Early on in relationships, we often find ourselves divulging reams of random tidbits about ourselves to our partners, caught up in that heady rush of “I want you to know everything about me!” Sharing little secrets late into the night can often make us feel closer to the ones we are growing to care about, especially when there is heartfelt reciprocation. However, sometimes, we later find that these (over)indulgences of fact-sharing can quite frankly bite us in the ass.
I made the mistake of using one former boyfriend as a therapist, bleating about my father’s ancient infidelities. Later I would learn this ex had a sick sort of admiration for playboys, that he got a vicarious thrill about hearing of the adventures of his guy friends’ shenanigans that they somehow got away with unbeknownst to their girlfriends or wives. My ex brought up my dad’s former dalliances with me far more frequently and carelessly than desired just to get a rise out of me, despite knowing how much pain that past had caused my family.
To be fair, the same boyfriend also always remembered my soft spot for bunnies. No matter what either one of us were doing, if he spotted a bunny, he would run to find me. He knew that just catching a glimpse of the cute, furry creatures was sure to put a smile on my face, and he always went out of his way to make at least that happen.
From the insidious to the innocent, then there are those details you share about your past, more specifically your boyfriends’ past, that becomes a nagging reminder that perhaps there are some things you should keep safe in your memory locker and never bring up. Like the fact that you once dated a guy who was emotionally abusive and bipolar. Or the fact that you once dated a party animal who used recreational drugs. Or the fact that you once tried mushrooms at a Phish concert in Vegas because your then-boyfriend and your newlywed friends strong-armed you to finish the batch. These facts can and will be held against you in the court of dating.
Even more dangerous in some relationship situations is to share what you have done previously in the bedroom. If you do not want to set the stage for insecurity in your man, be very careful about answering the loaded question: “What’s the wildest thing you’ve done sexually?” In the past, men have taken this in stride and not felt threatened by this, but in my present dating situation, my answer to these questions has fueled my man’s competitive streak.
She’s done this with the V-Man, then surely she wants and needs to do this with me… he thinks to himself. He is in a battle to show up the V-Man so there is one concrete way he feels he can do this.
I admit I’ve done some creative things in the bedroom in my past. Nothing too insane and kinky–well not usually. Yet men are surprised and titillated when they hear that I have partaken in anal play. I have only done it with one partner who I trusted very much and who loved it very much, so doing so pleased him and wound up pleasing me. I’m not sure I want to do it with other partners. I’m not sure I would enjoy it in my usual sexual repertoire with someone else, particularly one who has never done it before and doesn’t know what he’s doing. Yet if this will make him feel more secure and will also satisfy his curiosity about a fantasy he’s never achieved, then I might be willing to try it once.
It’s a slippery slope when someone tells you they want to be your perfect lover. There’s no such thing as perfect, in my eyes. There’s amazing lover, which he already is. I’ve told him that. He doesn’t need blindfolds, whip cream, and costumes to stave off boredom in the bedroom at this point in our relationship–though I am open to it later! Not all of my fantasies need to be fulfilled; some are meant just to be those lovely fantasies that play around in my mind to help me achieve pleasure.
When it is he and I in the bedroom, there is no one else. He is not competing against all my past lovers. My eyes and body are all focused on him, and him alone.