Dating and Relationship Advice

“We need to talk about something”

My boyfriend Nathan was standing in front of the bathroom door while I brushed my teeth. It was a Saturday morning and I was spending the weekend at his apartment in the city, which had become our routine. Up until this moment, I thought everything was going well, but Nathan's expression said otherwise.

He took a deep breath, then said “I think I need to get some lady things for the apartment”.

“Lady things?” It took me a second. “Do you mean pads and tampons?”

Relief replaced the concern on his face. “Yes. I had no idea what you used and I tried to go to Target to get you some, but I wasn't sure and there were just so many..." His voice trailed off as we both started giggling.

Truthfully, I was touched by his sweetness. The very thought of making sure that I had menstrual products at his place was a wonderful gesture, and I loved that he wanted to prepare some for me.

I spared him the trouble, even though I hate shopping for those things as well. The next time I visited, I brought a box of pads and left them in the designated drawer for my things. Nathan is the first guy to have offered to buy and keep period products for me.

It got me thinking about why more men don't do that. After all, it's important to break the stigma that periods (and the people who have them) are disgusting and shameful. Some still believe that you can turn a period on and off or "hold it in," and others think it's the women's fault when their period bothers them. And honestly, having no partner is better than having one that mocks and degrades you for something you cannot control.

Sometimes a partner may want to provide those pads and tampons but aren't sure what to get, or they have trouble approaching the subject. If you're on that side of the situation, here are some ways to start the conversation.

"Hey, I think I want to get some pads for you."

"Next time we go shopping, point out which brand of tampons you use so I can get them for the apartment."

"You can keep a menstrual cup here in the bathroom if you like."

The more time you spend together, the more bodily functions you will see from one other... whether you like it or not. Periods are in that group. And that's totally okay! Periods are nothing to be ashamed of—it's a natural bodily occurrence.