How to Discuss Dating Histories
|Sam Stieler • 4/13/12|
Not only is it wise for men and women to have a clear picture of their own dating history, it’s also wise for men and women to develop an understanding of their partner’s dating history. If you are going to date a woman seriously, you not only need to ask her a few questions about her past, but you need to be open about disclosing elements of your own past with her.
That being said, how can you address your larger dating history in a manner that is honest, positive and comforting, even if you feel embarrassed about your dating history?
The first question to address.
Before you stress too much about explaining your dating history, it’s a good idea to first take a step back and ask whether it’s too soon to talk about these matters in any depth with your current woman.
If you experience a strong connection with a woman you’ve just started to date, it’s natural to feel the urge to tell her everything, and many men follow this urge to the detriment of their budding relationship.
If you are on a first date with a woman, you shouldn’t spend much (or any) time talking about your past relationships. First dates are about getting to know the woman you’re with, not dissecting all the other relationships you’ve found your way through.
Similarly, if you’ve only been seeing your woman for a few weeks, there’s no need to provide a play-by-play of your dating history, nor is there any reason to ask about her dating history.
If she questions you about your past dating experiences, you shouldn’t act evasive or defensive, but you shouldn’t feel the need to open up totally, either.
In fact, you and your woman shouldn’t dig too deeply into each other’s dating histories until you begin to consider forming a serious, exclusive relationship.
“If you act ashamed, then you will
project a judgmental attitude.”
The comparison trap and other unfounded worries.
When explaining your dating history in depth, you need to be clear, you need to be honest, and you need to be concise. Don’t dodge around your history, never lie about what your past relationships have looked like, and don’t lay out every single detail of every single partnership you’ve shared.
This is a delicate balance. Failing to answer your woman clearly, honestly and directly will do nothing but sow distrust into your new relationship.
Yet, telling too much can undermine your partnership in other ways. Just as you don’t really need to know every minute detail of her dating and sexual history, she doesn’t need an exhaustive understanding of yours either.
The biggest sticking point men dread when sharing these talks with their woman revolves around disclosing their “number.” If a man has had a large number of partners, or even if a man has had very few partners, he is likely to feel uncomfortable explaining his situation.
To ease this potential discomfort, remember a pair of important points:
1. Dating isn’t a competition.
Different people choose to sleep with different numbers of people for different reasons. Avoid directly comparing your number with hers.
2. Never act ashamed of the number.
If you act ashamed of the large, or small, number of people you have slept with, then you will project a judgmental attitude toward sex to your woman, and she may feel afraid of opening up about her own history, whether extensive or focused.
Men and women need to share a clear understanding of each other’s dating history if they are going to enter into a serious relationship, but this topic should never be approached too soon or with an attitude of comparison or judgment.