Have you ever wondered how much of your past romantic life you need to reveal to new lovers as relationships get more and more serious?
I think there is probably a happy medium that can be applied to what you tell your significant other about your past. There are a lot of ways to package information so that it can accomplish what you need it to.
Once you've gotten to a certain point in a relationship, the other person should have demonstrated that they are strong and secure. But certain things can chip away at that security-it's only natural.
Here are the boyfriends that I can deal with hearing about from a girlfriend:
- The very first boyfriend she thought she was in love with and thought she was going to marry
- Any bastard that screwed up consistently that can make me look better (hey, I need all the help I can get)
- The guy her parents liked a lot-this guy usually turns out to be pretty lame, and manages to make me look "exciting" even though I'm lame too
- The guy that wasn't cute, but was really nice
So, what kind of info can I handle?
Hearing about good things and bad things past boyfriends did can help me improve as a boyfriend. These kinds of statements are helpful:
"That idiot never called my mom on her birthday."
"He always used to leave his disgusting socks out in plain view."
I can make a mental note: remember mom's birthday, and-quickly push my socks under the couch as my girlfriend is coming into the room!
There are things that are borderline bad like:
"It wasn't until I dated John that I knew that my neck was a sweet spot for me."
It's always good to know what makes a girlfriend happy and I'd reluctantly give "John" credit while paying attention to her neck. But I'd wish I was the one who figured it out.
Here are things that are just not helpful:
"Oh, James-God I don't know what it was about him but we used to have the wildest sex. Oh it was just animalistic."
"Remember that ex-boyfriend of mine, Joe? He just wrote another best seller."
"Oh, Peter? That rich investment banker who was the only guy I ever dated that used Magnum condoms?"
"Bill used to always give me orgasms. He just had that magic touch...and perfect abs"
Ok, no fair setting these high bars: I'm still trying to figure out how to give orgasms consistently and I'm not good at making a lot of money and attaining success. And, the perfect sexual specimen is a very intimidating archrival for me.
On the other hand, it does all help to keep me focused and striving to be better.
It's a two-step process, figuring out what to reveal about your past love life. You need to identify if the information will be more helpful or hurtful, and then you need to deliver it in an effective way.
Do you like hearing about your boyfriends exes that had perfect boobs, were so funny, that his guy friends absolutely loved, that was so gorgeous yet sweet, had a perfect eye for fashion, or is extremely successful at her job?
Or, are we expected to be secure with ourselves and pass any test that is thrown our way by hiding our vulnerabilities?
What is your policy when it comes to letting your boyfriend know about your past? Do you keep your past completely out of your present relationship? Do you tell him things strategically so he learn from past boyfriends' mistakes and successes? What do you like to hear about from his past? Can you handle anything, or are some things about his past better left unsaid?