June 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm #37028
I was raised in a holostic/ hippy home without boundaries or rules, we were encouraged not to conform to societys rules/ expectations which is great in some ways but there was also alot of hurt and anger and abuse (violent and emotional not sexual) in the family so it was not so great in other ways. I had a bad relationship with my Dad and so left the house whenever I could, I lost my virginity at age 14 to an older guy and was drinking and taking drugs at that age also. This behaviour continued throughout my teenage years despite having a boyfriend, who I cheated on at any opportunity as I simply did what I wanted, we were never taught infidelity was wrong or to consider the feelings of others- dad always had affairs etc. I am now almost 23 and I have been on a long path to get to the point where I can turn down drugs, dont get absolutely smashed and now find the idea of sleeping with random guys disgusting as I have learnt to love myself (needless to say the parents never gave me the ‘respect your body’ talk) and that sex is meant to be a connection not just an animal act. I am now at a point where I want a relationship and I do like a guy but he is very moral and I know he thinks cheating, sluttiness, drugs etc are horrible so I do not know if he will like me back but regardless I am struggling with the constant thought that my past and my ‘number’ will stop me from ever getting the kind of man I want and I think I now deserve because I have learnt the pain and stupidity of infidelity (finally).
Thoughts, comments appreciated xJune 17, 2013 at 9:06 am #37075
You clearly understand what was wrong with your past behaviour, so remember that anyone who judges or condemns you for your past is not someone you want to be in a relationship with. A true partner will accept that you are human and made mistakes and will support your decision to change your life, regardless of your “number”. Don’t buy in to the idea that the number of past partners you had makes you somehow less worthy of affection and a relationship. It does not!June 17, 2013 at 9:56 am #37085
Thanks for sharing your story Elizabeth. It’s a great reminder to all of us who might be dealing with guilt or shame about our past that we’re not alone and, as Jade pointed out, that we don’t need to let it be our scarlet letter.
I bring this quote by Kathyrn Shulz to mind whenever feelings of shame or guilt come up as a reminder that we can use these turning points in life for growth and development,
“If we have goals and dreams and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets, the point is to not hate ourselves for having them… We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create, and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly — it reminds us that we know we can do better.”
And as with all relationships, the golden rule applies, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”.
Or to take it one step further and to paraphrase Goethe, ‘Treat others not as they were or are, but as they could be.’
Anyone who does not apply these rules in relating to us is not worthy of our love and affection.June 17, 2013 at 11:51 am #37106
I do think you need to be honest with him and tell him about your past because one way or another, he will find out about it. By being honest and up front, you can move forward with the relationship with a free conscious. That said, I agree totally with the others that if he judges solely based on your past, then maybe he isn’t the right one for you.June 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm #37485
I don’t really think you should tell him your “number”, if you start a relationship with him-”number”/experience conversations are meaningless, as they don’t add value to anything-if I like someone, I won’t stop liking him cause of his numbers, if he treats me right, loves me and etc.
As Jade said, your past doesn’t make you unworthy of love and affection – you just acted the way you knew. And when you’re 14, well, you don’t know much (you don’t even when you’re 23 or 30, or 40, as certain learning experiences only come with age). You want a relationship now and you’re willing to be faithful and etc., so just let yourself love and be loved. Don’t listen to that inner critic that tells you that your past prevents you from getting the kind of man you want. If a certain guy will only be willing to see what you were not minding what you are now, well, he is not good for you.