The initial dating or getting to know someone phase of a relationship can be tricky. After the first few dates are there any questions that are completely off-limits, or does the concept of a dating, or semi-maybe-possibly we’re dating relationship equate to an open forum of information between two people? Is taking the no holds bar, all questions are possible approach a good strategy for building your relationship?
When we first get to know someone, we do what is natural, we ask questions (or at least I do). As I continue to talk to them more questions become relevant, and I get more answers. I hope the answers are truthful. Yet, what if a question is presented, and I feel the question and the answer is not relevant to moving forward with the relationship? Basically it is a question about the past, and has little to do with the future status of the relationship we may or may not be working on building. Do I have to answer all the questions, or is there a bit of myself that I can keep for myself?
I am a firm believer in transparency. As you can tell I hold back little information, I write about my life on a blog. I am not a huge fan of lying, I have found many times that the truth always comes out, so I do my best to avoid the lie. Honesty is less stressful, it helps me to keep a clear conscience. So if I am dating someone, or thinking about a relationship with a new man, I will tell the truth all the way. So when he asks a question, I hope he is prepared for the answer. If the question is asked I have an answer, but I wonder are some questions just blatantly inappropriate to be asking in the first place?
For instance, when it comes to the issue of sex and past sexual relationships, are detailed questions about a persons sexual past necessary to ask. Now I am not talking about questions like when was the last time you had an STD test, or do you currently have an STD? That I want to know, and if intimacy is to be had, that conversation should be had. Let’s be honest, HIV is real and I don’t want you to kill me. HPV is more widespread than ever, and herpes is on the rise (I don’t care how happy those people look on the Valtrex commercial). So, if we need to talk about STD tests, yes I want to have that conversation. That conversation I will bring up myself.
However other questions appear less relevant, such as how many people have you slept with, or when was the last time you had sex? Are those need- to- know questions if you are not actually in a relationship with someone? If you are in a relationship does the basis of your relationship change if you know how many people your partner has been with in his or her past? Are those questions ever OK? If it happened in the past, is it so wrong to leave the past right there.
I say this because I have had men ask me those very questions, they weren’t even my boyfriend, I was still trying to determine if they were good enough to be boyfriend potential. I have also heard of men asking other women those questions. To some women (or men) in this situation who get asked those particular questions the saying, “Ask me questions and I will tell you no lies” may come into play. Since I like transparency I will give an honest answer. I give an honest answer for two reasons, number 1: my sex life is nothing I am ashamed of, and number 2: at this point we haven’t reached the point of being in a solid exclusive relationship, I would like any man who wants to know me, to know me for who I am. Would I ever think those questions are relevant? No.
Some men will be quick to judge a woman by how many men she has slept with in the past. That I will never understand. If he has had previous sexual encounter, why would he expect for her to have a whole lot less sexual encounters of her own. I know men are glorified by their sexual experience, and women are labeled as a slut or hoe if she has too much sexual experience (still not sure who determines exactly what is too much, but oh well). That standard really needs to change. Newsflash to all men: Women are having sex, and they like it! Sorry men, unless you are number 1, anything after that really doesn’t matter. Start from where you are at in your new relationship and go from there. If you have expectations for a committed monogamous relationship then state it. Be assured with from that day forward you will be the only man she is sleeping with, all those other men are non factors. If you want to know the last time she had sex before she was exclusive with you take a moment, breathe, then ask yourself, “Why is this important for me to know”? Continue with,”What what answer am I already expecting”? Trust me, the actual answer will probably be vastly different from the one you are expecting, so then again say to yourself, “Why is this important to me”? How would you feel if she asked you the same question? Would you be honest?
In relationships, yes, many questions should be asked, and truthful answers need to be given. When talking about intimacy and sexual health, it should be an open forum for a conversation between two people. When talking about past sexual relationships that is usually a tricky grey area. It would help to keep the questions relevant, don’t assume the answer will make you feel good about yourself. The answer may be shocking. It may hurt. Expect the truth. If the truth scares you, then next time be careful about the questions you ask. The best relationships start with honesty and an open mind. Everyone has a past, but new relationships work best when they are focused on the present, and plans are made for the future.
Have you ever been asked a question when starting a brand new relationship that you just really did not want to answer?
Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences
- How to Talk to Your Partner About STDs (everydayhealth.com)