Live And Let Live: 20 Things I Learned From The Summer I Slept Around

Throughout most of college career, I might as well have worn an invisible chastity belt (when it would have been the most convenient time to do just the opposite). So, most of you will probably believe I’m not the promiscuous type, but that's not true.

There are a handful of moments in my life when I am taken back by myself, and the situations my drunk alter ego finds herself in. Memorial Day weekend was no exception to that. And while I initially wanted to pat myself on the back for such conquests, I realized the implications of my actions would be sending a whole lot of ugly my way in a matter of hours.

But I’m human, and I suddenly realized what the hell I was missing out on in college.

So, the life of a person I didn’t even know, but couldn’t quite be ashamed of continued from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

Through engaging in relationships with all different types of people, here are the things I've learned:

1. It taught me what I actually wanted.

You have to be honest with yourself. You can’t just give people what they want without saying what you desire.

Because I was clearly the relationship type, I found myself getting hurt a lot. But, I was pretending not to be.

2. It taught me giving it up on the first night won’t make men commit.

I always felt a sense of guilt about one-night stands, but the right guys will call you the next day. They don’t need you to sleep with them the first time you meet them.

Also, you shouldn’t feel bad about it, if it's what you want in the moment.

3. It taught me giving it up won’t make men love me.

Making love doesn’t mean you’ll get love. Love derives from time spent together, getting to know each other, forming a bond and then engaging in a relationship physically. When you rush getting to the finish line, you miss out on all the little things along the race.

4. It taught me most guys want one thing, but not all guys.

I can’t deem all guys as assh*les. I think everybody has the potential to be absolutely wonderful. It just takes the right girl to make him want to be that person.

And that’s what we look for, along with having fun. We want to meet someone we not only want to wake up next to, but someone we want to spend the next day with, as well.

5. It taught me to be comfortable in my own skin.

Like everyone, I have insecurities. But when you're alone with someone, sharing an intimidate moment (whatever the relationship might be), you have to be comfortable with who you are.

Most guys aren’t even going to notice the thing you're insecure about, and they're probably insecure about something, too.

6. It taught me what I deserve and what I won’t ever tolerate.

In my many encounters, I met people who were pretty cool and others I wouldn’t ever see again. I learned the words and actions of certain individuals I won't tolerate ever again.

I think poor relationships teach you just as much as healthy ones. Through those bad relationships, you learn what expectations you have for others. You owe thank yous to each of your types of relationships.

7. It taught me who I was.

Sometimes, you pretend to be someone. And if you pretend too long, I believe you don’t have to try pretending anymore. For me, it took my best friend pulling me aside and saying:

This isn’t who you are.

You have to be true to who you are, and if it’s different than what is acceptable in society, embrace it.

8. It taught me the real colors of acquaintances.

And then sometimes, you come across someone you’ve seen every day for years, and something happens. People change, especially guys after you sleep with them.

Some of them play it cool, and others avoid you like the plague. You want to know people's true colors? See how they treat you after you sleep with them.

9. It made me better.

I mean, I entered this summer practically a virgin. I had to get better eventually, and the only way to get better at anything is to practice.

10. It taught me to be confident.

There is a certain air of confidence within the person who can walk into a party, scope out everyone, decide who he or she wants to pursue and make it happen.

Having sex didn’t make me confident; what made me confident was knowing I could get whomever I wanted and pursuing him.

11. It taught me who my real friends are.

When you change, people are going to judge you for it. People reject change. People don’t like you being different.

Along the way of growing up, you are going to lose people. I lost my best friend this summer, and while it was heartbreaking, it took me seven years to realize her true colors. I guess it was better to find it out now instead of on my wedding day.

But, your real friends are going stand behind you. Even if they don’t agree with the choices you are making, they'll help you to come to the conclusion yourself.

12. It taught me how to read people.

While everyone says relationships and people are complicated, everything can be understood through someone’s body language. Just watch.

13. It taught me nobody is out of my league.

I used to think leagues existed. Then, I realized it isn’t so much a league, but a confidence level that dictates the type of person you can end up with. Leagues are all in people’s heads, and they are only holding you back.

14. It taught me my limits.

While most one-night stands were the product of being unbelievably obliterated, I learned my limits. I learned what would happen if I chose to exceed them, and it was those actions I’d have to learn to live with sober.

15. It taught me about stereotypes.

I remember the exact conversation:

Well, it’s acceptable for guys because they can’t get pregnant, but you can.

Part of me wanted to slap the person.

I dealt with this stereotype. I was called a slut, while guys would've received high fives.

16. It taught me drunk compliments aren’t sincere ones.

Don’t let the slurred compliments flatter you. The only compliments you should take seriously are the ones the next morning. When you are both sober, and he kisses your forehead and tells you, "you’re beautiful," believe that.

17. It taught me not all guys who use you for sex are bad. They’re human.

We tend to call guys assh*les for never calling us back. But you are just as guilty, and you are engaged in 50 percent of the relationship. If you enjoyed it, then don’t complain about the guys.

18. It taught me what I allow is what will continue.

Remember people treat you how you allow them to treat you.

19. It taught me who I don’t want to be.

After I while, I just kind of hit a wall. I thought, okay, I’ve been this person for a while now. I can step away from it.

Once something stops becoming fun, and you don’t enjoy it, stop it. That doesn’t just apply to relationships, but to all things in life.

20. It taught me voids I was trying to fill.

It took me a while to realize why I was doing this. I tried to deny the fact it might have been related to the one person who broke my heart. But eventually, I made that connection.

21. It got me over my ex.

Sleeping around didn’t get me over my ex. What got me over my ex was the moment I realized no matter how many people I sleep with, it isn’t going to change the fact I might always love him.

When you realize part of you will always love someone, you can let him go.

22. It taught me to be a better person.

While I wasn’t proud of the person I was all of the time (and that walk of shame was always quite a defeating feeling), it made me a better person in the end.

23. It taught me to take things slow.

The last one-night stand I could have found myself in, I walked away from it. I said to myself:

It doesn’t need to happen right now.

And while I was driving away that night at 1 am, I felt a sense of pride. I knew I was kind of done with this (at least for now).

24. It taught me not to call people sluts anymore.

Who am I to judge the life someone else is living?

25. It gave me a summer to remember.

Most of all, it gave me this.