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Watch Out For The Latest STD: "Something To Do" Relationships

Dating

With as much random unprotected sex I had back when I was sexually active, I'm kind of shocked that I can say I've only be diagnosed with an STD once. It was while I had strep throat and mono too. Crazy, I know.


Anyway, I found out that I had an STD because I had a sore throat that was killing me. I went to the doctor, not giving one thought that I might have a sexually transmitted disease, but when some tests came back, chlamydia was on the list. I thought that was so weird because my discharge hadn't changed, my genitals weren't irritated — I didn't have any of the signs that I had read about. According to my physician, it didn't show up before then because the infection had been lying dormant in my system; the strep and mono affecting my immune system actually "triggered" it.

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Wow. For a couple of years (because my boyfriend at the time didn't have it and we had been together that long), I had been walking around with an asymptomatic STD. I was thinking who I was having sex with wasn't infected because I didn't show signs of having an infection. Still, I had one. Now, bookmark that as I get into what the title of this piece is all about.

A couple of weeks ago, per YouTube's recommendation, I binged watched two Black web-series. What was interesting is they both basically had the same theme. The first one was called Diary of a Cheating Man (which was well-written, funny and chock full of cautionary tales; especially for men). The other is, Side Chick.

I can't remember exactly which episode of Side Chick it was, but when one of the characters referred to a guy as being an STD and then followed it up by saying that it meant the guy was nothing more than Something To Do, that stayed with me.

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Although I don't recall ever getting with a guy simply because I wanted something to do, what I can vouch for is staying in a relationship well past its shelf life, because I was too scared to try something different. But here's the real point I really hope you'll give some serious thought to:

There's research to support that the people you date have the potential to do everything from cause you to lose sight of yourself and stunt your self-growth, to having you pick up their negative traits while making you emotionally unstable.

While you're out here thinking that who you're seeing is nothing more than "something to do", they could be influencing you in ways you'd never imagine. While you're in the moment, because you're not seeing clear or obvious signs of how his presence is rubbing off on you, you could be thinking it's all good when, all the while, his presence could be affecting — or infecting — you more than you know.

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Take a casual sex partner, for example. Did you know that there is actual scientific evidence to support that the partners you have prior to the one you choose to conceive a child with can still have an impact on how your offspring turns out? Yep, there is solid research that indicates any semen that comes into contact with a woman's system has the ability to affect the physical (and sometimes other) traits of the children she has.

Or what about casually dating someone simply because, in your mind, you have nothing better to do? Aside from all of the other potential risks I've shared, your time and energy are precious. It's very easy to waste moments or absorb negative energy, just by spending time with the wrong kinds of people. And by wrong, I mean people who don't truly complement you or make you better.

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I don't know what the writers of Side Chicks meant when they used the term STD — as Something To Do — but what I just shared is what I got out of it. Human beings are far too powerful for us to be out here thinking they don't make a significant impact on us. No matter how serious or casual our interaction with them may be.

Please don't disillusion yourself by thinking that just because you're taking an "it's nothing" approach to a situationship that it won't ultimately come with consequences or repercussions; some that just might surprise you.

It seems like a new STD comes up every day. For the health and well-being of your mind, body, and spirit, don't let the Something To Do kind fly under your radar.

Featured image by Getty Images.

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