To tell or not to tell? Chances are that your sexual exploits (or lack there of) have come up up at least once in your social life and its rarely an easy discussion unless you have nothing to hide. Of course, pride in one’s private life can reveal a yellow brick road to lifelong happiness or immediately have a complete reversal of your respect for that person.
I’m one of the most open minded guys out there. I try to put myself in everyone else’s shoes when I want to chastise a person for their behaviors or actions. In no ways am I an angel or proclaim to be, but I profess having a strong ethic of right versus wrong. Yet, when it comes to matters relating to sexual history of a future partner, I tend to take the moral “high road” and generally pursue those who have done the same. I have a horror story that once you read it, may sound like a ridiculous fallacy, but I assure you the following events did transpire.
I recently began a non-physical relationship with someone who I fell for almost immediately. Several days into that relationship, she informed me that she was positive for an easily transmissible virus called Herpes. Being an expert in infectious diseases, I know very well how these diseases are transmitted and the after affects of infection. While this bothered me, it did not keep me from pursuing her. Now realize, this is already a substantial risk taken on by my own personal choice. With proper medication and periodic abstinence during outbreaks, we could reduce the probability of transmitting the virus to myself, because once you are infected with this virus, you have it for life. This was a risk I was willing to take because I thought this girl might just be “the one”!
Nevertheless, while the courtship grew over time I began to find out more information as we had mutual friends who spoke independently amongst themselves. My best friend then approached me with firsthand knowledge that the girl I was pursuing had gotten the disease from an unknown source because of an extremely promiscuous past. So bad in fact, that I thought my jaw would fall to the floor. I learned she had been a participant in an online sexual network that included intercourse with multiple partners in so called “swinging clubs” or a group event that involved her as the only female with multiple men.
While being completely floored with this knowledge, I asked it there was any truth in these rumors. The look on her face was enough to verify the answer was yes. I asked for some time to rationalize and the next day I broke it off. Did I make the right decision? I’m not sure, but I would like to explain why.
Being included into the politically correct generation for a while now, I think its wrong to hold a negative view of a person for beliefs that go against your own. Just because you disagree with them, you still should respect them and consider their point of view. However, I could not keep from thinking about a scenario 20 years from now where I say to myself “the mother of my kids has been passed around like a play toy.” So does it make me a bad person to judge someone by their past actions? Does it help extrapolate any future behaviors of infidelity or intimacy issues?
I racked my brain about this for many days trying to find a way to ignore or accept this information and let it pass me by. I failed. For me, it was impossible to put this concept of forgiveness and acceptance into place because the idea of her, or any future wife), behaving in such a disreputable behavior was simply not acceptable to me.
To further justify my actions, I asked the majority of my friends if they were in a similar situation, what would they do? The unanimous answer was rather surprising. Two of eight men said “Yes, they could over look it” but that came with a few quid pro quos. The answers that really surprised me were the female reactions (seven in total), such as “No, how could you date someone like that”, or my personal favorite was “You have got to be kidding me, run, run and run some more.” I was assuming that more sympathy would come from women than men, but my limited study only had fifteen participants.
The big question is: What would you do in the same situation? Its so easy to use the phrase “You should do this,” but when the scenario requires you be placed in a difficult position, the results are often far different from the politically correct side of the argument.
Personal Note: I encourage questions or comments on this article subject. What would you do?
Matt Castle is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and various investment strategies. Occasionally, a different topic will find its way onto paper other than financial documents just for entertainment value.