Ah, a new relationship is a totally blank slate until you start wondering how to have the dating history conversation with your girlfriend. This is an often perilous, sometimes traumatizing, but completely necessary conversation. Luckily, you've found this brief guide. It will aid you in your journey as you have the dreaded Dating History Conversation and learn a little too much about your new significant other for comfort. We will cover what topics to avoid and how to handle the ones that can't be avoided. Most importantly, you will learn how to bring up ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends without being stricken with a case of "Blehhhh."
- Know Her Background. Before you talk about dating history with your girlfriend, think about her for a second. Did you meet at a party or did you meet at a church? Is she timid or outgoing? Before volunteering information, ask her opinions about hook-ups, sex, and marriage. These are all questions that can help you prepare for her answers and your own answers for the Dating History Conversation.
- Pay Attention. Your girlfriend's ex-boyfriends were a huge part of her life. Women, much more than men, define their lives by relationships. Always be aware of how often she talks about them, who she talks about the most, and how fondly. If one ex is a recent break-up and she talks about him all the time, be on your guard. Likewise, pay attention to your own words. Don't sound like you're being nostalgic about an ex-girlfriend.
- Summary, Not Detail. It is a phenomenon that almost every female on this planet will go into too much detail about their dating history. Don't call her out on this, because it's a good sign that she feels comfortable telling you this information. Change the subject if you feel uncomfortable. When you talk about sexual or dating history, always remember to summarize. Be flippant and comedic about it. Your new girlfriend doesn't want to see that you have emotions about your ex when you talk about her and she certainly doesn't want to hear about your one-night stands in graphic detail.
- Sexual Partners. For one reason or another, many women and men feel the need to know how many people their significant other has slept with. We will quote the famous Chris Rock here: "Why you wanna know? You ain't discovering sh*t, you ain't putting a flag nowhere! Just be happy you're getting it now." Of course, you can't quote Chris Rock when discussing your dating history, so, instead, be playful about it. If the number of partners is low, say something like, "Enough to count on one hand," and laugh self-consciously. You will win points for this. If the number is high, for the love of God, round down. If it's more than ten, try dividing by two. The best way to defeat this question, however, is to say that the number isn't that high (even if it is), but you don't keep track of it, because you think it's silly to keep track. Don't say "stupid," because you can bet that she keeps track.
- You Are Dating Each Other Now. This is the crucial element to the Dating History Conversation. It is important to hear about your girlfriend's past relationships because they were a part of her life, but it is also important to remember that the past is the past. Don't cling to little details you discover during the Dating History Conversation, it will only cause useless anxiety. This conversation is a huge exchange of trust between you and your significant other. You shouldn't judge each other because of it.
Every relationship is unique. After a few months, you will find that you don't really remember the Dating History Conversation because, after all, you are dating each other now, and that's really all that matters.