When to be truthful about your past hookups, and when to skirt the issue
Revealing the number of guys youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve hooked up with is fine during girls' night in. Otherwise? You may be better off avoiding the topic... like the plague.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why: A majority of men will lose respect for you if they believe you have too much casual sex, according to new research presented at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.
Oh noÃ¢â‚¬”here comes the talk.
But letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s say your new fling wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop badgering you about your mattress math. What do you do? Do you dish, regardless of whether the tallyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 5 men or 50, or do you keep your mouth shut like a steel trap?
Deliberate no more. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your step-by-step plan for attacking the decisionÃ¢â‚¬”and leaving your boyfriend's pad with your relationship intact.
1. Figure Out Your Stance If you really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind discussing the matter and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not ashamed by your sexual past, have at it. But if his persistent curiosity rubs you the wrong way, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing wrong with keeping a secret. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sharing meaningful, powerful struggles from our past can be a great way to bond,Ã¢â‚¬Â says M. Gary Neuman, author of The Truth About Cheating and creator of NeumanMethod.com, a marriage video series. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not one to believe that we need to share everything in our past just for the sake of sharing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
2. Avoid Word Vomit Suppose youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in the middle of post-sex pillow talk when he randomly drops his number: 17 women. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t panic. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel the need to automatically spill your side of the story. And definitely avoid lying or dropping a number thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s close to his, just because you think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll smooth over the situation, says Neuman. Making up an Ã¢â‚¬Å“acceptableÃ¢â‚¬Â number isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just dishonest; it buries the real mystery at hand, which is why heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interested in the first place, Neuman explains.
3. Uncover His Motive So maybe heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just curiousÃ¢â‚¬”and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s completely fine. But usually thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something more to his probing, Neuman says. Tell him you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind having some discussion about it, but ask him why the number really matters: Is he worried about whether or not youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re carrying an STD? Is he concerned that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s being compared physically and sexually to your past hookups? Is he scared youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see him as inexperienced?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When it boils down to it, talking about the number is an unproductive conversation to have,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Neuman. It can raise jealousy and insecurity, which is normal, since itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to think about your partner being with other people. So put the number to bed, and get deep. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The goal is really the productive conversation you need to be having,Ã¢â‚¬Â Neuman says. (Need help getting started? HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how to have 6 Tricky Relationship Talks.)
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