A usual hiccup for a man considering a relationship is a tendency to see everything as a major red flag and to advise his brothers in arms to ‘next’ her on account of a questionable past. While this does have merit, it’s often detrimental to acquisition of both knowledge and valuable life experience. Furthermore, appearing to be outwardly judgmental will cause the object of your affection to clam up, keeping her less-than-ideal past to herself, only to have it come out at the most inopportune moment down the road. Do you really want that?
Imagine the following scenario: you meet a girl, sparks fly, you go at it like rabbits, and begin hanging out with some regularity. As feelings develop bidirectionally and a few months elapse, you inevitably have conversations about past relationships and she’s comfortable enough to confide in you that she was raped as a minor, her father abused her, she did drugs, had an ex who beat her, had X sexual partners (where X > your number of partners), and was generally betrayed in a number of ways.
Did that make your stomach turn? If so, you haven’t experienced enough. You may be saying ‘what an idiot, stop going for all these damaged girls and find yourself a good woman’, but what men fail to see is that while certain combinations of the above don’t always go hand in hand, the overall tale is quite common. A shockingly high percentage of women have gone through this but simply haven’t told you. These same ‘broken’ women have done a fantastic job keeping it to themselves and have married, had kids with, sometimes left men who were none the wiser. The point is this: you don’t know. Your virtuous wife could have been doing lines of coke while simultaneously polishing a couple knobs. You just met her at a point where nature necessitated a change in behavior and a tight packing up of the skeletons.
An even worse fate than merely writing a girl off for some minor indiscretion (she had 10 partners while you only had 5) is getting seriously involved without finding out as much of the truth about her past as possible. But it has to be done from the onset, not later. This is accomplished by not being externally judgmental, by verbally projecting this, and by subduing any naturally gut wrenching response you’ll probably feel. You do want to know the truth, don’t you?
I prefer to meet the gorilla as soon as possible, on the first date if she’s up to it. A good way to do this is to lead the conversation to past experiences. It can come naturally. If it’s a first date, you can ask ‘so, you do this a lot?’ The answer is irrelevant, but it takes you in the right direction. Somewhere in the midst of what follows, drop the golden line:
You can tell me anything, I’m one of the most non-judgmental people you’ll ever meet.
And leave it at that. If compelled, you can follow it up with ‘we all have issues and I like to learn about people and want to know more about you’ or similar. If you do this with sincerity, she’ll open up shortly thereafter. People love to talk about themselves, particularly about topics on the taboo side because there’s rarely an ear that will listen and ‘accept’ them without repercussions. They yearn for it. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at the vivid details and the enthusiasm with which they recall the dirty past.
Just like too much ice cream will make all ice cream seem common, a plethora of experiences with women will desensitize you to some of their tendencies. I remember when I used to have the partner talk with girlfriends. In the earlier years, she almost always had more than me and it made me sick. Not due to some moral conviction, but – as it came to light later – simply because I had less and as a result labeled her a slut. It’s an interesting dynamic because if you had 5 and she had 10, she must be loose. But if you had 10 and she had 5, she’s legit. Or if she had 10 and you had 20, and so on.
The same goes for other experiences. Let’s briefly look at rape. Quite often it’s not really rape, at least not the attacked-in-a-dark-alley kind. The story goes like this, with some deviation in details: I was at a party or went out with some friends, we all got really drunk, I needed a ride so some guy took me home, we fucked, and I regretted it the next morning. Raaaaaape! Other times it’s closer to the sober variety, but regardless if it’s your first time hearing it, you’ll have a very specific internal response: it’s going to bother you.
But like other realizations about women (flakiness, the Hamster, obsessions with the mundane – ahem – shoes), the more of it you see, the more commonplace it becomes and the less discomfort it causes. Typical doesn’t mean good. It means typical. The benefit of getting women to open up to you, besides wisdom, should be obvious: it allows you to see the forest for the trees and gives you the initiative to do as you please.
Take mental notes, but keep it to yourself.
Internally, we’re always judging. It’s human nature. And while some parts of the past don’t have lasting consequences or can be, for all intents and purposes, erased through sheer willpower (like a man’s lack of confidence due to a self-reinforcing negative feedback loop in childhood), others will have lingering effects. It’s a sad truth that mere days of particular experiences can have a negative lifelong impact, and it’s up to you to discover what they are, which have been dealt with, and which are still smoldering.
Furthermore, if you prematurely next girls on some past pretense, you’ll miss out on quite a few opportunities not only for great sex and surprisingly enjoyable companionship, but you won’t learn much in the process. You still have to screen ruthlessly and hold true to your own set of principles, especially for long term commitment, but immediately labeling girls as sluts, damaged goods, too much baggage, and any other shaming language handicaps you before you start.