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Are You (Too) Experienced?

Updated on June 24, 2017

How It Was

In ‘ancient’ days, people got married with very little ‘antecedents’. Being a virgin, for a woman, was important, and men had few previous liaisons, many just physical, or emotional and not physical.

In short, two people with little experience of other relationships entered this one, and everything was 'new’. There were few bits of 'then’ which would disturb the now.

As the relationship was important, as it had to last, the need to work out problems, the need to fix errors was paramount.

Today, people form relationships almost off hand. They go from one to another and carry so much baggage that the failure rate of marriages is over fifty percent.

Clearly, there is a problem.

Simple event, Dave takes his fiancée, Julie, to dinner at Fancy Place.

Dave has never been there before.

He’s always taken his women to Other Place, Cool Place, That Place, but he takes Julie to this unknown venue so as to not remind himself that Anna broke up with him at Other Place, that he had asked Cindy to marry him at Cool Place, or at That Place he met Linda.

Julie is having a situation. Mitch took her here all the time. Correction, Mitch had taken her here all the time until the day he walked out on her. It had been a whirlwind romance and marriage but didn’t last two years.

She wondered if she should not say something to Dave about Fancy Place. But entering, she was washed with memories of Mitch and forgot about Dave as her eyes touched that painting she liked so much.

As they reached the table Dave wondered if they would have the same wine he used to enjoy with Anna, it was her favourite... what was the name again?

Julie wondered if she should order her 'usual’ or try something different to make this dinner with Dave 'different?’

So here are two people, physically together, but emotionally swimming in their separate pasts.

Neutral questions become “charged’; for example if Dave asks Julie if she had ever been here before?

Does she lie? Then how much of a lie? Does she say, “My dad took me here when...” or does she dump the fact that this is where she and her ex-husband ate as often as they could afford?

If Julie asks Dave; “Why did you choose this place?” what does he say, that it has no memories, or does he lie and quote reviews?

Around and Around

This is a very mundane example, just to show you how mundane situations can effect people who have too much experience.

Most people live in the same cities all their lives. They roll around in the same kind of circles. In short, they have the same life over and again, make the same mistakes over and again.

If Dave had left the city after his first mistake and moved to a totally different environment where he couldn’t repeat the pattern, he would start new. For example, if he moved from New Jersey to the Seychelles, where there was a different culture and set of norms, then he wouldn’t be in the endless cycle.

If Julie did the same, then she would have that second chance to be a new Julie, a Julie without the baggage of the past.

But most people don’t even realise they are repeating their mistakes over and again.

Cheaper by the Dozen

The problem with modern society is the fact there are few restrictions.

The idea of being a virgin entering the marriage bed, the idea of falling in love once, the idea of working through issues instead of calling divorce lawyers, is passe.

Unlike other events, the more experience one has in marriage type relationships the less likely they are to succeed.

The concept that there are thousands of people out there that one can love or who can fill one's desires cheapens every relationship.

No one is special, no one is unique, if not this one, that one, has created a society of replaceable people.

In the example between Dave and Julie, neither is that special to the other. If they wind up married she's just another woman, he is just another man, and if there is a problem, shrug and walk away.

This is the danger of too much experience.

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    • qeyler profile image
      Author

      qeyler 5 months ago

      That's the point I've been making. Using your own statistics... there is over a decade of sexual escapades before marriage. Where people in past generations felt impelled to work out difficulties, today... nahhh... can't be bothered... change partners.

      As to Divorce; well...Divorce is an art form. You have to know when to divorce to insure the best deals, and of course, to totally derail the other person's life.

      Hence, expecting divorce, many people marry for what they can get.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      Actually when it comes to opting to get a divorce money has a lot to do with it! A lot of people stayed married in prior generations because they simply couldn't afford to divorce no desired to lower their living standards.

      If all things are close to being equal financially and woman learns for example her husband is cheating on her she is more likely to file for a divorce and kick him to the curb.

      If on the other hand she is financially dependent on her husband, has 3 children, no real job skills, and little work experience she is going to do some serious contemplating.

      As for non-marital dating relationships I agree money isn't a factor with regard to breaking up with someone.

      However I still stand by that mature people don't breakup over experience. It's usually because they realize they're incompatible or someone has committed a "deal breaker".

      An immature or young person might value being the "only one" their mate has ever kissed, dated, had sex with, or said "I love you". However in the U.S. the average person loses their virginity by age 17 and the average age of a first time bride is 27 while for grooms it's 29. That's over 10 years of sexual experience right there. These days very few people expect their mate not have had "experience". When something becomes the "norm" it's no longer a stigma and no one holds it against you.

      The one advantage to having experience is a person has learned what it is they like and dislike. They also aren't likely to become "suicidal" if their mate dumps them because they know there is a chance to find someone who (will) love and appreciate them. That's a positive way to look at life.

      Sure there are people who randomly hookup with people and only want one night stands, booty calls, or friends with benefits arrangements with no strings attached.

      The key is to find someone who wants what (you) want.

      Everyone is responsible for having their own mate selection screening process. If lack of experience is really important for someone there are men and women who have taken pledges to remain celibate until marriage as well as religious folks and people from cultures that emphasize dating is strictly for finding a spouse. My point is there really is someone for everyone.

      Qeyler, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one!:)

    • qeyler profile image
      Author

      qeyler 5 months ago

      Money doesn't have that much to do with it. Being financially independent is a totally different realm than marriage. Whether a woman has a job or not the fact is, (to be vulgar) when one has experience it becomes pieces off a cut cake. It isn't important as it was. In ancient days people talked because sex was not in the portfolio. So people knew each other before clothes came off. Today, people who don't know each other 'hook up' and sometimes it is the lust which keeps them together.

      And lust has a very short shelf life.

    • qeyler profile image
      Author

      qeyler 5 months ago

      In a way people expect a great deal and have comparisons; Ex 1 could... Ex 2 used to... so this person is not being judged on their own unique merits they are being compared. Each subsequent partner is measured by those before. If marriage was 'forever' and one had no experience than many of the faults one finds with the current partner would not be found.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      Many of the "traditional societies where marriage is 'sacred' and/or 'permanent'" happen to be (religious driven) and (women) in those places do not strive to be equal to men on social and economic levels to the extent that women in the west do.

      Oftentimes when they relocate to the west they adapt quickly to the western culture while their husbands have a far more difficult time. Traditionally the man was the head of the household and the wife was his (helper) not an "equal partner".

      Many of those jobs women held in War World II did not pay them the same amount that men doing the same job were paid. Even today women complain about the pay gap.

      A lot of women got married right out of high school and never had a "real career", their own apartment, and car in those days.

      The workplace is still the number one place where infidelity relationships are initiated. The term "work-spouse" has even been bantered around because people spend more waking time at work and business traveling than then do at home.

      As I stated earlier (women) by far initiate divorce filings.

      The irony is (men) are often accused of avoiding commitment.

      Women are leading the charge of increased divorced filings and I don't believe it has much to do with a man's experience but rather women's expectations of men today.

      Lastly I'm (not) saying better opportunities/options causes infidelity. I'm saying these things allows one to be far more selective and hold out longer in the hope of finding an ideal mate. Nevertheless 2.3 million weddings take place each year in the U.S. and even after divorce many people still desire marriage. Human beings make mistakes! (In all areas of life)

      Choosing a mate or spouse is no exception.

      Being financially independent just means a person doesn't have feel "stuck" or "imprisoned" for life for choosing the wrong mate.

    • qeyler profile image
      Author

      qeyler 5 months ago

      This is not to dismiss your points, which of course are valid, but the fact is, when one deals with more traditional societies where marriage is 'sacred' and/or 'permanent' the kind of western dating and hook ups are not common, Take Orthodox Jews in Israel. Today, many of the wives have jobs in I.T. the divorce rate has not risen. This is because opportunities at employment are not read as opportunities for adultery. During WWII Women were employed while the men were at war, and they left to go home and men took their place. Despite having had the opportunity to work and earn, there was not a desire to return to work.

      The connections of families in the past no longer exists. In many cases the couple has very little contact with their families or the families of the other so that, for example, the mother in laws barely know each other and never form any kind of relationship... this was different in the past in which families were connected.

      So much was worked out before the marriage that the sudden idea of moving overseas would not have occurred.

      Simply put, there was a time marriage was important and significant and today it's a shoulder shrug.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      Ultimately I believe our expectations of marriage have changed dramatically from past eras especially in the case of (women).

      They don't "need a man to financially take care of them".

      They expect more from their husbands regarding household duties and (hands on child rearing) responsibilities.

      More money and independence means less compromise/settling.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      According to statistics (women) initiate 66% or 2/3rds of all divorce filings in the U.S. (Men) rarely initiate divorce filings.

      I don't believe that has anything to do with experience. However I do suspect it does have something to do with better career opportunities and higher pay for women in addition to them having different expectations of men today versus pervious generations. Today most women are independent.

      Prior to the 1960s most women primarily relied on their husbands for financial stability. If they were unhappy the thought of divorce and possibility of lowering their living standards was enough to give many of them pause.

      "The more options one has the less crap they will put up with!"

      Another reason why we have situations where people have more experience is because people are delaying getting married.

      In part that's also due to women being encouraged to go onto college, establish careers, and experience some independence prior to marriage. Better birth control and the removal of stigmas against pre-marital sex and cohabitating also are a major factor.

      I bet if women in the "Greatest Generation" were making $50k or more and demanded to be treated equal to men a lot of them would have divorced their husbands when they felt they weren't happily married or getting what they wanted/needed from them.

      Personally speaking I believe there are 3 causes for divorce.

      1. Choosing the "wrong mate" for oneself.

      (Too much friction: Compatibility trumps compromise.)

      Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

      2. Someone committed a "deal breaker" in the eyes of the other.

      Everyone has their "boundaries" or "deal breakers" where if someone crosses that line they're "done". For some people it's cheating, verbal/physical abuse, criminal behavior, alcohol/drug addiction, constantly jeopardizing their financial stability with excessive spending, gambling, and debt. One person is a "saver" and the other is a "spender"...etc

      3. They fell out of love over time.

      We're either "growing together" or "growing apart". There is no neutral. Communication is the GPS for relationships and it lets you know which direction you're heading in. Sometimes couples get to a point where they want different things from one another. One person wants to move out of the country and retire and the other wants to remain close to family. In other instances a couple may have invested everything into raising their children and put (romance and passion) on the "back burner" only to discover after the nest is empty that they have no "love connection" to one another. Essentially they've become roommates with the same last name. This may be fine for one of them but the other longs for something more.

      At any rate I have yet to hear of anyone file for divorce because they (had too much dating/relationship experience).

      One man's opinion! :)

    • qeyler profile image
      Author

      qeyler 5 months ago

      To elaborate...

      If you looked at the 'Greatest Generation'... those who lived through the Depression, fought in World War Two, the divorce rate is no more that 1 in every 5 marriages.

      If you look at the 'Me' Generation, those born in the 70s you will find that it is closer to 3 out of every 5 marriages end in divorce.

      This is due to, as you enunciated; the idea that there are thousands of people out there one can have a relationship with.

    • qeyler profile image
      Author

      qeyler 5 months ago

      Which is the reason why over 50% of all marriages end in divorce and people go through as many partners as they can.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      "No one is special, no one is unique, if not this one, that one, has created a society of replaceable people." - Not true!

      Just because we're aware that there are over (7 Billion) other people on the planet doesn't mean they are not all unique.

      The benefit of knowing this and keeping things in perspective is healthy for anyone who is bound to suffer from a heartache.

      If you truly believe there is only (one) person who would make an ideal mate for you out of (7 Billion) and that person breaks your heart or even dies your life would then be hopeless.

      Where as if we accept the following fact we can "recover".

      In order for your (ex) to have been "the one" they would have had to see (you) as being "the one". At the very least a "soul-mate" is someone who actually wants to be with you! (And vice versa)

      Oftentimes our "first love" is during our teenage years or early 20s while we're still immature and have unrealistic expectations of life. More often than not we have yet to figure out who (we) are let alone what we want/need in a mate for life.

      Believing that there is someone else out there for you after going through a failed relationship or marriage is a good thing.

      Maybe knowing that we can be "replaced" might give us an incentive to continue to put in the effort to hold onto those we love. Just because you have a job doesn't mean resumes aren't being sent to your employer. Never take a loved one for granted.

      By the same token you can't believe out of 7 Billion people there is only one person who would love and appreciate you.

      If this were so it would cause a rise in depression and suicides.

      Once you get beyond 30 you don't hold anyone's past against them nor expect to be their "first" anything.

      With "experience" comes wisdom.

      The sun will come up tomorrow and life will go on.

      Every ending is a new beginning!