“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
Information about past relationships is a delicate and maybe, one could even say controversial topic.
I think it’s a topic that should be brought up when a relationship seems to be getting serious. There is value in having information about past relationships because as we all know, the past is a pretty good predictor of the future.
It might be a bad sign if your partner is secretive about past relationships.
That is assuming that you are asking for the right reasons. Sometimes people ask because they are jealous or possessive. Your insecurities are not his responsibility. Unless your feelings are coming from your relationship with him, you have to figure those out for yourself.
Nobody needs to justify their pasts, but sometimes the information is really important.
Has he had serious relationships or does he tend towards serial monogamy? Were his relationships characterized by drug or alcohol abuse? How has he handled conflict? Was there ever any physical or emotional abuse? Did he or his former partner cheat? These dynamics are serious, take hard work to overcome, and could impact the quality of your relationship with him.
We all make mistakes but learning from them is the way to become better partners in the future. Is he able to take responsibility for the part he played in past relationships that ended badly? It is never just one person’s fault. Relationships are a system created by both partners. Each partner has to take responsibility for his or her part in creating and maintaining the dynamics.
You have the right to know anything that would affect you ranging from past marriages, kids, hereditary illnesses, and struggles with any kind of abuse.
But that’s all you’re entitled to know. We are all entitled to privacy. Being in love doesn’t give anyone a free pass into somebody’s past. Ask yourself why you are interested in the answers to the questions you want to ask. Is it information you really need to know? If it is, it’s important that the questions get asked and answered. But be sensitive. Think of how you might feel answering those same questions yourself.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
What is it women actually want to know when they prod for information about a man’s past relationships?
Where does this need to know come from? And how can women get the answers they actually want while also opening up, being vulnerable and creating the kind of intimacy with a man that leads him to fall in love?
First, let’s look at the why.
Why do women have a insatiable need to know all about a man’s past relationships? Usually, this sudden pull to find out comes up once women begin to emotionally invest in the man. They begin to take their hearts off the market and direct all their hopes and dreams toward one guy. They want emotional assurances that the man is a good guy and will treat her well.
The thing is, this whole process is backwards and is a disaster waiting to happen because women make a couple of key errors that start them down a path of doubt, distrust and fear instead of make decisions where they could completely empower themselves.
Women simply aren’t asking the correct questions. Nor directing these questions to the right people.
Yes, women DO deserve to be treated well, but often they want to know the excruciating details of what happened in a man’s past relationships. What he said, what she said. This information doesn’t give women the information they really want - it only propagates their fear that this guy could do that same thing to them.
Instead, when women start to feel a tug on their hearts that makes them believe they should direct all their feelings and attention onto one man, they should ask these questions:
Do I feel this way because I want HIM to be exclusive with me?
Do I ask him about his past, thinking it’s a safe way to find out how he will treat me?
By asking him about his past, am I looking for reasons to judge him, be critical of him or close my heart off to him?
Women who answer yes to these questions probably feel too scared to share their fears with their man and want to protect themselves from being hurt. That makes sense. But it also creates distance instead of connection with the man.
When women feel grounded and empowered in their vulnerability, they can ask for what they want and need from a man. That creates intimacy and connection and makes a man fall more in love.
So what DO women ask a man and why is this more important than knowing the details about his past relationships?
Be curious! Ask him what he learned from his last significant relationship. And then be quiet and listen. He will tell you a lot. And it will let you know who he is and how he wants to be now, in the present, and in a growing relationship.
He will tell you if he takes any responsibility for the demise of the past relationship, what he learned about himself and what he wants to experience in relationship now because of it. If he doesn’t hold himself accountable for anything and completely blames the woman for everything, then that tells you how he will treat you and the relationship. And it won’t be the loving, growing partnership you desire.