Dating With An STI – How To Have The Conversation

Dating With An STI – How To Have The Conversation. Dating With A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) isn’t easy. Herpes is the most common STI among the single clients I work with. More than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes. Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. Even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners. According to the World Health Organization, 3.7 billion people under the age of fifty have herpes simplex virus type 1. That’s about 67 percent of the global under-fifty population. Some people have the virus and are asymptomatic; some have symptoms that are dormant for years and manifest through stress. Anyone with a history of unprotected sex may fall into that percentage.

dating with an STI

Dating with  an STI

Most people who have Herpes have accepted their contracting the condition. There is no cure for herpes. However, there are medicines that can prevent or shorten outbreaks. One of these anti-herpes medicines can be taken daily, and makes it less likely that you will pass the infection on to your sex partner(s).  Stress can bring about an outbreak, but isn’t a life threatening.  The shame of having an STI’s resonates with single people as they feel the shame about disclosing it to new partners.  Single people dating find it uncomfortable to disclose they have Herpes. There is a certain amount of shame that comes with sexually transmitted diseases. It gives the connotation individuals are promiscuous and irresponsible when it comes to safe sex.

As a marriage and family therapist, specializing in working with couples, I normalize the feelings associated with dating with an STI. First of all, more people than you think have an STI. Secondly, who you share this information with is confidential. And third, no one is perfect and mistakes do happen.  It shows great courage and integrity to share the truth about living with an STI.

Dating with an STI

It is better to share the fact sooner rather than later as later presents as lying by omission. But, I get it, hesitation stems from shame and guilt. Rise above any stigma as you are not defined by your past. It’s what you do with your future that’s important. Honesty is always the best policy. If the person you share this information with is not understanding, it’s better to move on before any emotional connection is made.

Couples therapist

Furthermore, if dating with an STI is too anxiety provoking there are dating sites who cater to people with like kind situations.

For more information please contact me through my website: or call me at (858) 735-1139.


What Exactly Is Normal Sex?

What Exactly Is Normal Sex? As a Marriage Counselor I get asked a lot of questions about relationships and sex. The most frequent question is what is normal sex? When I was in my mid-twenties and married to my first husband I thought normal sex was having sex about two times a month. It wasn’t until I was divorcing him that I confided in my mother and told her that. My mother, a devout Catholic, who never talked to us about sex, let alone what is normal sex, was shocked at what I had shared. She responded, “even me and your dad have more sex than that.” I was shocked to have heard that. I was either naive or lacked the intimacy needed in a healthy relationship and didn’t care for sex. The latter actually became the enlightenment as I came to appreciate sex as a healthy and enjoyable thing.

People want to know how often they should be having sex and what kind. They also want to know what sex is like for other people. I’ve been a Marriage Counselor for over 25 years and I say “there is no normal.” Each and every person has their own thoughts and wants about sex. Why compare yourself? Do what feels comfortable for you. Every couple I work with has their own set of circumstances to problems they present. There is no “one size fits all,” answer when it comes to quantity and quality of your sex life. But I get it, people want to know where they stand in the data researched or spectrum from daily sex to occasional sex. If your sex life is working for you, then wonderful. If it isn’t what others are doing is not irrelevant.

According to Marty Klein, certified sex therapist and licensed psychotherapist, he, too, refuses to answer the question, “what is normal sex,” although not with numbers. In America, this is what he says sexually normal is:

  • Adults have sex when they are tired
  • Many people are not sober during (of before) sex
  • Even intimates are often unsure what their partner likes
  • Many people using Viagra hide it from their partner

Dr. Klein also writes about having Sexual Intelligence. Sexual Intelligence is “Information + Emotional Skills + Body Awareness.” Meaning the planets don’t have to be perfectly aligned to have sex. Sexual Intelligence is useful in different ways at different times of our life: in our twenties, in exploring the sexual world; in our thirties, in bonding with a partner and establishing a sexual rhythm; in our forties, in tolerating and adapting to change; in our fifties, in saying goodbye to youthful sex, in our sixties and  beyond, in creating a new sexual style.

So basically what’s normal is what you want. Having conversations about what you both want and don’t want in bed is key to making your sex life normal for you.

To learn how to talk about sex and what you want sexually give me a call at (858) 735-1139 and get the conversation rolling.



How to Survive In An Unhappy Marriage

How to Survive In An Unhappy Marriage. The divorce rate in the US is said to be around 2.9 per 1,000 people, while the marriage rate is only 6.5 per 1,000 people – this means that almost half of all marriages end in divorce rather than long-lasting love. However, this also suggests that over half of marriages do work out positively, signifying that it is more than possible to ensure your relationship can continue for many years to come. Whether this relationship is enjoyable or not depends on the two individuals that chose to commit to one another, as unhappy marriages seem to be prevalent amongst many people experiencing issues with trust, arguments, and more sensitive problems that most definitely drove a wedge between them. Fortunately, there’s affair recovery that can be an excellent solution marriage problems. 

So, if you find yourself in a similarly tricky situation, then you may begin wondering what you can do to tackle your unhappy marriage and begin to move forward to a more romantic and rewarding place. Luckily, there are several interesting concepts and ideas that you might benefit from exploring, all of which could help you to re-ignite that special spark in your relationship and encourage you and your partner to see eye-to-eye once more. 

Are you in an unhappy marriage? Couple’s Counselor San Diego can help.

a group of people holding hands

How to Survive In An Unhappy Marriage

Discover New Ways of Connecting 

One of the best things that you can do to improve your marriage when things get tricky is to find new ways to connect. After several years in the same relationship, it’s so common for people to become comfortable and forget about the effort and energy they once both put into impressing their better half. Putting a stop to your exploration of the world together, whether this comes down to being too much work, a lack of time, or any other excuse, can put a real strain on your relationship and take away that all-important spark that keeps things interesting. It’s so vital that e you can dedicate a portion of your time to your other half and find something which you will both enjoy that can be done together in a fun, romantic manner. Some simple examples include cooking a luxurious meal in the kitchen, heading to the gym together for a joint workout, or booking a class at your local community center or college to try out an activity such as painting or pottery. Just creating the opportunity to connect on a one-on-one basis with your spouse will give you the chance to speak more freely while having fun at the same time, and it shows a little dedication to improving your marriage too. 

Related: Date Night Questions to Reconnect

smiling woman with happy face balloon

Always Try Being Positive 

Negativity is poison in any kind of relationship, as there’s genuinely nothing worse than being around a person who is continually pessimistic and can quickly turn a situation sour. Being more positive will benefit your relationship in many ways. Taking an optimistic approach will decrease the likelihood of petty arguments and keep things light and breezy rather than heavy and gloomy. It can be tough to be a positive person when there are so many obstacles looking to drag you down, but letting these issues float over your head will allow you to focus on one of the essential things in life – making your marriage work. Being negative can make even the most amazing moments seem unbearable, and adopting such an attitude will not provide you with many benefits when it comes to improving your unhappy marriage. 

Develop Your Interests 

It’s a great idea to begin developing your interests and social life outside of your marriage, as this can give you something different to look forward to while also making time with your spouse to feel much more critical. Spending too much time with someone can encourage you to fall into a vicious cycle that focuses on both of your negative traits. Alternatively, heading out regularly to gain some time apart can make you appreciate your partner far more when you finally come home to them after a long day separated. Channeling your energy into something that you are genuinely interested in can also encourage you to become a happier person. You will have the chance to experience many more fun activities that you can use as conversation starters with your other half. Leading your own life as well as living with your spouse is a difficult task to balance, but once you have it right, your relationship can begin to blossom and flower. How to Survive In An Unhappy Marriage

Related: Don’t Lose Your Sense of Self

a married couple making heart shapes with hands

Remember Why You Started

Although you may feel unhappy in your marriage now, there must have been many reasons for your relationship to bloom in its initial stages for you to both decide to take it to the next level. You wouldn’t marry someone you didn’t like, so think back to why you started this journey together in the first place to attempt to re-ignite the passion you had in the early days of your relationship. It’s a good idea to spend some time discussing your past with your partner, as this can stir up positive memories that you both can recall. That may bring the spark to your marriage once more – it can be genuinely inspiring to converse about the romantic gestures of the past, as it may encourage you or your partner to get back to their old self and improve your relationship.  How to Survive In An Unhappy Marriage

Related: Is Your Relationship Romantic Enough?

Visit A Couple’s Counselor 

A great way to gain the opportunity to express your feelings in a calm and controlled manner is to visit a couple’s counselor. They can provide a safe space in which you can talk through your issues and gain support and advice from an expert, which could potentially transform your marriage into a happy, positive relationship that you truly enjoy. Searching for a respected couple’s counselor in San Diego is so simple, and you’re likely to begin seeing improvements after your very first session. Releasing some of the pressure will no doubt help you both to get back on track. 

Troubles with your marriage? Couple’s Counselor San Diego can help.

Marriage Tips

Marriage Tips. I’ve been married now for 21 years. And have been helping couples manage their relationships for the past 25 years. During the honeymoon stage you were told “never go to bed angry” and “remember that you’re on the same team.” When the tough get going life continues to stress even the best marriages.

Here are some marriage tips that have helped couples in long-term relationships:

  • Let your partner know you are thinking about them throughout the day.
  • And let them express their feelings first.
  • Imagine what your life would be like without them.
  • Accept your partner for who they are.
  • Ask for what you need and want.
  • Share thoughts and feelings.
  • Learn how to compromise.
  • Be physically affectionate with one another.
  • End your day on a positive note.
  • Enjoy each other’s company.
  • Maintain a friendship in your relationship.
  • Decompress together.
  • Have the same financial priorities.
  • Don’t be afraid to give each other personal space.
  • Don’t always live in the future.
  • Always kiss each other goodnight.
  • Always kiss each other when you leave and return home.
  • Know that you are a team no matter what.

  • Say “yes” to new experiences.
  • Reminisce about how you first fell in love.
  • Maintain a life outside of your relationship.
  • Never lose your sense of self (the “me” in the “we”).
  • Take responsibility of your part in conflict.
  • Keep your partner guessing.
  • Perform random acts of kindness on a regular basis.
  • Make dinners at home a special occasion.
  • Learn what you want in bed and don’t be afraid to tell your partner.
  • Keep company with positive people.
  • Speak using “I” statements when you argue.
  • Give undivided attention when communicating with one another.
  • Have your own interests.
  • Pursue some of the same interests.
  • Remember opposites attract.
  • Don’t bring home work.
  • Take “time-outs
  • Show appreciation and gratitude.
  • Keep the romance alive (be boyfriend and girlfriend sometimes and not husband and wife)
  • Make intimacy a priority outside the bedroom.
  • Take pride in your appearance.
  • Make your partner feel wanted/desired.
  • Be patient.
  • Say “I’m sorry” and “you’re right” when making amends.
  • Have a sense of humor about yourself and your relationship.
  • Schedule a weekly Date Night.
  • Imagine what your life would be like without them.


Most importantly take care of yourself and know what you want so you know what you want in your relationship. A happy “me” makes for a very happy “we.”

For more information contact me at (85) 735-1139.



Sexual Intimacy – What’s You’re Sex Life Like?

Sexual Intimacy – What’s You’re Sex Life Like? Was sex discussed in your family? As a young girl I learned about sex through watching movies and from my peers. When sex was brought up it was to tell us kids not to have sex before marriage. That it was a sin and other sex shaming remarks. It’s no wonder some couples have a hard time talking about what they want in and out of the bedroom. There’s no need to be ashamed about asking for what you want in bed. Sex is better when you do.

male and female being intimate
Sexual Intimacy – What’s You’re Sex Life Like?
Sexual Intimacy. Esther Perel states we all come to relationships with an emotional dowry. This transfer of parental legacy contains fears, anticipations, old wounds, and your strengths.   Your emotional dowry is what was role modeled for you as a child and has become second nature. Perel states our relational and sexual aspirations are based on what you had, what you didn’t have, what you wish to repair, and what’s ok to repeat.

These tips can be transforming when developing your sexual intimacy.

  • Have Sexual Intelligence.
  • What was the attitude towards sex in your family growing up?
    • comfortable, natural, awkward, repressive, shame based, guilt inducing, abusive
  • Know what strengths you bring into your relationship.
  • What’s a dilemma you carry with you?
  • What are the dominant messages you grew up with about boys and girls/men and women?
  • Do you want sexual exclusivity in your relationship?
  • When do you feel most free in your relationship?
  • What do you like to experience in sex?
    • tenderness, softness, closeness, surrender, dominance, abandon, freedom, freedom from responsibility, giving, receiving, being taken possessing, ruthlessness, spiritual connection
  • Among the 5 senses, which one is most sexual for you?
    • seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting
  • How comfortable are you in communicating your sexual wants and dislikes?
  • How comfortable are you in communicating your emotional wants and dislikes?
  • What is a hard conversation for you to have around intimacy and sexuality?

Sexual Intimacy – What’s You’re Sex Life Like?

Your sex life is about what you want. Explore each question. These tips can help you know more about what you want so you can share that with your partner. As you read through these tips you will become more self-aware about intimate relationships and your sexuality. Communicating about sex with our partners makes us vulnerable. And who wants to do that?! But being vulnerable is what intimacy making is all about. Without intimacy couples can feel like they are just roommates.

For more information about your sexual intimacy call me at (858) 735-1139.