“When Should I Share Intimate Personal Details With The Guys I Date?”


dating tips, what to say on dates

A reader wonders how soon is too soon to share intimate details about her past with the men she dates.

This is part 4 of myself (Elizabeth Stone) and Robert Dunn on his Orion Group Podcast, episode 36– which is now offline.

Robert: This is from anonymous:

“I have a question. Whenever you start dating a guy, do you tell him everything about your past like the not so good things? For example, how many people you’ve had sex with, if you had an abortion, miscarriage, really bad dad, or toxic past relationship.

Would you tell him? If so, when?

After you’re in a relationship, when does what you tell him about your past relationships become over sharing and when is it considered hiding something? I struggle with this because I want to be as open and transparent with my potential mate as possible because I don’t want him to have any surprises.

Lastly, I think some things that are in your past— is just that—in the past so it’s not their business. Please tell me your thoughts. Thank you.”

Elizabeth: I agree. I think some things are private and remain in your past.

The parameter for me is, “does the effect of it have something to do with our relationship?” And, “how deep of a relationship have we gotten together before it’s important to talk about?”

I think an established relationship where you had the conversation (about exclusivity) is the time to start peeling the onion. Certain things that are so in the past that they aren’t affecting the present should sometimes be left alone.

It really is up to your discretion as long as it isn’t affecting the other person.

If you have a massive amount of debt or something that would affect somebody creating a commitment with you or you had past sexual trauma that affects the way that you go about having sex today, then these are conversations that you have to have. But, you should not have them before you have established your relationship.

Robert: Absolutely. That’s a perfect way to say it because I don’t know how much I can really add to that to be honest.

But no, it’s absolutely correct.

When things are relevant to your situation right now, obviously.

That’s more of instinctual thing because you’ll know when it’s time to tell him about that past sexual trauma. And, it’ll be at a point when you’ve gotten close, when you’ve had some time to develop some connection… but that’s definitely up to you. It’s hard to give advice on that because it just really depends on you.

Elizabeth: Thanks, it really depends on what it is too. If we’re talking about something like a STD, you obviously need to have that conversion before you have sex with them.

Robert: Right.

Elizabeth: But if you had an abortion 15 years ago and it doesn’t affect you in the current day then that might not be their business. You might not ever feel like disclosing that.

Robert: Exactly. It’s really something where you just have to have some sense and know what’s relevant and what’s not.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Robert: As you go along in the relationship as it develops things where opportunities will present themselves when the conversation makes sense you might want to say something. But I don’t think there’s any defined thing that you can or cannot say. It’s really up to you.

Elizabeth: No. We have to stop feeling guilty about having these things because everybody has things.

Robert: Absolutely. I’m like that. There’s no need to for me to say everything because it’s just not relevant. It won’t do anything or solve any problem, you know?

Elizabeth: Yeah. Past sexual partners is one of those things that I don’t think is anyone’s business unless you’re completely inexperienced and it’s your first time or something. I would mention that. But, for some things, people are too out there. Sometimes, keep it to yourself. It’s not important for anybody to know he’s number 16.

Robert: Right. Please don’t ever tell me I’m number 16.

Elizabeth: No. Nobody wants to know that they’re number 486. They don’t want to know. No number is the right number for past partners.

Robert: Right. Do what you want but I just hope you have enough sense to know just what to say and what not to, I hope you know but…

Elizabeth: Yeah. Well, don’t bring this stuff out on the first couple of dates either. Don’t be like, “all right, I want to talk about the time that I put my kid up for adoption.”

Robert: All right.

Elizabeth: The third date you know. [Laughter]

Robert: Absolutely. So that’s the end of our questions for this session. I want to thank you guys for tuning in. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much Elizabeth for taking the time out and coming to help us– helping us out. I really appreciate that.

Elizabeth: Sure thing. Anytime you want to do it again, I’m more that happy to do it.

Robert: Oh absolutely. I always like having relationship experts on so…

Elizabeth: Thanks.

Robert: We can only make things better, right? I want to give you guys the best. So again, thank you guys for listening. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day or night wherever you are. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: Yeah, no problem.

Go back to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this episode.

Elizabeth Stone

About Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone is the founder of Attract The One.

Her popular program Ex Attraction Formula, has helped hundreds of women reunite with their men. She is thrilled to have helped so many people reignite the spark in their relationships.

Tirelessly focused on helping people improve their love lives, her work has been featured on EHarmony Blog, YourTango, Thought Catalog, Mogul, Fox News Magazine, Ravishly, Femalista, Popsugar, Read Unwritten, Medium and many more.

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