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JustSomeone99's avatar

Should I tell my boyfriend all about my past?

Asked by JustSomeone99 (16points) March 23rd, 2021

Okay so I’ve known my current boyfriend my whole life, right now we’ve been together for one year and I’ve never been happier in my entire life! We’re 21–22 right now and are already looking forward to building a life together :) We’re really happy together!

But I was wondering about how much I should tell him about my past… we both know about each other’s exes, we only each have one. But here’s what I feel guilty about sometimes: When I was like 18 or 19 (I live in Western Europe) I went to North Africa on a vacation (for the first time in my life by plane). At the hotel there, I met a guy back then and we kind of hit it off. After I returned home, we kept in contact for some months. I also went back there all by myself for one week and slept over at his house (another bed since it’s a muslim country and his parents were kinda strict). But I don’t consider him as an ex since we never did anything on a romantic level, we didn’t kiss, didn’t sleep together, we were more like friends, although this guy was clearly in love with me. So for me he’s not an ex, it happened a few years before my boyfriend was my boyfriend, so should I tell him or not? Sometimes I feel guilty about it… But then on the other hand I feel weird just randomly bringing it up, if he would ask something in that area I would definitely be honest about it. But when I talk about my one ex who really is my ex he seems to kinda quickly block off the conversation and not want to hear too much about it.

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12 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

If you’ve known each other your whole life, leave it alone and be happy.

smudges's avatar

If this guy from Africa was just a friend, and it was years before you and your boyfriend got together, stop feeling guilty – there’s just no reason to. I would guess that everyone has had at least one friend of the opposite sex before a significant relationship. Enjoy each other and let the past be in the past. Don’t look for trouble where there is none.

chyna's avatar

Leave it alone.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Thank you for sharing your story with us. That takes courage.

A wise person once explained our desire to confess. He said most of the time we do it for our own piece of mind. We want to be relieved of the burden. The problem is that creates a burden for the person we are confessing to. That’s not really fair to them.

I suggest you find peace in yourself with the memory of the man in North Africa. You can remember him fondly, but he needs to be part of the past. Put him in the past.

Enjoy your new life with your boyfriend.

All the best to you.

janbb's avatar

@JustSomeone99 It’s not really much of a “past” but if weighs on you, I might suggest casually mentioning that when you were in North Africa, you had a friendship with a guy that was not romantic. However, you’re the one who knows best what reaction your boyfriend might have to it and as @Hawaii_Jake says, the relief you feel at telling might burden him more with jealous questions.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I agree with everyone else. There is no reason or pressure to bring it up.

If you do, then you bear the consequences.

Smashley's avatar

It sounds like he doesn’t want or isn’t ready to listen. I don’t think you need to bother at this point, unless you’re still in contact with the ex. If you are, you should probably mention something, or cut it out.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. Why would you?

gorillapaws's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Had a perfect answer. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Wishing you love and happiness in your relationship!

Jeruba's avatar

If your relationship with the guy in North Africa was as innocent as you say (and there isn’t more to the story), I would call it a brief friendship. It’s your feelings at the time, not his, that make it tame. His side of it isn’t your concern now.

I would think you could bring it up with your boyfriend in a casual, low-key way sometime when you’re talking about travel or old friends: for instance, “I used to have a friend in Algiers (or wherever), so I got to see something of the city from a resident’s point of view.” If your boyfriend questions you and doesn’t want to believe it was all very innocent, that tells you something about the boyfriend that you might need to know.

You don’t owe your boyfriend or anyone else a detailed confessional of your personal history. I think the more you worry about concealing something, the more troubling it will be for you. Talking about it lightly and openly would relieve that.

Unless, of course, you really enjoy having a small secret and want to keep it that way. Sometimes we feel more interesting to ourselves if there’s a little bit of mystery, especially with someone who’s known us all our lives.

Either way, it’s your story, and you’re still free to reserve any details you prefer to keep to yourself, including mention of any souvenirs you might have kept—as long as you’re not playing games with them (such as quietly letting your current boyfriend wear a shirt your Algerian friend gave you).

flutherother's avatar

I don’t understand how you can talk about your ex with your boyfriend but not your one time friend. I sense you feel uncomfortable not bringing it up so I would mention it in passing someday. If your boyfriend doesn’t want to hear too much about it then that would be perfect.

filmfann's avatar

Sounds like you don’t have anything noteworthy to share, other than life experience.
Not really a guilty past.

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