The Past

Early twenties. Another night, another number of drinks, and phone numbers and memories that you can’t seem to recall. With the next morning (or entire day) being a write off only to do it again (in a different outfit of course) the next night. Same faces, different places. Late night food, late night indulgences. Oh what a life it is to live the twentysomething lifestyle. The early twentysomethings making a home for irresponsibility, spontaneity and anything to keep you on your toes. Those were the days. You knew it then just as much so as you know it now. It’s just too bad he has to know you lived through that, and you unto him as well.

Pasts. People have them. There are a few of us who have managed to hold onto our honeys since high school – though even a ‘break’ one confused summer could lend room for some raunchiness and unadulterated behaviour to kick in. So what happens when you know your guy has a past. Does that make you back off and put up a wall just so you can ensure your not another notch under his belt? Or do you understand that the past was just that, write it off as him living his life and care less, knowing that if anything, at least he got it out of his system?

A fellow bronzed, twentysomething and I were talking over Skype and I told her that a guy on her radar has had quite his way with quite a number of women we know. Her reaction was that of pure latter twentysomething calm. She appreciated that he had a past, and was content knowing that at least she was in the know. She has no need to hold it against him or be weary of him, because all of that happened before him and her met. So what does she care? She doesn’t expect that for the past 28 years or so of his life that he’d be sitting around, a virgin, waiting to meet her.

I’m always so surprised at how sensitive people are on this subject of past. It’s the same thing about numbers. Couples get so caught up with the whole ‘How many people have you been with before me’ thing. Who cares? That doesn’t make them like you any less or any more. If the sex was that amazing with all their previous lovers, they’d likely still be with those people, not with you. The whole concerned about your past thing gives love a bad name; the thing insecurities and lack of trust are made of.

If you’re not comfortable with knowing that your man has slept with a handful of ladies, it’s time to toughen up and drop it because he’s with you now. It’s not like you’re a sexual saint either. If you are in fact quite bothered by it, bring it up once. Have a discussion about what makes you uncomfortable about it, let him reassure you and then don’t bring it up again. If you can’t handle it and you have to question or make snappy, jealousy-ridden comments all the time, you shouldn’t be with him. He shouldn’t have to suffer and be ridiculed just because you’re unable to handle his past decisions and actions.

Have trust in the fact that he’s with you. He’s chosen you. Appreciate that in and of itself and just chill. Take it for what it is and don’t waste so much energy worrying about his past. I can guarantee you he isn’t thinking about it and the only thing you do when bringing it up is making his past his present, re-emerging those feelings, those times and allowing him to relive it. Sounds quite contradictory to what you’re trying to do, no?

– Jenny Jen


6 thoughts on “The Past

  1. Jen—this is a topic I have to disagree with you about—for some people, the "number" can say a lot about someone's morals and their views on sex…and if those are incompatible views, it can be a problem. The past is the past, but someone's actions can say a lot about them and what kind of values they have. Just my opinion though. I don't judge anyone on the number of partners they've had, but in the past, it has affected my decision on if I want to have a relationship with that person.

  2. Hugh Hefner got engaged yesterday and there are many articles online today about his views on relationships. In one he said that for the eight years he was married he never once cheated, was always loyal and faithful. He admits he lived a wild lifestyle before and after indulging in women, amongst other things, but what this shows us is that – though people have a past and maybe had a looser view before they met this person – they can still be a loyal, monogamous partner. Though, this is also the same man who says "The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else." So I hear you, and appreciate your comments V, as always.

  3. My partner's number is 2 – his ex-wife, and me. Mine is 17. Veronika, this doesn't reflect my morals; just my bad luck in relationships. I've never been married, but had a number of long-term monogamous relationships in the 36 years of my life before we met. I agree with you Jen – if things had worked out with those other people, my partner and I wouldn't be together now. Although my partner isn't happy about my "past", I'm very lucky that he has never let it get in the way of our relationship. We've been together for 11 committed and faithful years, and my number has stopped right here.

  4. @anon—Like I said, I don't think differently of someone for their number of partners, i know they can still be a good person with great values, but for me personally, it would affect whether or not I wanted to date them and that's OK, we all have different standards about the kinds of people we want to be in a committed relationship with–However (and I should have clarified this in my original comment) I am referring to people who are actually promiscuous and have one night stands on a regular basis—I am not referring to people who have had a lot of relationships over the years and have slept with those partners. I didn't mean to offend anyone. For me, the number isn't a black and white thing—every situation is different—i could never fault someone if they had several relationships that lasted months to years and they slept with all of those people—but if someone went out to a club every weekend and slept with a new person then yeah, that makes me feel differently.

  5. Completely agreed with this blog post. I’ve dated guys at both ends of the spectrum when it comes to past. Personally, I think if you are in a relationship with a man with a more ‘colourful’ past, and you feel they truly care about you, then it says something – they have shopped around (a lot) and selected you! So all the girls before? They were elements of their past that in some weird way led them to you. Obviously, this won’t apply to every situation (religious differences, guys who cheat, etc.) but I’m a big believer that having a past (esp an early 20s past) doesn’t mean someone can’t be a great, committed partner.

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