I’ve been a germaphobe for as long as I can remember. My aversion to microbes of all kinds has affected my life in various ways, especially when it comes to dating. Turns out, I do things a little differently than most people.
- I never kiss on a first date. OK, that’s not entirely true. I have kissed on a first date but its only been when it’s someone I really like. I also have to inspect their lips first, which is not an easy thing to do without the dude noticing. Guys probably think I’m focused on their lips because I want them to kiss me, but really I’m just looking for any signs of cold sores.
- I won’t go on a second date if the guy isn’t vaccinated. I once refused to call a guy back because he said he doesn’t get an annual flu shot. I mean, who doesn’t get a flu shot? I mean, I realize there are lots of people who don’t, but not only does that freak me out (I don’t want to get sick!) but I also just don’t feel like our values are in line. I work in healthcare and I always get the flu shot. I also believe in vaccinating yourself (and your kids!), so if we don’t agree on that issue, there’s probably a lot more things we don’t agree on.
- I always practice safe sex. This includes a condom and a couple forms of birth control. Yes, I said a couple. (I might also be a little obsessed of getting pregnant.) It also includes a lot of questions for the guy. When was your last STD test? Have you ever used intravenous drugs? When was the last time you slept with someone? Have you ever had an STD? There are no secrets between lovers!
- I require a boyfriend to get STD tests. If we’re going to sleep together often and he doesn’t want to use condoms, he’s going to need a full STD panel, including HIV and hepatitis. Also, I’m gonna need to see his vaccination records. No, I’m not joking.
- I get tested a lot. Even when I’m in a monogamous relationship, I still get STD testing and I get a pap smear every year even though I technically don’t need it. I’ve also gotten tested for things that aren’t included in a regular STD panel because I worry about catching something rare.
- I won’t bring a guy soup if he’s sick. I see people do that all the time on TV and I wonder if I’m a bad person because I refuse. Maybe I would do it if I could just leave it at his door, but any guy I date should not expect me to dote on him when he’s sick. He’s more likely to be quarantined until he’s feeling better. Fever free for 24 hours, babe!
- My dating standards might be a little bit different. I imagine a lot of women want to know if a guy has a good job, decent salary, what kind of car he drives, if he’s religious, and if he has a degree. I have different requirements. I would like to know if he has health insurance, an identified primary care doctor, and if he always finishes his antibiotics (even if he’s feeling better). Also, are his pets vaccinated? When’s the last time they’ve been to the vet?
- I will expect him to go to the doctor. You know those manly men that think it’s somehow more masculine if they can “tough it out” and not see a doctor? I will not date those men. Get thee to a clinic, stat! I don’t know have time for that macho BS; I need to know if he has strep, that way I can prepare for my inevitable sickness too.
- I’m gonna need him to wash his hands. Um, honey? Did you just come out of the bathroom and not wash your hands? Can you please go wash them? Oh, you want to have sex? Can you please wash your hands first? Did you just pet that random dog? Might wanna wash your hands. Yeah, he’ll be annoyed at first, but then he’ll get used to it and wash his hands…or he won’t call me back. His loss. I didn’t need his germs anyway!