When Should You Bring Up the Past in a Relationship?

When is the right time to reveal certain details of your past in a relationship?  Is there a right time?  It really depends on you and the relationship you’re in.  It is never easy to open up about certain things, and you don’t want to tell everyone everything.

Some people really have trust issues.  They hold a lot of their past issues close to the vest and don’t reveal a lot about themselves to people when they first start dating.  I agree that it isn’t wise to reveal personal details from your past to someone you just met.  However, there does come a time when some couples pass a point of no return.  If you wait too long into the relationship to reveal important information that could affect the relationship your partner may feel like you lied to them.

Some people feel like they don’t want to wait to reveal certain things.  They want the other person to be aware so if they want to break it off they do it sooner than later.  I agree it is easier to break it off after just a couple dates then after a few months.  However, the person may feel overwhelmed by the information at first because they don’t have a solid relationship with you yet.  If you wait a little longer, they may be able to analyze that information and put it into proper perspective along with all the other things they now know about you.  What may put someone off at first may not be a deal breaker if revealed a couple of months down the road when they know you better.

Some people are an open book with everyone.  They don’t mind sharing intimate details of their lives and what you see is what you get.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but not everyone can handle all the details right away.  Some people are a lot more private and would feel very uncomfortable with too much sharing too soon.  Also, there are people out there that can and will use that information against you.  You may be attracting the wrong kind of people to you by not using some restraint in how much you share with complete strangers.  It may be wise if you are an open person to share more about your present and what you want in the future instead of sharing all of your past history at first.  You can be open and still be selective about what you share in the beginning of a relationship.

It is hard to judge the timing.  There really is no BEST time.  If you find that you feel a strong connection to someone and it looks like the relationship is becoming more serious, it may be time to test the waters a little bit.  You don’t have to reveal every dirty little secret at once.  You may want to share a little bit at a time.  Some people have crazy family histories and may be very afraid of being judged.  You may want to share a little bit of that history at a time.  It is important for this person to know you.  You want them to be able to love you in spite of things that may have happened to you or things you chose to do in the past.  If they aren’t able to accept it, you do want to know that sooner than later.  You also want them to  know that you aren’t trying to hide things from them because you feel ashamed.

If you are dating another human being, they most likely have things they will need to share as well.  No one gets to adulthood without a little bit of baggage.  Sharing some of those intimate details can bring you closer in your relationship.  Just proceed cautiously.  Trust needs to be earned.  If you find that you are holding back information out of fear, try to push yourself to reveal small details.  If you wait too long you could harm the relationship because the other person may feel very betrayed by your secret keeping.  If you are unsure about what to do, ask someone you trust to help you know if you are revealing too quickly or waiting too long.  If they love you, they will give you good advice about what to do next.  We all fear losing someone and this can cause us to make unwise decisions.  It is good to get feedback in this case so you won’t jeopardize a potentially great relationship.

I would love to hear what you think about this post or about my blog in general. Also, feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas for new posts in the future! Thanks!

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