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So What You Saying?
We’ve all got a past. Some of us are mostly proud of what we’ve done before and some of us are mostly embarrassed about it. Perhaps the majority of us feel a mixture of pride and shame.
What happened in the past has helped us get to where we are today and it’s an undeniable part of who we are, even if we’ve changed and overcome challenges. The big question when you’re dating or in a relationship is whether or not to talk about your past and, if you do, how to talk about it.
To pretend that you didn’t have certain experiences could be a huge mistake. When you’re evasive or avoid talking about a topic, it sends up a glaring red flag to the one you’re with. He or she might wonder and worry about what you’re hiding. Your date or partner might make up stories to fill in the gaps you’ve left and those stories could be far worse than the truth.
It’s probable that your partner will eventually discover the very same aspects of your past that you’ve been trying to hide. When this happens, trust will be damaged. He or she will begin to question other things you’re saying too.
It’s almost impossible to get intimate when suspicion and mistrust are rampant.
But it’s also possible to make the mistake of overwhelming your date or partner with too much information. Whether it’s a happy or miserable memory, when you talk incessantly or in a needlessly detailed way about what happened in your past, it can send the message that you’re more into nostalgia than being present with your current partner.
Here are some important reminders so you can be wise about when and how you talk about your past…
There’s nothing wrong with appreciating your ex or an experience you had. It’s healthy to acknowledge how that past relationship allowed you to grow, but notice it when you frequently bring up the past.
If just about every conversation you have with your date or partner seems to remind you of your ex and you feel compelled to share that memory or mention his or her name, this probably means you have unfinished business with that old relationship. Take the time to heal and let go of the past. When you do, it will be easy to avoid this mistake.
If we’re honest with ourselves, perhaps we all make comparisons all of the time. We notice when we’re having more fun now than we did before or when an experience is more boring than another one was. This may be a natural way our minds sort information, but it doesn’t mean you have to inflate this tendency. It also doesn’t mean you have to talk about it!
Stated comparisons often feel like judgments and even if they’re “good,” they’re not a productive way to talk about your past. Stop the comparisons in your mind first. When you notice you’re thinking, “He’s much more romantic than my ex was” or “She’s not as attractive as my other girlfriends have been,” interrupt those thoughts.
Bring yourself back to what you like and appreciate about the one you’re with now and if you can’t find anything positive, this might mean it’s time to end the date or relationship.
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