It seems that that throughout history there has always been a price for knowledge; from slaves being murdered for being taught to read, all the way back to Adam & Eve being kicked out of the Garden of Eden after eating the fruit and gaining worldly knowledge. Even children are fearless until they’re told what to be afraid of. It seems as if sometimes the acquisition of knowledge comes at such a heavy price that we may not really want to know.
One area in particular that we often like to remain in the dark is when it pertains to our partner’s past. We want to know the basics; have you ever been to jail? Do you have any children? Ever been married? Can you read? We want to know the real-life necessities, but when it comes to sexual history sometimes we prefer the question marks.
Women are a little more inquisitive than men in the department of wanting to know sexual history. They often do want to know the "number", men…not so much. Asking about how many people your woman has slept with doesn't usually go well. As men we know there is no correct answer. If the number seems too low we think they’re lying and if it’s too high we’re upset. That’s one that we just throw out and accept. If it is truly an issue for the man, he’ll choose drafting over free agency when looking for a mate. (See Player, Player)
Women are much more accepting when it comes to the "number”. If his is high, a woman can rationalize that “he must be good in bed” or is “experienced” if so many women have slept with him. However not all areas of his past are met with such understanding. Something I’ve learned recently has opened my eyes to one area of zero tolerance from women. I don’t like superlatives, (always & never) but in this case 100% of the women asked all came to the same conclusion and response.
Which would you prefer, that your current man, had slept with 30 women before he met you (you don’t know them, have never seen them, don’t even know their name) or only 1 woman in his life before you, but you know her very well?
Every woman responded with 30. None could deal with the feelings of being around and knowing the woman who had been with her man. To take it a step further, I raised the number…it didn’t matter. 40, 50, 60 they could all deal with their man having been with these “phantom hoes” over knowing just this 1 woman.
There were mixed reviews from men; some wanted their woman to have been with the lowest number possible so they could see themselves dealing with the 1, others weren’t too concerned over “where she’s been”. Very few were hung up on the knowing the other guy part. Guess it really is, “ain’t no fun, if the homies can’t have none.”
It's difficult learning those things about the person we love that we don't want to really know. Hearing about those old encounters or knowing he/she has done some of things we're doing now can sting. We just have to be more concerned with creating new memories and pushing those old thoughts and stories to the back of the closet.
Relationships are all about acceptance. We have to learn about and truly accept who we’re with. All of their past experiences are what made them into the person we love now. I know it’s hard to want to think of them being with anyone else, we just have to remember, that needed to happen in order for them to find their way to us. That’s every lost love to random booty call, every broken heart to drunken threesome, all of it. To love someone is to love every bit of them including their past, and with it create a future.
I am a firm believer in "don't ask questions you don't really want the answer to." Yes we need that tolerance and acceptance but too much too soon can be an overload to the system, inquire when you're ready. You may find that it's really not that important to know.
The past is just that...the past. Learn it, accept it, deal with and move on. You don't want "knowing" to keep you from "learning", and really that's where relationships get fun.
You may even find yourself saying, "I don't know", just to "learn" something again.
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