Building mature relationships

Published 6:23 pm Thursday, February 12, 2015

From the Beaufort County Health Department


It’s that time of year when people’s thoughts turn to their relationships. Sometimes in new relationships some of the more important aspects are pushed into the shadows by the bright light of new love.

We need to remember to discuss with our partners our feelings on keeping each other safe through thorough conversations and agreements. We must talk to our partners about how the relationship between the two of us will look. Don’t forget that every relationship is different. The one you are in now is not the same as the one you had with another person last year. When we forget to specifically state what we want from a relationship, it is difficult to have a basis when problems arise.

Talk to your partner about what will happen when a particular situation occurs. If it drives you nuts when your partner does a seemingly unimportant thing, let them know. Remember that relationships are a two way street and you might have some actions that send them up a wall. Discuss these things calmly and rationally.

In a new relationship, especially if both partners have had partners in the past, it is also important to get tested for communicable diseases before the relationship turns sexual. That way any issues can be addressed and both partners have the knowledge of their own status before the relationship moves forward. Feb. 14-21 is National Condom week. Though this time coincides with another relationship related holiday, it is not meant to advertise risky behaviors, but to promote safer, more mature ones.

At the Beaufort County Health Department, we have a short, one time session called VOICES to help people talk to their partners about condom negotiation within relationships. This program is free and open to any person 16 years of age and older who would like some ideas on how to introduce safe practices. At the end of the session, all participants will receive a $10 gift card. Resources that address a variety of health related issues are always available to help you and your loved ones.

For more information, please contact Kimberly Matthews, Public Health Education Specialist with the Beaufort County Health Department at 252-940-6521.