I was what you could call a late bloomer. Despite falling in love time and time again before the age of ten (Prince Philip, Prince Eric, and Aladdin, anyone?) my experience with the opposite sex was fairly limited until I hit college. In fact, my first kiss was not even until Halloween of my freshman year on the dance floor of a sweaty frat house. (He was dressed like a pilot. I like Sarah Palin. It was an election year.)
(I really appreciate the following letter. She definitely explains what a lot of women have gone through or are experiencing, but I do not entirely agree with the closing message, and I’ll explain why below the letter)
But since that fateful All Hollow’s Eve, my interaction has become progressively more intense. Roughly a year later, I made one of the best male friends that I’ve ever had, which overwhelmed and confused me because I never quite knew where we stood. Then, a few months after that I met my first love; a whirlwind, wonderful-for-what-it-was relationship that I will never regret.
I gave myself to him completely, loved hard, and lost hard. And when those 15 months ended I was left feeling more alone than ever before. This man was my imaginary groom, and the fictional future father of my children. And then he was gone.
Where does a girl go from there? I was about to be a college senior with a highly unpredictable future. Where I might be living and working after graduation remained undermined, and I suddenly had nothing tying me down. I could literally go anywhere that I wanted, and the farther removed I became from the break-up, the more liberating that idea became.
I convinced myself that I would not allow a man to stand in my way of any career decisions for a very long time. So, romantically, where does that leave me? There is certainly no point in seeking out a relationship when it may have to abruptly end in 8-9 months. And I am certainly not the type of girl to give myself to just anyone. “No men!” I thought. “No casual hookups. No flings. I’m better than that!”
Yeah, keep telling yourself that, girlfriend. Fast-forward one month. Boston. Early fall. Three Jack & Gingers deep. Picture it. A gorgeous older man walks up to you and strikes up a conversation. Thirty-six years old, a high-powered corporate lawyer for a big firm, and seductive eyes like you read about. Sure, his hand was a little too far up my leg, but look at him! He told me that he was only in town for a short time, and that he desperately wanted to take me home that night.
All of a sudden my pious pledge to myself to remain celibate was looking pretty flimsy. Drunk on whiskey and the sexiest man I have ever met, I obliged him. And you know what? It was exhilarating. I successfully had a casual fling and my ex-boyfriend was the farthest thing from my mind. I had rebounded, moved on, and added a second notch to my bedpost. And I couldn’t have been prouder. I only saw him once more before he left town.
When it ended I felt good about it all; we’d had a few laughs, a couple great nights, and surprisingly good conversation. The whole thing left me with a rose-colored perception of casual sex. My past views seemed outdated and excessively chaste. We’d agreed it was purely physical, so why not? Might as well…right? Well…kind of.
Next up to bat a few weeks later, a twenty-five year old actuary. He asked me out for a first date and we met up for Friday night drinks. More than two hours and pretty great chemistry later, he drove me home and we shared an electric first kiss. He offered (for the third or fourth time) to take me back to his place, but I resisted. I could actually picture myself going on dates with this guy, and I didn’t want to ruin it by giving myself up to easily. It wasn’t until he asked one last time at my door that I finally caved. I will not say he manipulated me; I was as willing a participant as he was. But even still, my head knew I was making a mistake.
I woke up the next morning in his bed not knowing what to feel. Last night’s cuddles seemed like distant memories as I looked over and watched him play around on his phone. After futile attempts at reigniting the connection that I’d believed was there, I excused myself and got up and dressed. He laid there watching me poke around his messy floor for my clothes and didn’t get up to walk me to the door, let alone offer me a ride home.
Later that day I sent him a text message thanking him for the date and received nothing in response. I was shocked. I felt deceived, wronged, and used. Why was this happening? Last time I felt empowered, but suddenly I just felt pathetic. All of the glitter had faded. Things that once seemed sexy, adventurous, and daring seemed tawdry and cheap.
I had just exposed myself in the most intimate way to a man who literally discarded me the following day. And worst yet, I had allowed it to happen. I knew I hadn’t commanded the respect that I deserved, and I regretted it. Before, I was the angel who preached to her friends about maintaining high standards regarding who you give yourself to, and now I was the girl who had tripled her number of intimate partners in roughly a month’s time.
I thought back to the first affair, and how it seemed so Hollywood at the time. But off-camera, the lawyer was no different than my most recent flame; he simply had better manners and a fatter wallet. Neither of these men deserved to know me in that way. It was disrespectful to me, and disrespectful to the men that have truly loved me and will come to love me.
I believe that individuals come and go from our worlds, bringing with them lessons to learn and growth pains to suffer. Both of these men have served their purpose in my life. The former exposed me to a mindset I never believed I could possess. He made me live a little, and he gave me a story to tell. Most importantly, he allowed me to finally believe in my own desirability after the crumbling of my first love. I thank him for putting the finishing touches on my mended heart, much to the dismay of my best friends who would love that credit. He went as quickly as he came, leaving with him only my dangerous new mindset. And then the latter waltzed in and showed me that the life of hookups is not all luxury cars and homemade craft cocktails. Instead it’s filled with a lot of disappointment, worry, and self-doubt.
Not every man will look like Brad Pitt. And even if he does (especially if he does!) he probably does not respect you in the least. And that does not make him worthy of having you for even a night. I may be in the minority amongst my readers as I unapologetically make my claim that I am supportive of premarital sex. I believe it is a beautiful part in a loving relationship, and should be treasured. And I trust in my heart of hearts that no God would condemn two loving adults who choose to express their passion physically, rings or no rings. However, sex without love is just not worth it. It is not my place to condemn those who disagree with me, but this is a firm and recently reconfirmed opinion of mine.
Every woman, every person, deserves to be valued for their whole being. We deserve honesty. We deserve a good man. We deserve the picture perfect life we envision for ourselves. I feel blessed that I learned this lesson after only a couple men. Being a Samantha was fun for a month, but I’m back to being a Charlotte, and I couldn’t be happier.
Response to this letter and to my readers
I can understand how painful breakups are. I was in 3 very long relationships before I got married, and the “rebound” idea sometimes sounded like a good idea… Problem was, rebounding in the long run severely hurts your heart. Some girls notice the pain immediately, while other girls can go a very long time before realizing how much they’re hurting themselves.
Rebounding at first may seem empowering… It may make you feel like you’re getting pay back or proving to yourself that you’re over him. The truth is, rebounding only temporarily makes you feel empowered, because nothing makes you feel lower than the next morning. And nothing feels more terrible than the awkward goodbye. And nothing feels more terrible than him not returning your text or call… or never even attempting to contact you again.
A lot of men have double standards. Men feel like they have “no control” over their sex drive, but they think women have all the control in the world. So, in return men hold women to this higher standard. In some ways, yes, women do have more control when it comes to sex… but NOT when it comes to emotions. Women want to feel loved and wanted, and men just want the satisfaction of the chase. So, when a girl wakes up from a rebound/random hookup she wants to feel a connection… and when a guy wakes up from a hookup, he’s ready to skip the awkwardness and get on with his day.
I do not want to be harsh, I just want to be honest with you… Sure some guys may call the next day, but typically healthy relationships do not start from random hookups. Do you want to know why? Because men like the chase. They do not want “easy.” They want to feel like the girl they found was hard to get.
The man who wants to marry you, that guy, he also wants to fight for you. He wants to earn you and your respect. And once he fights for you, he wants to bring you home to mom, so he can proudly show her what he’s earned. What he is proud of.
To the man who just hooks up with women: One day you’ll realize that you never want your daughter marrying a man like yourself. I’d hate to be you, because I’m sure you’ll so badly want to tell your daughter that you treated women with respect
Ladies, hooking up with men will never fill your heart. It will never make you happy… and if you think it will, it’s because you’re NOT married yet. When you have a husband, every single person you hooked up with will feel like baggage and heartache, even if you thought you loved that person. No matter how much you think it won’t cause drama in your future marriage, it will… Do you want to know why? I’ll explain this in a way that most girls understand… When you’re in a relationship, you can’t stand your boyfriend’s exes. You HATE that they kissed another girl. You HATE that they were with another girl. And, most likely, you strongly dislike that other girl, and 9 out 10 times you’ve probably never even met her.
SO CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW IT FEELS WHEN IT’S YOUR HUSBAND YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT? NOT JUST A BOYFRIEND.
AND CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW HE’LL FEEL WHEN YOU HAVE TO DISCUSS YOUR PAST WITH HIM?!?
Most people lie to themselves and think that they’ll never have that conversation… They’ll avoid it. It’s unavoidable. A guy I know told his girlfriend that they would never have that conversation… and that they would never talk about the people they slept with. It would be an “understanding” – a secret – no sharing of numbers or names. Sure, seemed like a good idea until he ran into one of the girls while they were at a party together. Hmmm.. now his girlfriend won’t stop bringing her up. She wants to know all about her. I’m sure she has even Facebook stalked her. IT HURTS. It hurts to know.
Nobody is perfect, most people have a lengthy history. But let’s reverse the roles. If you met your future husband and found out he slept with many women, I’m sure you’d feel hurt. You’d be angry that he didn’t respect YOU and wait for YOU. I know a virgin guy is hard to find these days, but you’d at least hope that he fought hard to not just sleep with anyone…. Now let’s talk about you. Even if you’re nowhere near a virgin, you should at least TRY to make changes in your life. Even if you find the “one” or someone you think you love, don’t sleep with him…. wait. This is your chance to make up for lost time. One day when you get married, you’ll want your husband to know you made changes in your life, and that you did it for him and for God.
Regarding the letter, I am so thankful for her writing in. But, I will plead with her to understand this… you will think that you’ve fallen in love many times. Emotions do that to us. I’m sure you can look back on your past and think you’ve loved someone, but time usually shows that you were blinded. I know you would hate if your future husband told you “I only slept with women that I loved.” I’m going to be honest, that may sound more painful than the latter… because then you may be thinking, “How many people did you love??”
Love.. True love… it’s a commitment. It’s a promise. It’s not temporary.
All I am saying, is that I can promise you this… the decisions you make now will strongly affect your marriage. That’s why I do not recommend even sleeping with people you think you “love,” because true love is more than just words… it is going above and beyond to prove it to that person. Not heartache and heartbreaks.
You girls deserve the best.