I Judge My Friends Who Sleep Around & I Don’t Know How To Stop

I consider myself a good and supportive friend, but when someone’s relationship standards are the polar opposite of mine, it’s so hard for me not to judge. I know I should honor the saying “to each their own,” but it seriously weirds me out when some of my closest friends sleep around.

Personally, I could never have a one-night stand. I’ve always been one of those people who needs a strong foundation to so much as kiss a guy, let alone have sex with him. To me, the idea of sleeping with someone I barely know and never talking to them ever again feels immature and pretty gross, quite frankly. I try not to knock something until I try it, but in this case, I just know it’s not my style.

Even in actual relationships, it takes forever for me to let my guard down. There’s a whole spectrum between a one-night stand and a committed relationship, but even when I’m aways down the road, it still takes a lot for me to be OK with that kind of intimacy. I need true feelings of respect and understanding to sleep with someone. I’m not saying I need to be in love to fool around, but it takes serious time for me to establish that trust.

Some of my friends give it away like it’s candy. Girls, guys, it doesn’t matter—to some of them, sleeping around is just the name of the game. They have no problem picking someone up at the bar, meeting and hooking up with a Tinder match, or getting with someone after a decent first date. To them, it’s just the way they roll, and it’s hard for me to accept that.

I can’t help but be worried they’re going to contract something nasty. I’m not trying to be their mother, but I know how dangerous it is to get with someone random. Do they get frequent tests? How do they know their partners are clean? How would they even go about asking about STDs if they barely know the person?! As someone who craves depth in my relationships, I can’t fathom how they approach the issue, if at all.

Even worse, I’m afraid they’ll get their heart broken. Beyond being concerned about their health, I automatically assume that any friend of mine who sleeps with a hot guy without a second thought is going to get hurt. Those kinds of guys think they can have anyone they want and they won’t think twice about stomping all over the innocent girl who wanted to believe he would make her feel special. I’m not calling my friends needy or desperate, I’m just worried that they aren’t thinking it through.

What if they lose the one worth settling down with because they aren’t taking it seriously? The hopeless romantic in me is convinced that as soon as a friend decides she wants to mess around for a little while, she’ll miss her chance with her Mr. Right. That may sound ridiculous, but they say you always find things when you stop looking, so it could happen! Any time someone tells me about their night with the rando from that party, I can’t help but wonder if they’re setting themselves up for a missed opportunity.

I try not to let it get to me, but I notice I pull away from my friends when it happens. No matter how hard I focus on staying engaged and excited, the minute a friend starts talking about their loose sexcapades, I can feel myself shrinking into the shadows. I send lots of emojis and intentionally stay enthusiastic via text, but in person, it’s obvious that I’m not exactly thrilled.

It’s almost like I don’t know how to talk to them because we’re clearly so different. As much as I love my friends, the fact that they’re OK with these arrangements makes me feel like we’re from two different planets. How can I feel connected to someone with blatantly different values? I know deep down it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but accepting that we aren’t the same person while secretly wanting to agree on everything is a struggle.

Maybe if I’d had a wild stage, I’d feel differently. I’m sure that if I’d slept around in college or put myself out there in this way, I’d understand more about where my friends are coming from.  If I’d lost my virginity to someone random instead of a serious boyfriend of five years, perhaps my entire outlook on this kind of thing would be backward. Or, maybe one day I’ll have a one-night stand that will change my perception of them entirely. I can’t see it happening, but you never know.

I can’t change my past, so here we are. I’m proud of who I am, and though some of them weren’t pretty, I wouldn’t change anything about the relationships I’ve experienced. I also wouldn’t change anything about my friends, even if they have different standards when it comes to sleeping around. I’ll continue to try to understand their perspective and not judge them too hard, but in the end, I’m only human. My only hope is that whatever happens, our friendships remain intact regardless of their choices.

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