Spilling the beans on exes, dealbreakers, and what she had for lunch is Clara How’s way of telling a guy she cares – doesn’t matter if it’s early days. Not so for Davelle Lee, who insists there’s such a thing as TMI (too much information), and is all for keeping things under wraps. Each makes her case. You be the judge.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP HISTORY
TELL HIM EVERYTHING
Clara How: “To me, there’s no such thing as too much information – I figure that if we’re going to consider each other as romantic prospects, we should at least get a sense of our dating patterns, and an understanding of why our previous relationships didn’t work out. It’s up to him whether he needs the details, but I’m willing to give him at least a Spark Notes synopsis. I don’t have a fixed rule for when’s the best time to spill, but I’m cool with talking about my exes by the second date. I assume that by then, we’d have communicated pretty regularly over text, and established a certain level of comfort with each other. As for his sexual history, I don’t need to know all the details, but I may ask him about his relationship history. If he’s hesitant about sharing, that’s a red flag.
I know what they say about details from someone’s past colouring your early impression, but I think it’s up to me to decide how to take that information. If he’s upfront about having cheated on his last girlfriend, I would give him credit for being honest, and be more likely to believe him if he concedes he made a mistake. If, however, much later into a relationship, I find out that he deliberately concealed this important fact from me, it would make me wonder what else he could be hiding. I’d rather we heard all the gory details straight from each other’s mouths than snoop through our social media platforms trying to find out more, and perhaps getting the wrong impression.
Everyone has done something they’re not proud of in their past relationships, myself included. If I’m upfront with a guy I’m dating and I get judged for that, then I guess he’s not the type of person I want to be with. And that’s a risk I’m willing to take.”
KEEP IT ZIPPED
Davelle Lee: “Picture this. A gruff detective paces back and forth in front of me – a nervous wreck of a suspect – and barks: ‘How often did you meet your ex-boyfriend each week? Did you always split the bill? Why did you break up?’
That’s how it plays out in my head whenever my date launches a surprise interrogation. Regardless of how nicely he disguises the questions, it just feels like he’s after me. By ploughing through my dating history, it might seem like he wants to make sense of my actions and understand my motives. But I know he’ll only end up drawing false conclusions about ‘crimes’ I have yet to commit.
The thing is, why should a person’s relationship history matter, especially when you’ve only just started getting to know each other? I don’t believe I’m the same person in every relationship – in fact, I think you adapt to the person you’re seeing. To me, the way you are in one relationship cannot simply be extrapolated to the next. Yet, men I’ve dated insist on using whatever knowledge they can glean to try to predict the success of a match. It’s a waste, because you could end up letting a good thing slip away when you allow preconceived notions to get the better of you. That’s not to say I don’t need to know a dude’s sexual history. If things are getting serious, of course I would want to know.
I can skip the relationship history that goes along with it. Dragging up the past gets messy, especially with stuff that should stay buried with your previous relationships. Let’s say you were the one who cheated on your ex. Does your current beau need to know? I say let sleeping dogs lie.”
THE DEAL BREAKER
TELL HIM EVERYTHING
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