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Old 03-04-2006, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Does messing around too much mess you up permanently?

I have this one friend, and he's been around the block....had sex with about 20-30 different girls in his life so far(he's 23). Now i've seen him go from being engaged to picking up two chicks at the bar to his latest bout of moving 5 hours away to be far from a girl after a breakup. So my question is does this type of behaviour put people into a cynical emotional state? Or do people that have been around more have more of a concept of what they want out of relationships...is "testing the waters" essential for true growth and eventual happiness?

Now, I've only actually kissed one girl, on the lips, ever. That's my girlfriend, with whom I got together in and around 2004(when I was 19). I've only ever slept with her and I only plan to do that in the future. While I think love is something that grows, I think there are many people who are way too immature to allow it to happen in their relationships. To accept and ultimately enjoy the trivial flaws of their partners. Is only even being with one S.O. ever just fooling yourself because you may not be as compatible as if you found someone else...I've had my doubts but ultimately I love her for who she is and how she makes me feel.

The question here is what does time and experience do to a person emotionally, and is it necessary to experience.
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's a question no one knows the answer to. It's different for different people- some people marry their first kiss, lead happy lives, and have no regrets. Others date around, trying out many different kinds of people and relationships before finding "their perfect match." Personally, I didn't know what love was until I found out, definitively, what love WASN'T. But like I said, it's different for different people.

I think if you're on TFP this late at night, you've already answered the question you just asked us, and you're now looking for the explination of your own answer.
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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heh you're probably right about that one Sage.

I still have this idea in my head that people who have been through too many relationships tend to develop unrealistic expectations on what a relationship should be. Or haven't developed an idea on what their role is in a relationship. Perhaps the relationships aren't working out as they hoped because they are unwilling to make compromises? Although this compromise is inevitably part of life I think. Will they ever be truly happy with anyone?

Many people manage to date around so much yet they learn very little in the process. One could argue that you never really know everything about a person until you get as close to them as to be dating, but I don't think that's totally true. People date without a concept of what the future holds for the relationship. Although you could say that in those stages of a relationship, you would be looking for more information than was necessary.

Sorry if this is so rambling and vague. Perhaps i'm just soured by the ignorance of youth. I've seen so many people have SO's over the years and their time together seemed meaningless. Meaningless by my idea of what relationships should be anyways. And based off what the highschool/grade 7-8 definition of dating was, back when I was that old.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When I lived in San Diego, Mexican food was everywhere. I very much enjoy a good Carne Esada Burrito, and so spent many years sampling the establishments spread throughout the city to find the "One" burrito that tasted better than all the rest to me. I eventually decided on Robertos as the finest example of the art of Carne Esada creation....and feel the search was well worth the effort. If indeed I had settled on El Toritos version of this delightful feast, I wouldnt have the pleasure of spending my life knowing the skill Robertos has in burrito manufacture, but my taste buds would never be the wiser, as Robertos would not exist as far as they are concerned.
That said....some people just dont like Mexican Food.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, but what if you went back to Robertos and he said, "I know you've been tramping around with every other burrito in town! Take your hot sauce and get out!"
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I made it clear to Robertos that I loved burritos far to much to just eat there. Fortunately Robertos also served others....which was fine by me as they need to find the best customers as well.

The point is (since this analogy has played itself out, and is making me very hungry), there is no one answer to the question. Much depends on the personality of the individual, and the level of risk one is willing to take. By experiencing many loves in life we are far more likely to learn what love can be, and suffer repeatedly because of these lessons, love is not a safe place to be. But the double edged sword is definately in play here, because in my opinion it is the very act of suffering through loss, and the sorrow lost love can bring to us, that we become capable of truly respecting this emotion for what it can mean.
Many people are unwilling to face the "Dark" side of love....and I dont blame them one bit, its not a fun place to visit. That said, in my experience avoiding the pain is selling both parties short of the true benefits of a loving relationship, and by living through multiple instances of this, we learn far more than we can from a single taste of sometimes bliss.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
I made it clear to Robertos that I loved burritos far to much to just eat there. Fortunately Robertos also served others....which was fine by me as they need to find the best customers as well.
Ah. Serial gastronomy.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
...By experiencing many loves in life we are far more likely to learn what love can be, and suffer repeatedly because of these lessons, love is not a safe place to be. But the double edged sword is definately in play here, because in my opinion it is the very act of suffering through loss, and the sorrow lost love can bring to us, that we become capable of truly respecting this emotion for what it can mean....
Amen.
Last night I was thinking about that trite phrase, "Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all" (I know it doesn't exactly fit in this thread, but bear with me).
It is certainly true, but I was wondering if the people who blithly parrot it truely understand (and by understand I mean, have lived it) the depths, the darkness, and the suffering that loving can engender. If they do, and they still say it, then I salute them.

This is a little deeper than the OP intended, I think.

My thought is that it's the mindset of the person performing the actions that makes it what it is. If this dude is a happy-go-lucky, testing out the waters, looking for a partner type of guy, albeit rather aggressively by most standards, then it's a live and let live kinda thing.
If he's got a negative, self-destructive, "I don't deserve anything better than X" attitude, then, well, that defines his actions.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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From my experience, I find that the people who sleep aroundor 'mess' around a lot have issues that are present that lead to the messing around. I'm not sure that messing around causes the issues, although it will have effects on the person. However, it is different for everyone because people define life, love, and happiness differently. I can offer a story with examples, but it's only one person and what I observed.

My cousin is one of those people that sleep around. So much in fact that she couldn't remember all her sexual partners at the age of 16. She is a very bitter, unhappy person. She is now trapped in a marriage with 4 kids, but still having affairs I'm sure. I know that she cheated a few times on her first husband and cheated a couple times on her second husband. She looks for sex to fill a void in her life, but it only leads to more hollowness.

That paints the picture that sleeping around is bad. I don't think it is...I think that it's what the person makes of it. Eh, there's no answer to this...it's a moral decision. To each his own, choose you choice, and play safe.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I believe that either extreme is potentially destructive. On one extreme you have a person who sleeps with anyone they can lay their hand on, while on the other extreme you have someone who has slept with only on person. As noted by Shesus, the first extreme quite possibly is behavior that is hiding an unfulfilled need in the person’s life. The second extreme can lead to problems later in a relationship as the inexperience partner begins to grow and may start to wonder if there is something out there that they “Missed.” Neither of these outcomes is for certain. Human beings are incredibly different from each other, and we all have different strengths.

The only thing that I can really say for certain is that long term relationships take a lot of work and that pain is part of that.
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I read somewhere (yeah, I know) that the average American has 20 different sexual partners over their lifetime. So your friend isn't that far from the mark - not that this answers your question. Tecoyah already 'splained it quite well. Now I'm hungry...
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Wait... 20-30 people is a lot?


I'm screwed.
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shesus
From my experience, I find that the people who sleep aroundor 'mess' around a lot have issues that are present that lead to the messing around. I'm not sure that messing around causes the issues, although it will have effects on the person. However, it is different for everyone because people define life, love, and happiness differently. I can offer a story with examples, but it's only one person and what I observed.

My cousin is one of those people that sleep around. So much in fact that she couldn't remember all her sexual partners at the age of 16. She is a very bitter, unhappy person. She is now trapped in a marriage with 4 kids, but still having affairs I'm sure. I know that she cheated a few times on her first husband and cheated a couple times on her second husband. She looks for sex to fill a void in her life, but it only leads to more hollowness.

That paints the picture that sleeping around is bad. I don't think it is...I think that it's what the person makes of it. Eh, there's no answer to this...it's a moral decision. To each his own, choose you choice, and play safe.
I generally agree with this. Sleeping around, in and of itself, is not a bad or a good thing. It just is. However, the large majority of people who I know that fall under the category of having "been around the block" a few times are people who have significant issues. I would assert that it is the issues that cause the sleeping around and not the other way around. I say this particularly because there is most certainly a significant minority of people who sleep around quite a bit and do not have serious issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack1.0
I believe that either extreme is potentially destructive. On one extreme you have a person who sleeps with anyone they can lay their hand on, while on the other extreme you have someone who has slept with only on person. As noted by Shesus, the first extreme quite possibly is behavior that is hiding an unfulfilled need in the person’s life. The second extreme can lead to problems later in a relationship as the inexperience partner begins to grow and may start to wonder if there is something out there that they “Missed.” Neither of these outcomes is for certain. Human beings are incredibly different from each other, and we all have different strengths.

The only thing that I can really say for certain is that long term relationships take a lot of work and that pain is part of that.
This (the first part) is actually something I definitely disagree with. The second part is the key to this disagreement. Hard work and communication is absolutely necessary for long term relationships. It is a lack of that which leads to the feeling that one is "missing" something. I am in a relationship of a little over 6 years with onodrim and I am the only person she has ever dated, yet she has no feelings of having missed out on anything. The reason for this is because we have good communication and she is quite happy with me, and I am also happy with her. It is when unhappines with the relationship rears it's head that this feeling of having "missed out" is most likely to come up.
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzak
The question here is what does time and experience do to a person emotionally, and is it necessary to experience.
To hone in on your original question, time and experience are what life is. As others have noted, I don't think it's crucial, in any objective sense, how many people you sleep with to gain this experience. It's more a question of motivation for the actions, I think. It doesn't matter if its having sex with someone, or if its wearing a certain brand of clothing; if you undertake an act strictly for the sake of pleasing other or gaining acceptance, then you're likely to slowly degrade yourself and fail to reach personal fulfillment. If you undertake these acts in genuine exploration, I think its possible to gain useful knowledge from your experiences. It's a question of mindset.

So I guess, in reference to your friend, and the contrast to your situation - my question is: why are the two of you taking your respective approaches to relationships?
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm one of those people like your friend... I've had, in the 18 years since I lost my virginity (at 16... I'm 34 now for those of you who wonder about those kinds of things), sexual partners numbering either in the high 3 digits, possibly into the low 4 digits. (Somewhere between 900 and 1000 sexual partners).

Yes, that's a LOT. Yes, I was extremely promiscuous. Yes, those partners were both male and female. And yes, many of those were in multiple partner at once situations. And yes, I had issues. Namely, low self esteem that I thought I was bolstering by repeated sexual encounters. Fleeting intimacy to validate my self worth. I had a few relationships during that time, but they all ended badly, sabotaged by my full set of Louis Vuitton luggage that I was toting around, lol.

The thing is, even after I did a lot of work on my self esteem and self worth... I'm actually a very well adjusted woman these days... and kicking a crystal meth addiction (part of that self worth work was done while I was dealing with my addiction... You spend a lot of time in introspection while you're DTing from a drug addiction), I still chose to live my life in a sexually free sort of way... By that time, it was a habit that I'd developed, and honestly, I liked the freedom that sex-without-relationship afforded me. *shrugs* Its not something that most women choose, but it suited me.

As a woman, my sexual choices were fairly unusual. Most women would rather not have to deal with the damage that such choices make to her reputation and to her future relationships. I'm going to tell you that I'd accepted the fact that I would probably never get married... I'm not one to hide my past, even though I don't broadcast every detail, it has a habit of coming up to remind me that its there... And, especially in a smallish city like where I live, word gets around. There's really no such thing as anonymity or discretion. Things have a way of getting around.

I was lucky. I've known my husband for nearly 20 years. He knew me during the worst of my low points, and he doesn't care... He thinks that my past is part of what made me who I am today, and he really loves that person... I like her, too, and we've been happily married for almost 10 years. He was one of those people with little experience... I'm only his second partner, and was only his third sexual experience. But he doesn't feel like he's missed out on anything, and neither do I.

All I can say to you and your friend... He's got to find his own way. The one thing I can suggest is that rather than dog him about his sexual largesse, you can encourage him to be safe, and to get tested regularly for diseases. That way there's one less thing for him to regret (if indeed he does regret his choices. I don't.) if and when he does find "the" girl.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Love, sex, and relationships are in themselves not always related.

I think sleeping around is not a bad thing as it makes the sex part less of an issue. Sex itself can make you do stupid things and cloud your judgement. Once you have experianced enough sex that the 'wonder' is gone you can focus on what really matters for a long term relationship which is personality.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Love, sex, and relationships are in themselves not always related.

I think sleeping around is not a bad thing as it makes the sex part less of an issue. Sex itself can make you do stupid things and cloud your judgement. Once you have experianced enough sex that the 'wonder' is gone you can focus on what really matters for a long term relationship which is personality.
I think the people who only have one partner like that 'wonder' feeling that they only can get from their SO. Even though there might be better out there, they can be happy knowing that sex means something to both of them emotionally, rather than just pyhical fun.
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASU2003
I think the people who only have one partner like that 'wonder' feeling that they only can get from their SO. Even though there might be better out there, they can be happy knowing that sex means something to both of them emotionally, rather than just pyhical fun.
It can be both, or either.

It would be interesting to know is being the 'only' one makes you less or more prone to cheating.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:30 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Love, sex, and relationships are in themselves not always related.

I think sleeping around is not a bad thing as it makes the sex part less of an issue. Sex itself can make you do stupid things and cloud your judgement. Once you have experianced enough sex that the 'wonder' is gone you can focus on what really matters for a long term relationship which is personality.
Very good words, Ustwo. The trend, of course, seems to be that very few of the younger generation take the long term into consideration. I'd like to think I'm one of the exceptions to that rule. Granted, everyone has the ability to make their relationships meaningful and smooth regardless of the path they choose. When I originally was first interested in the girl who I love now, I made absolutely certain to look for the things that I wanted in a significant other. But she almost broke my heart (and confused the hell out of me!) when she turned me down (I later found out she had a recent bad breakup), and then summer came and I didn't see her the entire time. Then when school was back in, one of my friends brought her to our house after a bar night. I'm not sure why I wasn't out with them, but over the next number of weeks we hung out more and eventually we just got together. And this was totally free of any BS and gameplaying, I was just being myself! I'd like to think it was somehow meant to workout this way. On the other hand, I'm sure her previous relationship had a large effect on how she viewed me as a person, which is a clear example of the experience side of this thread. Perhaps this only further proves that things can work out in either situation, especially since a girl, who is 1 and a half years older, starts going out with a guy with no previous relationship experience. How's that for breaking the stereotypes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretMethod70
This (the first part) is actually something I definitely disagree with. The second part is the key to this disagreement. Hard work and communication is absolutely necessary for long term relationships. It is a lack of that which leads to the feeling that one is "missing" something. I am in a relationship of a little over 6 years with onodrim and I am the only person she has ever dated, yet she has no feelings of having missed out on anything. The reason for this is because we have good communication and she is quite happy with me, and I am also happy with her. It is when unhappines with the relationship rears it's head that this feeling of having "missed out" is most likely to come up.
The communication issue is always gonna huge as far as relationship are concerned. I'm currently long distancing and only seeing my SO about once a month, and I think communication is even more important in such circumstances. It's something that we all have to work on in our relationships...I've seen too many people be surprized and hurt by a lack of it in the past.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:17 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretMethod70
This (the first part) is actually something I definitely disagree with. The second part is the key to this disagreement. Hard work and communication is absolutely necessary for long term relationships. It is a lack of that which leads to the feeling that one is "missing" something. I am in a relationship of a little over 6 years with onodrim and I am the only person she has ever dated, yet she has no feelings of having missed out on anything. The reason for this is because we have good communication and she is quite happy with me, and I am also happy with her. It is when unhappines with the relationship rears it's head that this feeling of having "missed out" is most likely to come up.
The general point of my post SMeth was to point out that any extreme can be (but not necessarily is) destructive. I know plenty of people who have succeeded in relationships despite the fact that one or the other was inexperienced. I also have personally witnessed many examples of the “Missing Something” that I mentioned in my post. I suppose though that if you care about your SO, you will strive to keep them happy and keep your relationship (sexual or emotional) fresh and exciting, and that this applies to any couple experienced or not.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:38 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack1.0
The general point of my post SMeth was to point out that any extreme can be (but not necessarily is) destructive.
Maybe I'm just an old(er) bastard, but I think life is potentially destructive. I had a greatgrandmother that used to say everyone has to go over fool's hill, and the sooner you go the better. I think we all have to adjust to being alive, and we all do it differently. Some people fuck a lot, some people use drugs, some people gamble, some play video games, some abstain from certain behaviors...but it's not so much what you do or don't do, but how you react to it. what you learn from it, that i think shapes your character.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:05 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretMethod70
This (the first part) is actually something I definitely disagree with. The second part is the key to this disagreement. Hard work and communication is absolutely necessary for long term relationships. It is a lack of that which leads to the feeling that one is "missing" something. I am in a relationship of a little over 6 years with onodrim and I am the only person she has ever dated, yet she has no feelings of having missed out on anything. The reason for this is because we have good communication and she is quite happy with me, and I am also happy with her. It is when unhappines with the relationship rears it's head that this feeling of having "missed out" is most likely to come up.
Yeah, I was going to say that I disagreed with that part, too; SM makes some excellent points in his post. I think the "missed out" feeling only comes from other issues in a relationship, not from a lack of sleeping around when you had the chance.

Personally, I've technically only slept with two people, and I only remember one (yeah), and that's my current bf of nearly two years. He's only slept with one person, and that's me. I had dated a few people before him, but never went far physically (I was an evangelical, back in the day), and he hadn't really dated anyone before. We were both in our mid-20s when we got together (pretty late in the game), but we were friends first, established a trust and got to know each other (much like Blizzak, it seems). I think the experience of being older also took away a lot of the temptation and drama of "sleeping around."

But then again, we both know some people who sleep around a lot, and we have no problem with them (as long as they are being safe, and not harming themselves psychologically, which does happen). If he and I ever get to the point of wanting to have sex with other people, well, we're gonna talk about it and decide what would be best for the relationship. But that's the whole communication thing that SM talked about. If you haven't got that, you haven't got anything, no matter how many or few people you have been with.

Btw, Bryndian... I really appreciated your story. Thank you for posting.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think the friend in the OP had/has some issues he needs to address. It would seem as though he is 'running' from things within himself. Some people, use sex as an escape from themselves and it would seem that might perhaps be the case.

As far as sleeping around just for the fact of having lots of sex, that's not really my scene, but i understand that is what other people search for and enjoy. As long as someone is happy and comfortable with their decisions, it's not my place to feel one way or another about it.

As to your question: Is it nessasary to experience?

For some people. the answer is yes. For some people, it's no. it truly depends on what lessons that person wants, feels they would like to learn.

i'm at that place right now, where i know i need to let myself go a little bit and have some experiences. So, i think the answer for me... at least... is Yes, it is nessasary for me to experience some things at this time in my life.
I need to learn, i need to embrace some things i never have... to do that, i know i need to have some experiences.

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Old 03-09-2006, 07:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack1.0
I believe that either extreme is potentially destructive. On one extreme you have a person who sleeps with anyone they can lay their hand on, while on the other extreme you have someone who has slept with only on person. As noted by Shesus, the first extreme quite possibly is behavior that is hiding an unfulfilled need in the person’s life. The second extreme can lead to problems later in a relationship as the inexperience partner begins to grow and may start to wonder if there is something out there that they “Missed.” Neither of these outcomes is for certain.
well since everybody wants to disagree with this, let me chime in, I have to agree with him... I have never slept with anybody but my wife. It kills me. Every single day I feel the sting of it... I always feel like I have missed something. I thought I would get over it and it would go away but it is just festering... and its hurting my relationship...

year 0 - "of course I'll be happy with only sleeping with 1 person, whats the point of more?"
year 1 - "I'm kinda jealous of her having had other partners but I can deal with it"
year 2 - "am I missing something"?
year 3 - "I AM missing something, but I love my fiance and I'll deal with it"
year 4 - "Did I make the right choice? can I really handle this for the next 50 years?"
year 5 - "I think i made the wrong choice..."

now I have to say while we communicate well about most things, and we have talked about this briefly (before we got married) but its something that I can't bring myself to vocalize... hell I think this is the first time I have written it down...

anyways.. just my 2 cents.. sometimes it sneaks up on you slowly... maybe I should make my own thread since I keep cluttering everybody elses with my issues... lol
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Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward.
Whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both.
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Fob_Magi is offline  
Old 03-18-2006, 04:26 AM   #25 (permalink)
bAck iN aCtiOn!
 
Location: in my imagination
i think if you are unsure whether or not you might click more with someone else, it's not entirely a bad thing to venture out and see what's out there. there's a very good chance (because of the vastness of different people in the world) that you will find others you click more with, but then again, you may not find what you want to find. and more importantly, you may end up losing the best thing you ever had. experience is good, but i think the reason why most people who've "been around the block once or twice" become cynical is because they had the thing they wanted all along, but gave it up because of their doubt that there was something better out there. grass is always greener and such.
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ariekitten is offline  
Old 03-19-2006, 12:40 AM   #26 (permalink)
Upright
 
Location: Seattle
It really depends on your personality. I'm at a stage in my life where I'm not ready for a serious relationship, thus 'messing around' suits me best. I know what it's only a bunch of one night stands and that's all, so it doesn't bother me. As previously mentioned, I want to experience all life has to offer before I settle down on one partner.
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