Why We Didn't Share Our Number
The age-old "How many people have you slept with?" conversation.
By Deanne Kaczerski
Numbers can mean so many different things. They can be symbolic of your birthdate, a good luck charm, or a trendy wedding date (this year it's 12/13/14). Some numbers, however, can ultimately lead to the demise of a very good thing—like your relationship. I'm talking about the number of sexual partners you've had. At one point or another in a relationship the topic rears its ugly head and one person (not so) casually asks, "So, what's your number?" They've clearly been thinking about it and want to know if they should place you in a modest range, or shame you as a harlot. And where exactly is that fine number line?
As part of getting to know someone, you inquisitively want to know about their past relationships. How many long-term relationships have they had? Why did they end? Basically, trying to tally up in your head the number of his sexual partners. And when you both finally decide to share your number, is it really the true number? Probably not. Men are, by nature, promiscuous as their genetics urges them to spread their proverbial seed (gross). And, we've all heard that guys overestimate their number while women tend to underestimate theirs (see slut-shaming). So, if inquiring about their number is going to result in a fib, why ask? Furthermore, why lie? Perhaps you feel that your number is big, or not rightly justified—you had 3 major relationships, that one guy you dated for 6 months, a handful of 2-4 month affairs, and what's-his-name in Cancun over spring break back in college. That's 10 right there. Either way, you can't really be sure that the other person is being honest for whatever insecurity issues they're dealing with, and that can result in trust issues.
When I started to date my now husband, we both agreed to never share our number. It wasn't important in how we felt towards each other and we didn't ever want to question whether the other person was being honest about it. Not because we both thought the other was going to lie, but it was more about what that number meant in the grand scheme of our relationship—nothing. So if it wasn't going to be a big deal, why wouldn't we share? Honestly, if he had told me early on in our relationship what his number was, it may have skewed my judgment about his true feelings toward me. If he'd been with a lot of women, perhaps I'm just another notch on his belt. If he hadn't been with enough, was he going to suck in bed? Now, what once would have been a "major" conversation just feels so ridiculous to even talk about. Who cares if he's been with 5, 10, 20, a ballpark of women prior to me...I'm the one married to him.
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