Talking About Past Relationships



What are your thoughts on bringing up an ex-wife or past relationships in passive conversation into current relationships? This person also has a young daughter with his ex. Personally, I don’t see any use for it. The past is the past. Why bring it up in current dating situations? Too make a long story short, our short-lived dating relationship ended due to him taking about his ex-wife and me questioning if his feelings for her were completely over.

—Nicole Smith, US


Dear Nicole,

Your question regarding bringing up past love relationships while dating has many nuances. As you don’t share the context in which the past wife was mentioned, it’s difficult to discern how appropriate it was or wasn’t to mention her.

I suggest you review in your mind the occasions your date brought up his past wife and feel what his intention was behind the words. What was the energy behind his voice communicating? Was he trying to convey a message to you about what worked or didn’t work in the relationship? Was he living in the past or trying to help you understand something about how his past impacted the present? Perhaps you perceived correctly that he simply wasn’t over her and needed to work on closure before dating someone new. Perhaps all these feelings and/or others were part of the reason he shared about his past wife. Certainly when a child is in the picture the relationship continues beyond the end of a marriage.

There is no simple answer to your question. The answer lies in the actual communication shared during your date experience.

Joy to you,