Testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in any new relationship. Ideally, you bring it up before you’re in the heat of the moment. And keep emotions out of the conversation by discussing it in a neutral setting using a mutually respectful tone. If you bring up STD testing in the midst of an argument, the issue may get misconstrued as a personal attack. Instead, keep it light and kind, but don’t put off addressing your own concerns.

Some STD tests can take a full week for the results to come back, so it’s essential to have the conversation sooner rather than later. Keep in mind that STDs don’t only spread through intercourse. Other sexual activity, including oral sex, can put you at risk.

Preface the conversation

If you’re concerned your partner will take your request for STD testing the wrong way, put in the extra effort to communicate your intentions and explain why it’s important to you. Discuss how testing stands to benefit both of you