Why You Have No Argument If You Bring Up Something From Your Partner's Past

by Eric Santos

Everyone wants to find that perfect someone. That someone with an unblemished past.

Although this seems great in theory, the truth of the matter is we all have a past. Many of us have done things we're not necessarily proud of, but that's a part of the human element and growing up. The decisions we made in our pasts are a part of who we are today, but those decisions don't have to reflect the people we are today.

Our pasts are something we can't change. So why, when it comes to relationships or dating, do we tend to dwell on our partners' pasts?

Because we are afraid of what the world may think. I know, because I've worried about it myself.

I remember one incident a few years ago when I just started dating this woman I really liked. I told a friend about her, and my friend knew of her but didn't know her personally. He made a remark about a sexual experience he heard she had with someone we both knew before I ever met her. I remember being embarrassed about this when I really shouldn't have been.

Once I learned this information about her, I began taking her less seriously. We continued to date, but I became less consistent and less responsive. She eventually stopped talking to me because she felt she deserved to be treated better, which she definitely did.

We all deserve to be treated with the utmost respect by whomever we are dating, regardless of our past. The worst part of it was I liked everything else about her, but I cared too much about what other people may have thought.

Looking back, it seems silly that I sabotaged a good thing because of something she did before she was even aware of my existence. Fortunately, I'm older and wiser now. Now, I try to make an assessment of a woman's character based off her personality and qualities versus her past. I do my best not to judge whomever I am dating's past as I'd appreciate the same sentiment from her.

The main part of our partners' pasts that we tend to judge are their sexual histories. Unfortunately, women tend to be scrutinized way more regarding this part of their pasts.

Sadly, we still live in a sexist world (Although, it's progressing.) where a woman who's been with multiple guys is seen as "tainted" and a guy who's been with multiple women is labeled a stud or a player. The truth is that neither person is "bad," but that's a whole different discussion.

We should leave our partners' pasts in the past because they're things about them we will never be able to change, no matter how much we dwell on them. When you dwell on something you can't change, it causes resentment and brings negativity into your life.

If you let this resentment build up for too long, things will eventually fall apart. You can end up losing the right person for you over a stupid matter of pride. If someone is perfect for you, why does it matter what anybody else thinks? Don't let your pride and insecurities get in the way of you being happy. You control your own happiness; other people's opinions should have no bearing. 

Also, those decisions he or she made helped mold him or her into the person you like today. So even if you were able to change his or her past, this person wouldn't have grown into the same person you currently care for.

Lastly, I just want to note that when I refer to your partner's past, I mean his or her past before dating you. If this person has done something unforgiving while with you, that's a completely different story and something you probably shouldn't stand for, however, I understand each situation is different.