Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Back Story

Wondering lately, in my newly monogamous state, how others handle the past. Now, personally, I’m not talking about the “how many people have you slept with” question. Because I, for one, don’t go there. I don’t want to know unless there’s a reason to know. Say, if you were once paid for sex and so you did a LOT of it and can’t possibly come up with a number. Other than that? I can take a range. Like, between one and a hundred? OK. Fine. Between one and two hundred? See, I’d rather not know that and I wish I hadn’t asked.

But more generally, it’s feeling funny to have my first new b.f. in ages, and have to start telling stories from the long distant past. Oh, yeah, I did have an anarchist boyfriend who got knifed downtown one time by skinheads. Oh, and I had one who dressed in ladythings. Oh, yes, that one got married, this one refuses to talk to me because he thought I cheated on him (but the guy I supposedly cheated with turned out to be gay) … and on and on and on. Some of it’s important, some of it isn’t. Some, like admitting to The New One that yes, I do contribute to a dating blog, well that I got over with quickly. Bandaid-ed that fucker. Especially considering that the new one’s kind of afraid of the internets.

So c’mon, DIW readers. Do tell: What’s “too much, too soon” when it comes to a new partner? And what are the “need to know right away” points?


Anonymous said...

I wanna know why they broke up with their last partner, were they safe, did he get tested? Those are questions to be asked before you wake up itching...

cheese said...

If I think the relationship is going somewhere, I always ask about fidelity. If they cheated, own up to it and a recognize that they've done wrong - then we can proceed. If they admit to cheating, and try to justify is - I walk.

BendO said...

Too Much: “I masturbate four or five times a day.” TMI dude. As long as he’s still good in bed then his arm/hand exercise regimen is working for the both of ya’s.

Not Enough: “I have a thing for having sex with hookers.” That should be shared; you kind of want to know if he’s getting some with skanky whores on a regular basis. Then get yourself to the nearest clinic.

Sort of on the same topic: what do you do if a friend’s new boyfriend/girlfriend starts pumping you for info about her/him? How much, if anything, do you share? I don’t know how much my friend has shared with his/her new bf/gf (and it's none of my business anyways), and all a’sudden the new bf/gf is contacting me asking questions about said friend. That feels wrong. I flat out told the new gf/bf that I don’t go there, that my friend was my friend long b4 I knew ya’, so--no dice from me. Right?

Serial Monogamist said...

BO: You did the right thing there, I say. Why the crap is the person not comfortable asking the person they're dating about that stuff? I say it's totally legit to Google someone new you're dating, though. Mandatory, even.

Infamous CoatCheck Girl™ said...

The safety stuff should come up way before you consider dating--- unless you're one of those "saving-myself" types.
Having decided that I actually want to see somebody on a regular basis and/or date them, their last break-up is key info.
Beware the guy who calls every ex a psycho. Chances are the "psycho" is actually the person right in front of you. Think: common denominator.
As for sharing "numbers"--- if it's a safety concern, it's irrelevant. It only takes one!
The "numbers" issue tends to be more a moral and cultural landmine--- too many (slut), not enough (inexperienced)...

Dating Is Weird said...

I disagree on the last break up. If he wants to share, cool. If not, I'm not going to pry. Those things tend to come up anyway. Maybe it's because I live in such a small town and you end up dating friends of exes. Or maybe it's because I'm not a big fan of knowing things about people they haven't told me themselves.

And BO: did you tell friend about new bf and/or gf pumping you for info?

LaMo said...

Need to know:
-Anything that will affect the other person(think diseases or children).
-You're a serial cheater.

Somewhere down the line:
-Any odd sex fetishes you might have that you may one day wish to involve your new lover in.
-The time you "tried" a Viagra and ended up with an 8 hour erection which landed you in the emergency room with a cute nurse who couldn't help you any more than your girlfriend had (bless your girlfriend's heart, though, she tried her best to fix it for you).
-*The fact that you've slept with more than one of your new lover's acquaintances (this can go in the 'never' category if you're sure said acquaintances will never share your secret).

-Numbers (unimportant, and like ICG said, irrelevant).
-See *

Serial Monogamist said...

ICCG: "Beware the guy who calls every ex a psycho."

YES. True of anyone you meet. I heard someone once say something like "You'll meet a lot of assholes in life, but if all you meet are assholes, maybe you're the asshole."

And DIW: I don't know that I'd want to pry about the last breakup, but if it never came up at all, wouldn't that be kind of a bad sign? Like there's something to hide? And you can tell a lot about someone by the way they characterize things.

Anonymous said...

So people really have these "safety" conversations? Because even though I know I should, I never do. Never.

BendO said...

@DIW: No I didn't and won't tell my friend. The bf/gf wasn't asking awful questions and the intent was not malicious. It just felt weird. I try not to get in people's shit (literally and figuratively), and for me to give the bf/gf info would be getting in the shit. For me to tell friend about it would also be getting in the shit.

I got my own shit.

Dating Is Weird said...

@BO. Nice. Good call.

itinerantwoman said...

maybe it's typical of those who do what i do for a living, but i like to tell stories. not lies--but i like to be known and clearly understood. i also want to know everything about damned near everything--even when i'm probably better off not knowing.

everyone we've loved, lost or been with has contributed to who we are now--the beloved partner of the new beloved. tell what you need to tell; ask what you want to know.

Neruda said it so much better than we can (all of us being psycho, after all). if your potential mate doesn't understand that DIW (and always has been), you'd best keep looking.

splendid hubby and i like this one lots. hope you also enjoy.


I am not jealous
of what came before me.

Come with a man
on your shoulders,
come with a hundred men in your hair,
come with a thousand men between your breasts and your feet,
come like a river
full of drowned men
which flows down to the wild sea,
to the eternal surf, to Time!

Bring them all
to where I am waiting for you;
we shall always be alone,
we shall always be you and I
alone on earth
to start our life.

Serial Monogamist said...

Thanks, IW.


Dating Is Weird said...

@IW: You rule. Who puts legitimate poetry on this potty mouthed blog?

Someone who cares.