Sexual Health Expert Destiny Lopez – "Is It Love Or Just Sex That's Keeping Us Together?"

QUESTION: I have been having sex with my boyfriend for over 4 years. We’ve been arguing a lot recently and every time we fight we always get back together by having sex. We don’t know if we still love each other or whether it’s just the sex that gets us back together. He says I would never be with someone else because he has always taken care of me. I am also afraid of getting with someone else and getting pregnant. Do you have any advice for me?

DESTINY’S ADVICE: Hi. It seems like you might want to consider two things to give yourself some peace of mind. First, you might want to evaluate your interactions with your boyfriend to decide whether you want to keep your relationship with him. Second, if you are not already using reliable birth control, you might want to decide what birth control options would best protect you from getting pregnant — with your current boyfriend or with someone else.

No relationship is perfect all the time. In a healthy partnership, both people feel good about the relationship most of the time. Sometimes a relationship may need improvement. We can work within our relationships to make them better for us. Here are some thoughts to help you evaluate your current situation: Healthy relationships have six basic qualities. They are respect, honesty, trust, fairness, equality, and good communication.

Take a look at the following statements about these six qualities. Are they true for your relationship?

We listen to each other’s ideas.

We treat each other as friends.

We are proud of each other.

We appreciate each other’s friends and families.

We feel sure of each other’s love.

We have faith in each other’s decisions.

We both admit when we’re wrong.

We tell the truth to each other without fear.

We forgive each other’s mistakes.

We give and take equally.

We help each other feel good about ourselves.

We compromise with each other.

We make decisions about money together.

We talk openly about our feelings with each other.

We work through our disagreements with each other.

We listen to each other without judgment.

We make each other feel safe and secure.

If most of these are true for you, your relationship may be very good for you, and you may very well be in a loving, healthy relationship. In an unhealthy relationship, some or all of these qualities may be missing. And because they are missing, the relationship may feel unfair, unloving, or make you feel unhappy or unsafe.

Thinking about birth control is simpler in a lot of ways than evaluating a complicated relationship. Planned Parenthood has an online tool called My Method that can help you think about the birth control options that may be best for you. Visit it and see what you think.

Suerte, and here’s to your continued good sexual health.

Destiny Lopez

Director of Latino Engagement for Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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