It’s a well-known fact that I talk about my exs. If I talk about a love interest from the days of yore, it’s almost always a good thing. (If it’s not a good thing, then it’s a really bad thing.) I have a few guys I was romantically linked with that I almost never talk about or mention. I prefer to call them my rapists instead of my exs. You won’t hear about them. You WILL hear about all the amazing guys I have dated. Here are my reasons:
I’ve done some research on this because, let’s be honest, you won’t believe my opinion. You probably won’t believe this either. Here’s the conclusion of my research after looking through some studies. A person who talks about their ex is: a good person. If they talk about a past relationship it is a sign they do not regret their relationship, appreciate the time and experience, are not bitter, and it probably ended on good terms instead of in a big blow out. This is probably a person you want to date because guess what they’re going to do the same thing when it ends with you. Unless you turn out to be that douchelord of an ex who they regret, hate, and wish to forget. In that case, it’s a good thing they’ve had relationships to think about fondly.
Here’s my thought process on romantic relationships. We don’t choose who our family is. We are born to them. They define who we are and fuck us up all at the same time. We have no control over that part of our lives. Our friends define who we are because we choose them and spend a great deal of time with them. We CHOOSE our romantic partner. This is the person we willingly let into our lives. This is the person we let in in the most unfiltered of ways in adulthood. We wake up and fall asleep next to them. They know if we talk in our sleep. They know your morning routine and your daily routine. Eventually they know how much sugar you put in your tea. They know what your favorite pair of underwear is. They hear you complain about your best friend because you can’t let anyone else hear something bad about them because “bitch, please, only I get to complain about her.” They know who you genuinely like and who you put your fake face on for. They know how to piss you off and make you happy. They know when you’re lying and when you’re sad. They know when your period is coming and how to handle it. They know what show you watch but you would never admit it. They know the ins and outs of your life. They are the ones we let into our life and hearts deeply. They have the power to hurt us more than anyone else.
We choose our romantic partners. They are the reason we are so jaded. They are the reason we give up or keep looking for love. They are the reason our hearts hurt. They are the reason we are who we are. They have influenced our preferences in food, movies, music, art, houses, style, speech patterns, gestures, everything. People rub off on other people. They shape us for the worse and for the better. No one enters our lives in that way without leaving a mark. Romantic partners are the people we choose to spend a large amount of our lives with.
It’s hard to really understand a person without understanding their past. Whether it’s their familial past, friendships, or romantic histories. A person is the sum of all their experiences. Leaving out past romantic experiences is depriving yourself of truly understanding the person you are with. Maybe understanding their romantic experience with one person will explain why they always cry at that one not-at-all-sad-movie or why they still have that one dress but never wear it or why they’re as fucked up as they are. How can you really love someone if you don’t know everything. That’s not unconditional or true love. That’s loving bits and pieces.
I don’t understand why it’s taboo to leave out romantic relationships in conversation. It happened. Everyone has a past. Accept it. Move on. At this point, talking about it is just the retelling of a story. If you were to change “boyfriend” to “my college best friend, Ellen” no one would say anything because it’s no big deal.
So let’s stop ignoring it, avoiding it, skirting it. I’ve had sex with other people. So have you. Let’s talk about it. I want to know everything about you and you’ll know everything about me.