Over one quarter of Brits have ended a relationship over a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it has been revealed.
A new survey found that the number one cause of breakups was falling out of love. This was shortly followed by the relationship becoming dull and boring, losing trust, and being cheated on.
More than a quarter (27%) of participants said their relationship had ended due to one of them finding out they had an STI, which led to "mistrust".
A health expert has since warned people not to "penalise someone who may be perfect for you in every way, simply because they have an STI".
The survey, carried out on behalf of www.MedExpress.co.uk, asked 2,151 sexually active adults aged 21 and over in the UK about what had ended their relationships in the past.
All of the participants told researchers that they have been in at least three relationships over time, with each one lasting at least six months or more.
Respondents were initially asked if they had ever ended a relationship, and were provided with a list of breakup reasons from researchers.
It revealed that the most common reasons for relationships ending were:
- We fell out of love (52%)
- The relationship got dull/boring (47%)
- There was no trust left between us (39%)
- One of us was cheated on/unfaithful (32%)
- One of us contracted a sexually transmitted disease (27%)
People who said they ended a relationship because of a sexually transmitted disease were asked why it was they felt compelled to do this.
More than two thirds (68%) stated it led to mistrust due to not understanding where the disease came from.
Meanwhile 22% said their partner hadn’t told them and they had found out themselves, which created mistrust and anger.
The remaining 10% thought their partner was "dirty" after being told.
At the end of the survey, all participants were asked whether they would ever date someone who had told them that they had an incurable sexually transmitted disease.
Just under one third (31%) of respondents stated they would, while 43% said it would depend on the partner and the remaining 26% said they wouldn’t.
Michael Ross, spokesperson for MedExpress, said the survey shows that sexually transmitted diseases still have a "huge stigma" attached to them.
"Of course it is not okay to sleep with someone when you have an STI without telling them or trying to protect them from it," he said.
"However it is totally unfair to penalise someone who may be perfect for you in every way, simply because they have an STI or STD, especially if it is one that doesn’t have a cure."
He continued: "It only takes one mistake or one person not to be completely honest for you to catch something that could well be with you for the rest of your life.
"Remember not to be rude to those who have unfortunately made that mistake or been lied to. It should be about the person, not the STI."