Discussing past relationships with your current partner is tricky business. Yes, finding out each other’s past is not going to a “fun” conversation and might hurt at a few spots. However, this is the one conversation every couple must have before their wedding to avoid any uncomfortable surprises later. So, girls, we know that this is that once conversation you’ve been dreading since you got engaged and hence we’re here to help. We bring you a few pointers on how you can go about this without any bitterness and use it to actually create a strong foundation for your relationship.
1. Is it a good idea to have this talk?
Remember one thing, everyone has a past. That is nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, this would help your partner get an insight into the kind of person you are and how you think. There is a reason those previous relationships didn’t work and this one will. You might have been wronged or things may just not have worked out - use the lessons learnt to make your present work.
2. Timing is everything
You’ll have to use your sense of judgement here. You don’t talk about ex when on a romantic date, right? And you wouldn’t want to share something like this on an important occasion like his birthday or while you two are getting intimate. Pick your moment, maybe when he actually asks you this or shares something about his past with you. Don’t let the discussion start off on a negative note by doing it at the wrong time
3. Let’s talk about the details...
This is where many of us go wrong. Share your past, sure, but you don’t need to share every single detail. Give an outline and share what is absolutely needed, and that’s it. You needn’t share what pet names you called each other or about that one time you kissed someone at a party. Just pick the information that will actually help you and your partner have a better understanding of each other and make for a stronger foundation for your relationship. The other details can stay private.
Yes, there are bound to be some comparisons. Do not answer the “Bigger?” or “Better?” questions. However, if you really are asked some questions which might draw some comparisons turn it around and tweak a few details to make your partner feel a bit special. Talk about the things that your current partner does that make you feel good and will be healthy for this relationship - whether it’s his smile or his ability to listen. A little positive reinforcement will do no one any harm. :-)
5. Sex and the ex-city
It’s important to know about each other’s sexual history only because you should be super careful about your sexual health. Share whatever you’re comfortable with sharing, and also taking into consideration how much your fiance really needs to know. Also, do not let it be a one-way street. Share as much as and how much he’s willing to share with you.
6. Honesty is ideal
Yes, it’s true. While you may not be willing to share every little thing - and like we said, it’s all about what you are comfortable about sharing - avoid prevarication in any form. If you don’t want to answer a question he asks, tell him that you don’t want to talk about it because it’s not relevant to your present relationship with him. But try as hard as you can to be truthful - you don’t want this new relationship to be tainted by lies about something so important.
7. Be prepared to get past the potential awkwardness
Things do get a bit weird when you acknowledge that you two are not the only ones who’ve been special to each other. That there was a guy you liked, or there was a girl who had a place in his heart - it’s an uncomfortable realization. But know that all that matters today is that the two of you are together. Talk to each other, be open about your feelings, get over the discomfort. After all, the past is the PAST - and this is your future (and future happiness!) that you’re now preparing for… :-)