TALKING about an ex to your new partner could either be a harmless, fun chat about the past or a painful, unnecessary trip down memory lane.
HOW much do you really want to know about your partner’s exes?
Are you just innocently curious? Do they come with painful baggage that needs to be unpacked?
Or are you just a few clicks away from going down a dangerous jealousy spiral on their sexy ex-partner’s Instagram page?
These are all the questions you need to ask yourself before delving too far into your partner’s past, says relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein.
“It depends on how much you want to know. Some people want to know everything and other people don’t want to know much at all,” Dr Goldstein said.
“Unless something has happened to you in a relationship that is going to change how you are in this current one, it’s not always necessary to divulge.Let it be something that comes up naturally in conversation.
“Were you in abusive relationship? Were you engaged? Were you married and now divorced?
“If so, you need to say ‘Listen, this happened to me and this is why I am the way I am in a relationship’.”
If you’ve decided that yes, some of your past needs to be brought up, Dr Goldstein says it’s important to choose your words wisely.
“You don’t need to blurt out ‘Here’s a list of everything I’ve done’, but you also shouldn’t need to hide things from your partner if they are comfortable hearing them,” she said.
“It concerns me when people feel like they need to brag about their past partners. Why are you telling them this? Usually they’re trying to prove that they’re wanted. It’s basically saying ‘Look if you don’t want me, I’m capable of getting other people’.
“If an ex comes up in conversation, you might say ‘Oh, I dated him once upon a time’.
“But if it’s not a specific anecdote that’s going to explain how you function in a relationship or linked to a current story, it’s not necessary.”
When we’re in the throes of a romantic relationship, we share our most intimate thoughts and sometimes secrets with our other halves.
That trust should be respected once the relationship ends, Dr Goldstein said.
“It’s fine to gossip about exes with your partner, but where’s the motivation to do that coming from? Are you hung up on your ex?
“Unless you have kids together and you have to talk about them in that context, maybe you’re too connected to your ex Talk more about your own relationship with your current partner,” she said.
If you’re feeling brave and want to test the waters with your partner, try Do You Dare? a 50-question card game that dares you to reveal your innermost secrets.
Dr Nikki Goldstein says it’s not necessary to divulge everything in a relationship.