Past romances are a part of our lives and many of us feel the need to share our memories good or bad, with people that matter, such as a new partner.
This may be a good way of giving our new love interest a better understanding of how we operate in a relationship, how we like to be treated and what are our red flags and boundaries.
So in a way, talking about past relationships can be considered part of our “resume”!
Therefore it is of utmost importance that we choose carefully both what we divulge, how we present this information, at what stage in the relationship we do so, and especially to be careful and take into consideration our partner’s feelings around this subject.
DO talk about your ex but in a mild manner. Although sharing past experiences is indeed considered a way of getting to know someone more intimately, some people may end up experiencing negative emotions such as shock, anger, jealousy and even fear.
So when we talk about an ex, whatever the experience it is best if we talk about them in a way that shows we have dealt with any leftover feelings. If we find that we cannot do so then instead of dumping negative emotions on an unsuspecting victim, it may be best if we seek the help of a self-help book on break up or see a therapist to deal with any unresolved issues.
DO get your timing right. While it is good for your potential love interest to know about your past relationships to understand you better, you shouldn’t share too much too soon.
If you’re still in the early stages of a relationship, it’s best to first see where the relationship goes first.
DON’T talk about an ex in a toxic manner. However bad the experience was, it is best if we talk about them in a way that shows we have dealt with any leftover feelings. If we find that we cannot do so, then instead of dumping negative emotions on an unsuspecting victim, it may be best if we seek the help of a self-help book on break up or see a therapist to deal with any unresolved issues.
DO share positive memories. It is your past and you own it. But without going into so much detail that your new partner feels that they are reliving the moment with you! Memories that have helped your personal growth or experiences that have shaped you are memories worth sharing.
DO respect your ex’s privacy. How one talks about their ex is an indication of how they would talk about you should the relationship fail. So make sure that you show respect for any private information you hold on your ex.
DON’T ever discuss your previous sex life in a graphic manner with your current partner! It will most probably lead to negative consequences such as feelings of insecurity and inadequacy and they may perceive the details as a comparison to their performance. If there is something you liked or disliked in a previous relationship as far as the sexual or erotic part was concerned, by all means, bring it into the new relationship but only as your unique preference.
DO set boundaries. There may be certain things you might never feel comfortable talking about. So if someone brings up your past repeatedly and you don’t feel comfortable about it do tell them so.
DON’T be an island! Although overstating information about a past relationship can leave a new partner overwhelmed, on the other hand being too closed up on your past can also deter a new relationship from growing. It may be a sign of a lack of trust or an inability to be intimate or emotionally open.
CONCLUSION: Remember, open and respectful communication is key to a healthy relationship. If you or your partner want to discuss past experiences, make sure that you both approach the topic with sensitivity.