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Runaround You:
Sluts, Man-Whores, and "Losers By Association"

It's great to be out of high-school: less acne, more money, more mature people, less concern about your reputation...

Well, maybe not.

While most adults are more centered and stronger emotionally, the fact doesn't change that having a reputation, good or bad, changes how people interact with you. And like most things in life there are trade-offs. If you are known for being the person who "likes to party" and get laid off, many people will think twice before recommending you for a job.

And then there's dating.

As an adult, having had sex, doesn't (in most circles) instantly make you a slut. On the other hand, it is quite possible to develop a "bad reputation" dependant on either your quality and/or quantity of partners or dates.

And it can really hurt your chances of finding someone.

Let's go back a bit. Why do you date? Everyone has different things they're looking for, but some of the common ones include:

  • Emotional intimacy
  • Physical intimacy
  • Desire to feel special

Emotional and intimacy are subjects for another article, but the desire to feel special ties in directly with the idea of dating someone with a reputation.

Quantity: Sluts & Man-Whores

To quote from the movie "The Incredibles:"

"Everyone's special, Dash." - Helen Parr
"Which is another way of saying no-one is." - Dash Parr

Take it back to childhood. In the fourth grade, you were supposed to bring in enough Valentine's cards for everyone in the class, which was really nice because no one felt left-out. On the other hand, it meant that if someone liked you, you wouldn't know.

Dating a lot of people is giving Valentine's cards to the class.

Most people have some degree of competitive spirit, but for most people (especially NiceGuys and NiceGirls) dating is intrinsically an insecure activity. You open yourself up so you can feel, but that also means you can get hurt.

When someone dates a lot of people (espeically within a particular group) and people start to hear various things second- or third-hand, they start to lose credibility. If the person you're dating says, "I've never felt like this before" and they've dated lots of people in your group, are you going ot believe them? Or think they're playing you?

Also, it's a public health issue. The more people you've slept with, the better your chances of having, "picked something up."

And some of that stuff can kill you.

Quality: Losers By Association

You meet someone you're interested in. They're attractive, nice, smart, and fun. Then they mention that they like So-And-So. One of the people you would rather not know because they creep you out. They also mention they used to date Jaime. Jaime who "dates a lot."

Suddenly this person is: attractive, nice, smart, fun,and has no taste. If it had been Kris, who's really cool, it would be one thing, but Jaime???

"You have been seen with a steady stream of losers. Why would Mr. Right want to add himself to the list?" - Ms. S.S.

This all ties in with The Myth of Potential and The Benefit of the Doubt. You've heard of a "contact high," well a "contact loser" is worse. Supposedly, you have to be around a hell of a lot of pot in a closed room to get a contact high, but it only takes one loser...

To use a personal example, I'm a swing and ballroom dancer. It's fairly common for guys who are not popular to learn to dance and become good enough that some women find them interesting — or at least datable. Some of these guys actually become really good guys who learn social skills and are worthwhile.

Others become wannabe Don Juans.

And it actually works to some extent.

I know a few of these guys, and most of the decent guys I know, avoid girls (we can't think of them as "women") who are naive/stupid enough to go out with these losers.

Cleaning Up

If you think that the guy you're interested in may not be interested in you because of your past. You might try to "contain the damage." When the subject of relationships comes up, mention what you learned. Don't bash on the person, but mention something along the lines of, "she wasn't a bad person, but if I knew then what I know now," or "I should have seen..." or even, "I just had to get it out of my system."

Just a thought.

Good Luck!!!

- "Mr. Nice Guy"