I read this article. And I’ve gotta say, I think it’s full of shit.
The gist of it is that we’ve created a culture of dating that doesn’t allow us to love or respect others properly. That because we’ve become comfortable with the idea of not being tied down and living our lives for ourselves (wow, shocking) and being empowered by having as many or few sexual partners as we desire that we are “breaking our future wives heart”.
I just have say a few things.
First, the idea that we can’t be respected or loved by our future partners when we’ve settled down because of how many people we’ve been with before is ridiculous. I, personally, don’t want to marry someone who looks down on me and ties my value to how many people I’ve slept with. I think if anything, that empowerment and the respect I hold for myself regardless of that number should positively impact the relationship. Whether it be 5 or 40 by the time I’m ready to be “tied down”, it’s my business how I treat my body and how I felt about those encounters and why I had them. It’s closed minded assumptions that bring about the terms “slut” or “prude” on the basis of how many people I have slept with. And what about my other great qualities? Are they suddenly dismantled in this archaic, misogynistic world because of my sexual empowerment?
Second, in my honest opinion your entire life – but particularly your 20’s – is a time to experience things, to figure yourself out. Whether that comes in 30 people or 3, it doesn’t say as much about your character or trust as how you’ve handled how many hooks-ups.There is a difference in looking for someone to fuck and fucking someone you’re interested in, and there’s a difference between finding resolution in others and finding interest in them. And I’m interested in a lot of people. I find them fascinating, I find sex fascinating, and I find sex with these different people fascinating. So who is anyone to tell me that by letting myself go unhindered into these experiences that I’m somehow hurting this invisible unforeseeable future with a person who may or may not exist?
Third, why would I want to feel shamed and hurt about how many people my supposed future life partner has been with? Oh right. I don’t. I don’t want to judge or mistrust them for their past and for submerging themselves in our culture, but also the culture of their own lives and experiences. If you’re unaccepting of this then it is your issue, not your partners. What is there to mistrust about honesty and openness about sexual experiences? And who are we to judge who they were and what they were dealing with or learning during these times? We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, but to feel shamed by others (or to feel like others are going to shame) us is even worse.
Why are we creating such negativity around a part of our culture that is so natural to human nature and vital to the human experience? There can be bad in anything and it seems that really what our generation likes to do more than anything is nit-pick at it all to find the worst (and then amplify it until it echoes in all of our minds and drowns out the voice of reason saying “this is good, this is okay”.) Why are we so determined to make the worst out of everything? Why would we try to convince ourselves that sexual liberation is going to hurt us? How the fuck are we supposed to respect and love another if we do not first find how to respect and love ourselves?
Dating has changed. It’s okay to want a house with 2.5 kids, a mini van and an unhappy marriage and I support that completely. But while we’re judging this generation for our kill counts, social media accounts and our “lack of respect” for others (why is the empowerment of my own body disrespectful to anyone else, again?) we might want to take a step back and realize that the form of relationship we’re idealizing (that is to say, marriage with 50 year anniversaries) is a concept made up by society to be desirable not to be effective. We are not the baby boomers. Why are we using the past for a reference point when our present, and future, is so different? Yes, it’s normal to want those things, but also why.. is it so shameful to not want those things as well?
We live in a world where there is a mass amount of different messages and ways to live being thrown in our faces and it can be hard to listen to what we really want instead of what we’re supposed to want. If you’re hurt by the fact that your partner who is committed to you has slept with people before you then you are breaking your own heart, they are not breaking yours.