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Editor's note: This article is a part of a head-to-head. Read the other article here

Those who are not in committed relationships and are seeing several people are often shamed and labeled as “slutty.” There shouldn’t just be one way to be single. Slut-shaming is a common way close-minded people purposefully misjudge those they don’t understand.

Being with more than one person while you are single does not make you a “dog” or “loose.” What you do is your business and as long as you aren’t romantically involved with other people while in a monogamous relationship, then it’s perfectly acceptable.

Slut-shaming is also sexist. It is more acceptable for a man to have many partners, but when a woman does it, she’s automatically labelled a “hoe.”

Men and women take part in many of the same dating practices, but are not treated the same. Regardless of sex, there is nothing wrong with keeping one’s options open. Being single doesn’t have to mean being alone. Being single is an exciting time to find your true self and explore your romantic likes and dislikes.

In this day and age, we don’t like to rush into relationships — we like to play the field. Commitment and all its stipulations are not as enticing, and many are choosing to live the free and single life instead. Seventy-two percent of young millennials have made the conscious decision to stay single for a period of time, according to a survey conducted by the dating app Tinder.

Playing the field is more comfortable than commitment for many, but it can get boring quickly. It can become hard to find a serious partner because it seems everyone around you is also having fun and living the single life. We fear being played, so we end up playing the same game, as well.

The only thing that makes someone a “dog” is poor treatment of his or her casual partner. Just because you aren’t trying to settle down at that moment, doesn’t mean you should disrespect the people you’re involved with. You should treat every partner, serious or not, how you want to be treated.

It is also a good idea to let your partners know you’re seeing other people and be open about your desire to refrain from entering a committed relationship. It will save you from a messy situation. No one’s time will be wasted when everyone is on the same page.

When it comes to sleeping with people, it’s nobody’s business but your own and your partner. You should always keep your sex life private and be cautious with those you choose to be with.

Your “body count,” or how many people you’ve slept with, doesn’t define you. Your past and personal life shouldn’t be the highest concern when you are looking for someone new. You aren’t what anyone thinks of you. The only person that can define you is you.

It’s all about how you represent yourself at the end of the day. Carry yourself with respect and self-love. When you do those things and believe in your self-worth, you aren’t going to care about what anyone has to say about you.

Who you date, sleep with or spend time with isn’t anyone’s business unless you allow it to be.

Be confident in your life and explore your options. If being with more than one person makes you happy, then do it. There is no need to rush into anything. Don’t force yourself to settle down. When it’s time, you’ll know — don’t chase it.

Te’Kayla Pittman is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia.

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