Dating, relationships, and sex are all such controversial topics. We tend to judge each other heavily on who we date, sleep with, and end up in a relationship with.
Our early 20s are all about getting to know who we truly are, and I am a firm believer that the best way to do that is to be around other people.
Others teach us about ourselves, relationships especially. Through others, we find our boundaries, what we will and will not tolerate. We learn how we react to certain situations and where we fit in. Through others, we find what kind of people we want to be friends with and date. So why is dating around and hooking up considered so taboo? Doesn't experience make one wiser?
Recently, I've met a guy who quickly became interested in me.
One night, he invited me out with his best friends. While he pushed his way through the crowded bar to get some drinks, one of his friends, Taylor, started a conversation with me that made me raise an eyebrow. He began by asking me whether I was in a sorority, to which my answer was no.
"Nothing against sororities, but it's just not my thing," I said.
He nodded in approval and replied with, "Good. Because most sorority girls are whores."
I cannot say that his answer surprised me, because I have heard multiple guys call other girls degrading terms. It is sad to admit that this happens so often that I became immune to it. I thought to myself, so what if she sleeps around? Is getting to know what you like and gaining experience such a bad thing? I proceeded to ask him whether this certain girl he started talking about (who is in a sorority and a "whore", as he put it) is being safe and he replied with "Well yeah...but still."
Still what? Again, what is the big problem with a girl who wants to find more about herself and gain some experience? The answer is nothing. No, I am not encouraging anyone to do what they're not comfortable with. I am simply clarifying that we should try to stay away from judging others based on who they have been with and with how many people.
A lot of men prefer the "innocent," untouched, shy girl.
As a matter of fact, I always felt terrified talking to my ex-boyfriend about the people I have dated or hooked up with in the past. I didn't want his image of me as a "good girl" to change. This attitude is deeply flawed and men who decide whether a woman is "relationship material" by her body count or how many people she has dated are simply immature. I have also heard many men say that they like a girl, but won't date her because they know that she has slept around. Come on, seriously?
If you don't experiment, how will you know what you like? How will you be able to catch red flags in potential partners?
As for relationships, they are the best teachers. For instance, through my last relationship, I realized that I can sometimes get irrationally angry. The best part? I have worked on it and managed to fix this problem.
I truly believe that every heartbreak leads you closer to finding "the one."
Thank you, next. Cliche, but so true. I am honestly grateful for every single relationship I have had because they all taught me so much about myself and I hold zero resentments towards my ex-boyfriends.
In my humble opinion, as long as you are staying safe, you should not feel any shame about experimenting and figuring out who you like. Every person you meet can teach you something about yourself. Stay safe, approach it with a light heart, and try to learn something from every situation.