Dating With Pride

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Having pride when on the dating scene

With the Pride festivities going on throughout the world, it is a good time to talk about having pride and looking after yourself when in the world of dating.

It is not hard to be cynical in our world of dating (sex) apps and in our big cities like London where dating can be such a daunting experience. When one adjusts their focus, one soon finds that things are not always what they seem cracked up to be. Now in my late thirties, I wonder whether there is anyone left actually doing good old fashioned dating with the interest of settling down.

These are perhaps the things that you may need to think about as you navigate the dating world.

We have learnt to put our wallet in a safe place in our pocket, lock up our valuables in our cars, get household or car insurance. What insurance do we have against the possible dangers that we face when it comes to the world of dating?

So here are my top 5 thoughts in the world of dating:

Dedication: Have you ever been on a date where the person you are with is more dedicated to their career, work, getting fame, power or money, than they are willing to give to the date? Know that you will never be able to do or be enough for them. They will constantly want more, you may never be enough and you may not be their priority.

Wrap it up: Sex has never come with a money back guarantee. If you have concerns about who they have been dating, perhaps think about delaying sex until you are able to go for a sexual health check-up together. If this is not possible tell them to be open about the sex they have been having. Otherwise WRAP IT UP. Some sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases are difficult to live with; maintaining a life around medication is no easy task. So speak to your local GUM Clinic about protection and if one chooses to have sex raw there is now medication that can prevent you getting HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis PEP (1) or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis PREP (2) & (3). This comes with a word of warning it does not protect you from any other sexually transmitted infections or sexually transmitted diseases. Unless you know their statuses wrap it up!

Social Media: In my experience I grew up with no access to the internet. The benefits of the internet are being able to be in contact with friends, family and partners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although this also has its drawbacks. People are using it like a dating app and sometimes kindling a new relationship. Before you know it you have more partners available to you and it will be like being in a sweet shop. I encourage you to delete those applications and go out and do something different with your time. There is a life away from dating applications. Wait for the right one  as they may be better equipped for a relationship then the one available right now. And remember you know the sound of dating apps. When on a date if you constantly hear the vibration of a message coming through. They may not be the one for you!

Beliefs: Take time to get to know them as a friend and what their values are before you tell yourself it is love. I’ve been there and done that. What I do not do is waste a day, minute or a second on the wrong person. Find out what they believe in!

Quality: Today I’m much more into quality then quantity. Because it will last longer and is that not what you really want? As I read an American journalist wrote recently: ‘Don’t throw yourself away on someone who doesn’t give a hoot about you. If you don’t know that you are worth better, how can you expect them to?

Happy Pride & good luck in the world of dating!

For more information:

1. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) involves taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. These medications keep HIV from making copies of itself and spreading through your body. http://www.gmfa.org.uk/pep

2. The PROUD study UK reports that PrEP reduced the risk of HIV infection by 86% for gay and other men who have sex with men.. http://www.proud.mrc.ac.uk

3. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) It involves a person who doesn’t have HIV taking pills (developed to treat people with HIV) regularly to reduce their risk of HIV infection. http://www.gmfa.org.uk/prep Please note Prep is currently only available to anyone if a participant in a clinical research study within the UK.

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About Author

Joel is a qualified counsellor and psycho-therapeutic supervisor working with both youth and adult clients. He has worked in the LGBT community for over 14 years working in the fields of health, social care and youth work. This has included working in HIV prevention and supporting adults and young people who are living with HIV. Since 1999, Joel has delivered training and workshops in the voluntary and statutory sectors around the themes of sexuality, homophobia and sexual health.

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