Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

If there are aspects of your past or your personality you feel people won't accept or understand, does that keep you from having the kind of intimate relationship you want?

Asked by wundayatta (58722points) February 3rd, 2012

In this question people mentioned a number of things about their past or personality they don’t talk about because they have found that when they do so, their potential partners will break off the relationship. Some people say it’s no one’s business. It’s the past. Don’t talk about it. Don’t take the risk of driving the person away.

What I am wondering is whether this gets people what they want. I.e., can you have a satisfactory intimate relationship where a person doesn’t really know your whole past? If you had a lot of lovers and now you find people stay away from you when you divulge this, do you lose anything by not ever telling your lover about your past?

Can you be truly known and truly loved if you do not disclose everything about you? If you say yes, how can you have a truly intimate relationship if your partner doesn’t know all your past?

If not, is it worth settling for an incomplete relationship if you can not find someone who will love you as you are, complete with all your past? Is having a partner even at the cost of pretending not to have a past worth it?

If it is not worth it, is there some way of presenting your past so a potential lover can understand it and accept you and love you, despite your past?

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14 Answers

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I feel that if a person wouldn’t accept me and my past, then maybe that person isn’t “the one” for me. I don’t like it when I’m sexually intimate with someone I feel is hiding something from me (like how many people the person has been sexually intimate with before). Believe it or not, there are times when I can sense it. At least two times, guys I was under the impression were virgins based on what they had said to me… well, I ended up sensing they weren’t… by how they acted. And the “I don’t feel like you’re being completely honest with me” feeling I got didn’t go away until after they were honest about it. I am more comfortable in a relationship when I feel I am not being lied to by the other person… and when I feel comfortable enough to be honest about my past should it ever come up.

harple's avatar

Interestingly my worries about people not accepting or understanding my past turned out, with one exception, to be MY worries, and not the actual case. In the immediate years following my divorce I was very concerned about what a new partner would feel about it. As I say, bar one person, it was never an issue.

People are less understanding about the whole father-suicide thing, but that’s generally because they don’t have first-hand experience of anything like it, and it certainly has never been an “issue”, just not something they can ever truly share in. I am always nervous about explaining it to new people (if/when it becomes appropriate). There’s a part of me that is tempted to go down the humour route just to make it easier for them to deal with the shock of it (after all, I’ve had my entire life since the age of 3 to deal with it, but for them it’s new), along the lines of “What did he die of?” – “Lack of oxygen.” But I haven’t ever done this, and that’s probably a good thing. It’s never an easy conversation though, and how they react does tell me a lot about them as a person.

Blackberry's avatar

Sometimes I’m not sure if my standards are too unrealistic, or if I just need to put myself out there more to find such a person. But I’m also not really looking for life partners now anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

If we’re just speaking of short term intimate encounters, I don’t think I have a problem with that, but I do have problems initially getting in the door, because sometimes I’m too serious and/or literal and I’m not really a super-fun awesome guy most of the time and don’t give the best first impression, as I have to know someone a bit to loosen up like that.

Blondesjon's avatar

Nope. I’m an open book baby. WYSIWYG.

stardust's avatar

I’m working on trusting those I have intimate relationships with as I go, but I always hold back out of fear. I’ve lost people in the past due to details about my own past and it certainly isn’t the most appealing thing in life. Fear not. I’ve not done anything too awful;)
If I were to remain in a situation where I was holding back, it’d need to be addressed – from my part. So, I feel it’s up to me to deal with my issues and then work through them if and as they arise in a relationship. It’s a slow process :/

Blackberry's avatar

@Blondesjon “WYSIWYG” What?

deni's avatar

@Blackberry What you see is what you get! Is that right? If so, how did my brain know that immediately? I’ve never seen it before. God the human body is amazing!

Blackberry's avatar

@deni Yes, your body is amazing, thanks. ; )

deni's avatar

@Blackberry Omg james he’s so hot I just got turned on watching that HAHA

Blackberry's avatar

@deni I tried doing that wink; looked nothing like I thought it would. Lol.

deni's avatar

LOL i’d like to see a video of that

augustlan's avatar

For any long-term relationship, I can’t imagine not sharing everything about me. The good, bad, and ugly. I’d feel uncomfortable if I didn’t, and if my partner held back, as well.

Yellowdog's avatar

I never really got over my first love, when I was 14/15 years old. I am in love now and in a relationship, but I long for the feeling of the mystery when I really didn’t understand the opposite sex— the risks and fears of rejection, the pounding heart, the thrill of acceptance and love returned. I care very much about the woman I love now, but there’s too little mystery and thrill of early love and the pain of unrequited love.

SmartAZ's avatar

Just for one example, if you are divorced or otherwise hurting you might just as well get lost and come back when you don’t need to talk about it. Potential partners make it very clear that they don’t give a hoot about your need to shuck off those memories.

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