The Counselling Centre
Deciding whether or not you are ready to be in a relationship or to engage in sexual activities is an important decision you’ll have to make. Sexuality is a normal part of being human and should be enjoyed, but you need to consider your values and priorities in life when making such decision.
- One of the main things a person can do is to take things at his or her own rate – a rate with which he or she is comfortable.
- It is important to give oneself permission to say "no" when "no" is the right answer for you; and conversely, to give yourself permission to say "yes" when "yes" is the right answer and being willing to take responsibility for the consequences of those decisions and actions. When these yes and no answers come from one’s own personal system of values, one’s comfort with physical intimacy increases.
- Become aware of one’s fear and what may be producing the apprehensiveness about physical intimacy. Once the fear is acknowledged, one can work with it.
Sex and parties are common on campus and there is nothing wrong with having a good time. You might meet someone and would like to spend a full night making out or having wild sex with him/her. However, there are some things you should consider before jumping into bed with a stranger.
- Have you been drinking? Are you really capable of making decision that you won’t regret in the morning?
- Will you be cheating? Do you already have a boyfriend/girlfriend, ask yourself if this one night of hooking up is worth risking a good thing.
- Do you know this person? Are you sure they don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend? If so, are you sure you want to be involved with a cheater?
- What are your expectations? Are you thinking of developing a relationship or is there mutual understanding that this is just a one-night stand?
- Think about your reputation. Do you care if people know you do one-nighters? Will that change the way you look at yourself?
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). What is the chance of you getting an STI? Remember, when you sleep with someone, you sleep with everyone else that he/she has slept with.
- Are you prepared to protect yourself against pregnancy and STIs? Do you have condoms and another means of birth control?
There are many different types of birth control methods available, however it is recommended that you discuss your options with your doctor so you can make an informed decision on what will work best for you. Remember that protection from STIs and birth control are two different things. If you are not using condoms, you will not be protected against STIs.
When you find out that you’re pregnant, you may experience common feelings of shock, anger, sadness, anxiety, confusion, or happiness. It is important that you sort through your emotions in order to start thinking realistically and considering your options.
Things to consider before making a decision about what to do:
- Think carefully about what your responsibilities are.
- Talk to someone you trust.
- The decision must be your own! Don’t let anyone talk you into a decision.
- What are you goals in life?
- Do you have the time to raise a child and study?
- What kind of life can you offer a child?
- What are the financial realities?
- What are your personal religious beliefs and values?
- Do you have social support from family and friends?
- Are you in a stable relationship? Does that matter to you?
Materials adapted from “Transitions – Student Reality Check” by Jacqueline Potvin-Boucher.
The Counselling Centre offers individual and couples counselling to help with these issues. For more information, call The Counselling Centre at 902-420-5615 or drop by our office on the 4th floor of the Student Centre.