Entering a new relationship has many highs and tricky hurdles to jump over. Today, we are going to look at what you should disclose to a new partner about your sexual past? For starters, I posed this question on my personal Facebook page and was overwhelmed with the amount of responses I received. There were some really amazing answers and some generous comments and great advice. If you haven’t seen the post, I encourage you to jump online and have a look – it’s definitely some food for thought!
HOW MUCH OF YOUR PAST SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS SHOULD YOU SHARE WITH A NEW PARTNER?
Before I begin, please remember that over and above everything else, being your true, authentic self is of Number 1 importance. However, what you disclose and when you disclose it, is definitely something to take into consideration.
IS HONESTY THE BEST POLICY?
We have all had a past; and there shouldn’t be any shame with what has happened in our pasts as every experience has helped shape us into who we are today. We shouldn’t be placed in a position of judgement, but also not judging others about their own pasts because it is NOT relevant. If you feel you are judging others regarding their pasts; it needs to STOP. You can’t change someone’s past so you have two options; you accept them for WHO THEY ARE NOW or you don’t accept them at all, but you have NO right to ask for explanations, do comparisons or compare yourself to others.
It boils down to emotional maturity and figuring out what you are sharing and why you are sharing it. If you are sharing information about your past sexual relationships simply to make your partner a little bit jealous, or maybe testing the waters to figure out whether they are open to doing something a little more kinky, whatever the reason may be; think about the reason and determine the value it’ll bring. For example, if you are dating someone who has a tendency to get a little bit jealous at times or a bit insecure, maybe there is more harm than value in sharing the information with them as it is likely you’ll feed their insecurities and place unnecessary strain on the relationship.
In my relationship coaching practice, I deal with common issues people face when they get into relationships, a prevalent one is when someone asks their significant other a question, and then proceeds to punish the person for the answer as it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. A classic example is the age-old question of asking your partner how many people they have slept with in their past. The person asking may have only slept with four people previously, so their perception is if you have had significantly more you must sleep around, you don’t class sex as special and sacred, which of course in reality, isn’t the case at all! However, when the question has been asked, they then don’t want to hear the answer and punish you for being honest with them.
The advice I am going to give here is quite simple; do NOT ask questions you are not PREPARED to accept the answer to and then stand in judgement of. Another example; “am I the best lover you’ve ever had?” or “have you ever been unfaithful?” These are loaded questions which could go either way. No matter which way they go, the outcome cannot be changed and your perception of the event could very well prevent the relationship moving forward due to always thinking of past events which have nothing to do with the present.
BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP TRUST, FIRST
When you have something important you want to share or ask, be open and honest. when you’ve established a foundation and feel comfortable there is enough trust and feelings in a relationship – you have built over time. Over-sharing too much, too soon runs the risk of raising issues which just don’t need to be raised. Spend your time getting to know the other person and go there slowly as well as learning to trust your own instincts about what to share. Nobody has to share anything about themselves or their past they don’t want to, so don’t feel pressured to share something you might not want the other person to know about you at the time, or ever.
Please keep in mind however, that keeping BIG secrets needs to be considered as they can be found out and cause considerable angst and damage later. For example, if you used to be a stripper and decided full disclosure is the best policy, share the information on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. Not everybody needs to know on the first or second date. If you are entering a meaningful and connected relationship, you’d be well advised to be open with this information at some point. Just remember, the past cannot be altered. However, you can use it to your advantage, share the positives and negatives of the experience so your new partner ultimately sees how it has served you at that time of your life and now at this time in your life.
ALSO CONSIDER THE THIRD PARTY IN THE EQUATION – YOUR EX!
Even though you and your ex are no longer together, when you were with them you shared an intimate history. If your new partner wants to know about your past, just because you are no longer with your ex, it doesn’t mean what you once shared is now less sacred and, out of respect, should it be then shared with others? It’s ironic we wouldn’t disclose it to others while we are in the relationship but is there a question of loyalty, once a relationship is over? Having the respect for a past relationship, it’s intimacy and not sharing its contents with others shows a great deal about personal character.
Always consider someone’s right to honour their past relationships and think about what potential rumours you are spreading to others. Your new partner may just hold back certain experiences with you if they think you might tell tales later.
To conclude this Date Tip, I leave you with the following: share WISELY, be OPEN, understand WHY you’re actually sharing the information and be emotionally MATURE about it. If the information you’re about to share may hurt the person that you’re with, then there is NO VALUE in disclosing that information about your past. However, if it is something on a moral level; if it’s a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) that you could be passing on, or something that could potentially come and bite you in the backside later on down the track, it is prudent to consider carefully the right time to disclose this kind of information, as dirty little secrets which can AFFECT another person are relationship spoilers.
November is the month for discussing the importance of sex in a relationship so please jump onto Facebook and Instagram to be a part of my discussions or alternatively, if you would like to have a confidential discussion with me, register for a free 15-minute Discovery Session which you can book in via www.louannewardmatchmaking.com.au
I look forward to connecting with you.
Until next week.