The impact of sexual relationships on mental health

A graphic showing the title: The impact of sexual relationships and mental health CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

At a young age, we get educated about puberty and what is expected to come throughout the process when growing up. There are also often discussions around sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. A conversation that rarely comes up though is managing your mental health after a break-up. Speaking from experience, it is not an enjoyable experience to be cheated on by someone you thought cared about you deeply, walking in on them having fun sexually with another partner. It can be tough to heal after a partner breaks your trust within a relationship.

Fanshawe’s Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor Leah Marshall said that sexual health education is an important topic to combat gender-based violence, shame, stigma and misinformation that exists in society around sex and our bodies.

Teaching everyone about how not to get pregnant or how to not contract STIs is great but there is still a lot of other information being missed about our bodies and sexual health. “Teaching children about their bodies using anatomical terms and consent is the foundation for later teaching on sex and sexual health,” Marshall said.

Navigator. Londons student lifestyles magazine.

Consent goes a long way in a relationship but there is much more to it from what is talked about. After being cheated on, I started to second guess myself a lot. I struggled to open up about what I wanted and did not want for myself and my body due to the lack of respect I had for my own well-being. There were a lot of times that I went through that I didn’t feel connected to my partner physically or mentally because I was expecting the relationship not to work out due to my past circumstances. Leah said that talking about consent will help have a better ability to have conversations with our partners when we are in relationships at a later age.

“Communication and understanding bodily autonomy are important aspects of healthy relationships,” Marshall said.

Talking to my partner and opening up about what I went through in the past helped me feel more comfortable in the relationship. Learning about how you connect with your partner in the relationship can help as well. I enjoy more of a connection mentally rather than physical. Leah also brought up that it’s good to learn how to receive a “no” from your partner. It made me realize that I can’t always go with the flow within the relationship and have respect for my body and who I am as a person too.

“Learning how to deal with rejection in a healthy and respectful way is important in dating,” Marshall said.

It might be an uncomfortable conversation with your partner about your past. Being vulnerable whether it be from a bad sexual relationship or expressing about being cheated on in the past can help the relationship out in the long run.