3 Cs of Relationship: Communication, Consent, Contraception

August 06, 2023

3 Cs of Relationship: Communication, Consent, Contraception

Unlike the famous love author, Sara Naveed said, “there is nothing right or wrong in love”, I think it requires a prerequisite of ‘rights’ to make any relationship of love work. Throughout the course of our lifetime, we are bound to meet infinite individuals, with whom we would share different parts of us and connect through each unique element. Regardless of how we choose to maintain the modalities of these relationships, communication and consent become the top priority of ‘right’ things for all involved individuals to remain on the same page. Especially if this relationship includes establishing physical and emotional intimacy with people, and your point of life does not include a baby and/or a monogamous relationship- contraception comes right after as another priority.

Being able to communicate is the key to a healthy relationship in any capacity. It helps understand one’s behaviour and perception- bridging the gap that might be existent between partners in a relationship. While every relationship is unique and has its own set of ups and downs, being able to communicate with your partner allows you to discuss your concerns, show support for one another, and work together to resolve conflicts more successfully. Our needs would be met only when we openly communicate about them to our partners, and vice-versa. Following open communication, comes the absolutely needed conversation about contraception. Often times we tend to fall under pressure or get convinced to proceed in an intimate relationship without the use of any contraception. I remember when this guy I was with told me how “he doesn’t do condoms”. I communicated with him about my fear of STDs and pregnancy and persisted to stop on our way to buy some condoms. I felt empowered being able to communicate my needs and confront his dismissiveness about condoms as I walked into the department store and picked up that packet of Durex. But that feeling faded equally quickly as that pack of condoms stayed on the side table throughout our time together, untouched.


“Hey”, he teased playfully on our way back, “we forgot the condoms”. “Yeah”, I smiled back with guilt. It was almost like my determination for communication and contraception got drowned as we started making out, and all he had to do was nudge me a bit more to keep going on. My brain kept reminding me how it is wrong, but my brain also had a hard time trying to repeat “Let’s use a condom”. Regardless of what I had going on my mind, I could not remind him of condoms out loud, and honestly, it felt easier to just carry without than “kill the mood”, by trying to bring it up again. At the moment, it felt easier that way, but over time thinking of the consequence it might lead to made things worst in my head. Given the relationship was casual, and we were probably seeing multiple partners both of us were involved at a high risk of contaminating any form of STDs. Luckily, I did not get the STD or pregnant but had a mini upsurge of yeast infection, which my gynecologist very consolingly said may not have been attested to the no-condom fiasco. Regardless, I stopped seeing him and stepped back for some personal time before starting any relationship again.

I am sure most of us could relate to a situation similar to mine, and the bottom line still stands strong- it is always better to “kill the mood” during the moment than to spend the rest of your coming cycle in fear and uncertainty. Good communication can lead to a deeper connection and increased intimacy in your relationship, and if bringing up topics of contraception jeopardizes your relationship, there was no two-sided bond of common understanding and connection in the first place. Even when you are a monogamous couple, research has shown that communication about family planning has led to increased uptake of contraception. This shows that if your relationship is indeed concrete- consent and contraception remain hand in hand. The shift in the power of decision-making within partners is oftentimes biased, and it is time we start making the collective effort of establishing relationships only with a common ground of 3Cs: Communication, Consent, and Contraception.

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