A while back I was on a date; it was going well and I had just ordered my second beer. The chemistry was good, and for a change I was starting to enjoy myself. Soon I was lulled into a false sense of security, otherwise known as flowing conversation.
When out of nowhere came the following: “So, when was your last serious relationship and why did it end?”
Me, trying not to splutter my beer very inelegantly all over my date, and mumbling something about not wanting to talk about it.
I might be wrong about this (yes, that does happen sometimes!) but I firmly believe that the EX files need to stay shut, at least for the first few dates.
Rules for Dredging Up Your Past:
1. This conversation is bound to come up, the question is just when. There really is no good time to talk about your past failed relationships, there are just worse times (like first dates, or during/after sex).
If it comes up, let it, and be honest about why things ended.
2. Don’t badmouth, curse, or rant about your ex! Worst move ever; it just makes you seem a little petty. (Not to mention that there were probably some good things that made you two stay together for so long.)
Avoid sentences like; “That cheating bastard, speaking of cheating bastards, if you ever try anything like that, I’ll lop off your…” – well, you get the picture.
3. That said, there is no need for praise either. It will just make your date feel uncomfortable.
4. Try not to talk about your ex all the time. It may give the wrong impression that you aren’t over them (are you?).
Don’t say things like: “I don’t know where that lamp is from, my ex chose all the furniture”, or “ooo that reminds me of that one time we went hiking and…” Just rethink those kind of stories.
We all have a past, and we are well aware of the fact that the person we are dating has one as well. But there really is no need to constantly reminisce about it. Mainly, because the last thing you want to do is make your present feel awkward, or give them the feeling that things aren’t quite over emotionally between you and your ex.
At some point, when you both feel cozy, snug, and secure in the relationship it will probably be a non-issue, but until that point, just get through the mandatory “so we dated for five years, and before that there was…”, and stay away from the ten hour analytic speech about why it ended because of his fear of commitment.