Silence of the Exes
We all have a dating history brimming with memories and emotions which we take with us into every new relationship. While it’s important to share yourself with your current partner, there is such a thing as too much information when it comes to past relationships. Here are a few pointers regarding when it’s okay to spill, and when it’s best to keep the lid on.
1. Victim Rants
Nobody likes a “poor me” speech, and no matter how bad the situation may have been with your previous partner, nothing turns a date off faster than airing all your dirty laundry in a whiny and bitter soliloquy. It is good to fill your partner in on elements of your past, but if you just end up sounding spiteful and bitter, revealing an inability to forgive or move on from the situation, your negativity can easily push them away.
2. Bedroom Stories
Whereas sharing bedpost notches and accompanying details with friends is ok, spilling all to the new boyfriend is not. He doesn’t want to hear all about your sexual exploits, imagining you with other men, while possibly feeling threatened about measuring up in the bedroom. While communication between romantic partners is great, this is a topic which needs to be handled with a modicum of sensitivity and discretion.
3. Parental Preference
While your parents may have loved and adored your ex, this is not something you need to announce to your current beau. It will leave him feeling challenged and may give him feelings of inadequacy as he attempts to live up to your ex’s reputation. Naturally you want your parents to like your new guy too, but this can be better achieved if you don’t first poison the well by inadvertently suggesting that he is in competition with the memory of another man.
4. Comparison Commentary
On a similar note, comparing your ex to your current squeeze is always a disaster in waiting. It may be impossible not to, regarding internal dialogues (though too much of that will have you living in the past instead of the present), but by all means keep it confined to your head. There’s nothing worse than being constantly compared to an ex, where everything you do is on display to be judged against an ex’s behavior. Accept the relationship you are in now, for its unique strengths and challenges.
5. Detachment Downtime
If there are still certain lingering memories or feelings from your previous relationship, instead of dumping the baggage on your current relationship, you need to take stock of your heart. Are you truly over your ex? If you are still thinking and feeling about them often, the answer is probably ‘no’. It is best if you can explain this to your current romantic interest and ask for some time apart so you can sort out your feelings. It is much better to focus on closure with your past before moving forward with another person.
6. Making Money a Sore Subject
This broad category includes boasting about an ex’s achievements, earning power, promotions and sterling qualities. While this flattering commentary may be true, sharing this can be emasculating for your new guy. Despite the growing role of women as breadwinners, men still have a huge ego investment in their ability to earn an income. By extolling your ex’s money making skills, your current partner may wonder whether he’s earning enough and perhaps even fret about failing to live up to your financial expectations.
Any happy relationship requires both partners to respect and care for one another, and this includes being considerate of their feelings. Why speak of past partnerships by sharing information that will only harm yours, when instead you can take the knowledge and experience of your past and transfer that wisdom into increasing the success of your new relationship?