resource Center: http://www.healthywomen.org/healthtopics/teenhealth