Ask Erin: I'm Going Through A Breakup With An STD Diagnosis

Artwork: Tess Emily Rodriguez

Artwork: Tess Emily Rodriguez

She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.


Q.

Hello Erin,

I was recently dating a girl for three months. Things were going really well, and we had fallen for each other after two months. 

I met her friends and family — parents, brother (and his wife and kids) for lunch. They liked me, and it all went very well. We went for overnight trips, and I was invited to Christmas at her parents. 

In mid-November, she told me she had an incurable STD. She was not taking any medications and had not told me upfront about it to practice safe sex. When she told me, I was supportive, and we went to some STD counseling to see how to keep myself safe. After the counseling, I got the symptoms and I was diagnosed with the same STD. 

Two days after my diagnosis, she broke things off with me. Then she ghosted me  — basically ignored me and told me to figure my life out by myself. 

Now I had a serious emotional setback along with an incurable STD. 

It’s been more than six months. I confronted her multiple times, just to be shut down. I think I should confront her parents about this. She is 34 years old, educated, and has a good job. How could she do this? 

What shall I do? I really like her.

 

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A.

I understand how this would be very upsetting. As you said, it was a double whammy with the STD diagnosis followed by a breakup and ghosting. 

She should have informed you of her STI status from the start. 

It’s wrong that she did not. She took away your decision-making process around how you practiced safe sex. And safe sex can be practiced when one partner is STI+

Do not confront her parents. What’s your motivation there? She is 34 years old. Are you hoping to shame her or get her “in trouble” with her parents? That’s not productive. And it certainly will NOT drive her back into your arms. 

Should she have been direct in communicating with you about her STD and the breakup? YES. Look at this way: she has shown you how she handles herself when a problem comes up. She avoids. This is not a quality you want in a romantic partner. Trust me on this. I was an avoider. And I was an awful girlfriend in my avoidance years. 


No matter how wrong she has been in handling this situation, it’s time to move on. 

It has been over six months. You need to let go of that past and look forward. And I suggest that before you start dating again, you get some counseling, to deal with these unresolved feelings and to better prepare yourself with communication in your next relationship. 

Don’t handle your STI+ status the way she did.

Educate yourself so you can better educate future partners. Planned Parenthood put together this handy video on how to handle this…

You will be able to get over this last relationship and move forward. Why wait? She is not worth you waiting around, stewing, or plotting ill-advised revenge. Let that sh*t go. 


The information within Ask Erin should in no way be interpreted as medical advice because I’m not a medical professional. But I am here to help — to share with you the wisdom I’ve gained after years of making mistakes. If you have a question for me about relationships, addiction, dating, friendships, depression, parenting, sex, consent, what I’m watching, what I’m reading, Heliodor, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me: askerin@ravishly.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. Lastly, I’m so excited to share with you my Ask Erin Self-Care Guide, free when you sign up for my weekly newsletter. xoxo

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