Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 23

tion. If they know what's bothering
you, they can provide reassurance
and brainstorm ideas on how to work
together to address the issue.
But... what's the best way to be
honest? First, take a deep breath.
Remember that you partner wants to
help with things that are troubling
you. Next, using "I" statements when
sharing how you are feeling and what
you are thinking can help get your
point across without your partner
feeling blamed or defensive. You
might try something like:
* "I've noticed that I/my/our...."
* "I have been thinking about..."
* "Sometimes I feel ____ when I/
you/we..."
Being honest is also an important
part of sharing your experiences
with new and potential partners. If
you are single and dating or in a new
relationship, you might be struggling
with when and how to address some
of the things you want this person to
know. Honesty is wayyy better than
trying to hide something or living in
fear of being found out or rejected,
but that doesn't always make it easier.
Disclosing your cancer status, and
any residual ramifications (sexual
or otherwise), is a discussion worthy
of much more than a paragraph, so
keep an eye out for an article dedicated to this topic in a future issue
of Elephants and Tea!

E

nvironment is everything. Since
sex is a sensitive subject, a little
planning can go a long way in helping
you feel calm and collected. Choosing when and where you want to talk
and considering what you'd like to say
beforehand is a good idea. Plan to talk

somewhere outside of the bedroom
when you and your partner are
relaxed (and fully clothed!), like
over coffee at the kitchen table.
Make sure that you have
privacy, and that you've set
aside plenty of time without
interruptions.
If possible, try to have
these conversations faceto-face. It may feel a little
overwhelming, but it's usually best to talk in-person, because there's just too much room
for misinterpretation when you're
trading texts over a screen (I mean...
trying to decipher a million emojis
can get confusing, right? And those
non-responses are excruciating!).
Think about writing down what you
want to say, and practicing a little bit
(saying those words out loud, remember?). If a letter explaining how you
feel is what you are most comfortable
with, you can use that to get things
started. Just be sure that you have a
plan for following up with your partner's thoughts, because their feedback
is important.
If you find yourself continually putting off the discussion, set a date and
time on your calendar to hold yourself
accountable. Making this a priority by
setting aside time to talk shows your
partner that it matters to you.

A

sk questions. Communication is
a two-way street, ya'll. While it's
important to convey your message in
a way that your partner will understand, you also need to listen and
make an effort to see things from their
perspective, too. Give them a chance
to chime in with their thoughts so you

M A R L OE E S C H, R N, B SN,
ONC OL O GY C E RT I F I E D
N U R SE O C N, A N D YOU NG
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U N I V E R SI T Y OF W IS C ONSI N
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H E A LT HC A R E PROF E S SIONA L S
ON T H E TOPIC OF C A NC E R
A N D SE X UA L I T Y, A N D H A S
PR E SE N T E D FOR T H E YOU NG
SU RV I VA L C OA L I T ION,
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PA R E N T HO OD OF W I, A MONG
OT H E R S . SH E HOL DS A
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ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
JUNE 2020

23


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Elephants And Tea - June 2020

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Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 1
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