Your Past: Should You Reveal Details Of Prior Relationships?

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New relationships are exciting and passionate. When you start dating someone new, there’s so much to learn about them, and there’s so much for them to learn about you. But where should you draw the line? Should you reveal everything about your past to your new partner? Is it in your best interests, or in the interests of the relationship, for you to reveal details of your past relationships to your new love?

This article will discuss the pros and cons of revealing details of past relationships to your current partner. Read on to find out more!

Your Past Relationships

Everyone has a past. It might be sordid or it might be completely dull, but that doesn’t change the fact that everyone has a past. Choosing to reveal it to a new partner brings up a bevy of questions. What should you reveal? Is choosing not to disclose an act of deception?

In principle, there’s nothing wrong with talking to your new partner about your past relationships. After all, you are probably in the same position. She’s going to have a bunch of ex-boyfriends, just as you will have ex-girlfriends. If it comes up in conversation, you can certainly talk about past relationships. She may want to know, for example, how recently you were in a serious relationship, or how long past serious relationships have lasted for you. These are pretty normal questions so don’t be concerned about answering them.

What you want to avoid is talking about your past relationships unless she asks, or it looks like you haven’t gotten over your ex. Plus, you don’t want to talk about your exes too often because the whole point of your new relationship is to move forward, right?

Details You Should Reveal

There are, of course, some details about past relationships that you should reveal. These are pretty obvious. For example, if you were previously married or have children with another person, it’s a good idea to tell your new partner. These are serious details that they are going to find out anyway, so you might as well come clean with them on your first date. These are not details you should be ashamed about – just facts of life that you need your new partner to be aware of.

This isn’t to suggest that you avoid revealing details of past relationships. If she asks you if you and your ex girlfriend went traveling together when you were dating, don’t avoid the question by telling her you don’t want to talk about it. But if she keeps asking you questions over a period of time, and you just don’t want to talk about it, just tell her that you would rather concentrate on developing your new relationship rather than sharing stories about past relationships.

Also, keep in mind that if you and her have mutual friends, she probably already knows a little something about your past. And if that’s the case, you shouldn’t try to hide it since she’ll find out about it anyway. For example, if you have a history of cheating on girlfriends and she knows about this reputation, you may want to address it with her before she brings it up herself.

Details You Should Keep To Yourself

There are a lot of details of past relationships that you need not reveal. Here are just some examples of what not to talk about with respect to your past relationships:

  • How you felt about your last girlfriend – A friend of mine had a guy tell her, on their first date, that he had intended to marry his previous girlfriend. This is not an appropriate comment to make on a date, unless you are trying to scare her away. Comments like this only tell her that you are on the rebound and that you are still thinking about your ex-girlfriend. Conversely, if you harbor a hatred for your ex, your new partner doesn’t need to know this either. It simply shows that you are obsessed with your past relationship and not ready to move forward with a new one.
  • The ways your ex wronged you – You don’t want to waste time telling your new girlfriend about all the ways your ex-girlfriend(s) wronged you. Maybe you were cheated on and maybe you weren’t, but your new girlfriend doesn’t want to know about it and probably doesn’t care.
  • The different sexual acts you and your ex participated in – Sharing details of your sexual past is kind of tacky. Sure, your partner might be interested in finding out whether you’ve been with as many women as Tommy Lee, but that’s about it. Don’t tell her about all the times you and your ex did it outside in the golf course next to your house. And don’t, by any means, compare her and your ex in the sack. That will only create huge problems for the two of you.
  • Don’t tell her about all the good times you shared with your ex – People like to tell stories about where they’ve traveled and interesting things they’ve done in their lives. There’s nothing wrong with telling these stories – but if they involve your ex, try to edit her out of the story where possible to avoid any conflict between you and your current girlfriend. So, instead of saying, “Jane and I had the most fantastic time when we were in Cancun,” just talk about what a great time you had on that trip.

The Bottom Line

People want to feel like they are in a relationship with one other person, not a history of different people. Any new relationship should be about getting to know each other rather and developing a new relationship together, rather than sharing war stories about past relationships.

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