HE’S NOT CIRCUMCISED

Question

My boyfriend is not circumcised and I don’t know how to tell him to have it done. I’m afraid of getting STIs and how he will react. 

Answer

Circumcision reduces the risk of catching STIs but does not “prevent” STIs. So firstly, you need to be able to negotiate the use of a condom and safer sex. Secondly, you can’t be “telling” your boyfriend to go to the clinic. You start by having a conversation about how you feel, what your concerns are and ask him how he’d feel about being circumcised, based on your fears and concerns. You need to get as much information as you can about the benefits and risks so you are able to talk about the benefits, to strengthen your motivation. Now, if you are the only two people in this relationship, this immediately cancels out the chance of him bringing STIs into your relationship so you have even less to worry about. If he is having sex with other partners, regardless of whether he is circumcised or not, then you need to have protected sex. If you are worried that he might have STIs already and he is not having sex with other people, then you both need to go to a clinic and be tested. That way you are clear and know what your individual STI status is, what you are dealing with and what you need to do to give yourselves a better quality of life. For more information on STIs and safe sex call Lifeline's Aids helpline on 0800-012-322.

MY MAN CHEATS ON ME

Question

 I’ve been with this man for three years now. He works in Limpopo and I’m in the Free State. He wants us to get married but I’m scared because he has two kids from his late wife and three others from different mothers. I’m afraid he’ll cheat on me like he cheated on the other women. What will make him stop having lots of girlfriends?

Answer

I don’t think there is anything that will make him change his ways. But I don’t know him and maybe I’m judging unfairly. You need to ask him that question and ask him what will make him commit to you only and not cheat as he has in the past. Any long-term relationship has to be built on a foundation of trust. If you already do not trust him and he is not trustworthy, then the chances are the relationship will not last.

 I’M OLDER THAN HIM

Question

I’m 28 and dating a guy who is 22. We’ve known each other for three years and couldn’t date because his parents are completely against it. He’s mature and responsible. How do I deal with my parents, too?

Answer

He is not a child and so it’s fair to say that, as two adults, you are making a choice to have a relationship. Firstly, you need to start dating and see how this works for you. I am not sure why parents are getting involved in the dating relationships of grown adults. While I think communicating with your parents is amazing and beautiful, I don’t think they should be influencing your relationships to that extent. You could start dating and realise you are actually not at all suited as intimate partners, even though the attraction has been there for a while. Get 100 % comfortable with each other and your relationship and then tell your families about it. By then the impact of their opinion will be lessened. And when you get comfortable and are clear you want to be together, don’t enter the discussion with your parents or anyone else with an apology. If you go in being apologetic it means you’re not certain in your conviction about this relationship. Be strong, clear and powerful in your communication so that they know you are sharing information and not asking for their permission.

HE IS COLD-HEARTED

Question

I‘m 22 and don’t have a child. I recently fell in love with a guy and he says he wants to have a baby, but I’m worried because he’s a ladies’ man. Also, most of the time, he’s cold towards me. Please help. I love him a lot.

Answer

What do you want and need from a man, from life and for your future? It is not a disgrace not to have a child by the age of 22. In the 21st century, women have children well into their 40s, after they have established their careers and found the person who honours and respects them, and wants to share their future with them. There is also nothing wrong with choosing to have a child at a younger age, as long as it’s a choice, you can support that child and you understand the responsibility of raising another human being. I would say do not have a child with this man. He’s already halfway out the door. Firstly, he’s “a ladies’ man” as you say, and secondly, he is cold towards you. Why would you want to tie yourself to him? Having a child with him won’t make him change his ways.