Bringing Your Past Into Your Present: When to Talk About It and When to Leave It Alone

We all have pasts. But how do you know when to leave that past behind you and when to talk about it with your significant other? Here is your guide to navigating your past without causing issues in the present.

Mention it When

It Impacts Your Current Relationship

Whether positive or negative, our past relationships have shaped us into who we are today. But are those former relationships affecting your current one? If so, it’s important to relay that information to your current partner. For example, if you have a hard time opening up due to past experiences, be honest and upfront about how you’re feeling. It will provide your current significant other with more clarity while alleviating any pressure on your end.

When Asked Directly

While you should never have to answer questions that make you uncomfortable, if you’re asked directly about your past by your current partner, there can be a benefit to answering them honestly. That said, be careful about providing too much information too soon. For instance, if asked about your dating history, you don’t need to give a detailed overview, just a few bullet points.

When It Brings You Closer Together

Sometimes, talking to your significant other about more difficult parts of your past can bring you closer together. If they feel they understand you better, it can be a step toward building a stronger bond.

But leave it

When It’s Hurtful

On the one hand, if it’s painful for you to discuss your past, you aren’t obligated to. But when it comes to your significant other, keep their feelings in mind before sharing any stories from your past that may be hurtful for them to hear.

When It’s Not Relevant

As mentioned, not everything is deemed “need-to-know.” For that reason, anything that’s not relevant, doesn’t come up naturally in conversation, or is otherwise fine staying in the past should stay there.

When It Makes You Uncomfortable

If you’re uncomfortable sharing something about your past, then leave it there. Keeping certain things to yourself is normal, so long as it doesn’t negatively impact your psyche. You are the keeper of your past, which means you ultimately choose what you share with your current partner. No matter what you decide, it’s the right choice for you.

The bottom line is that your past has made you who you are. Determine what can and should be shared with your current partner and leave the rest behind you.

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