Need some encouragement/advice

Hi everyone,

First off thank you for reading this! I need some encouragement and some advice. I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years but we grew up very different and have very different perspectives on our past experiences. For example, guys from my past, I didn’t like to stay friends after things ended whereas he does tend to stay friends with girls from his past. This has been such a struggle for us and we were able to avoid this during the first year of the pandemic because you couldn’t really go out. But now that things are starting to get more normal, this is going to keep coming up again because his friends are getting together and unfortunately some of his past girls will also be around since they are all in the same friend group. I grew up in a really conservative christian household and he grew up in a non-religious home. I realize that at this point in my life, no matter who I date, they will have a past. So, I will be seeing my therapist to work on this issue. However, while arguing with my boyfriend, I said some really mean and hurtful things to him about his past. Mainly because I felt blindsided by his past. Before we started, we were friends and I was really open with him about the way I lived my life so I felt like after we started dating, he knew what he actively chose to accept my past. But with him, I didn’t know anything and now that we are together and I’m learning these things, I feel like its unfair to me because I didn’t know what I was getting into. I also know that in a way I did sign up for it when I agreed to date him. I just really want to be comfortable with this and I want him to know that I am going to work on myself.

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Hi Lisa
First I will answer the question why he has no problem with seeing the girls he used to date and you do not see the guys you used to date. There are two types of dating. The one that starts as romantic and the one sthat starts as a friendship and that becomes romantic. When your relationships starts as romantic and then dissolves you no longer want to see the person because he is nothing to you but when you stop being romantic with a person you used to be friends with that person will most likely be your friend again because they care about you even tho you are not romaticaly engaged. I guess that was the case of your boyfriend.

I am going to be honest with you. You will have to trust him. Dont make him choose between you and his friends if you truly care about him. You will have to trust him that he is honest and he will not cheat on you. Trust is the base of a relationship and if you cant trust him you have not base fot your relationship. Another thing I want to make clear. If your boyfriend has not been purposefully hiding facts about his past he has not wronged you. He does not have to open up to you about things from his past unless he feels completely comfortable around you. You are not married so if he feels like he can open up to you one thing at a time and not all at once that is his desicion. He is slowly opening up to you more and more because he feels more and more comfortable around you.

I want to also ask you a question. What is it that bothers you about his past so much that you see it as a big problem? You dont have to answer if you dont want to but it must be something serious. If you truly love him and he truly loves you you can overcome these issues. I believe it. Love can be very strong. I think you both will have to compromise and be honest with each other but if you can do that I think you have a great future ahead of you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @Ashwell! Thank you so much for reading my post and responding. You bring up very valid points and I am grateful for your insight. I guess growing up I was never taught about dating. It was always you marry the first person you date. So this formed unreal expectations in dating for me and honestly, I was never really taught anything about dating. Growing up in the church, everything was so suppressed and acting on our feelings would lead to sinning. So now that I’m older and not active in church, I find myself facing many situations like this one for the first time.

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hello there @Lisa !

First of all, I would like to say thank you for sharing, and I must commend how clearly you expressed your feelings and thoughts here! I’ll break it up into bits since that’s easier for me to answer that way

Does this difference affect your relationship? Was this part of the basis of the mean stuff you said to him? Have you two ever had a talk about the compatibility of your views/beliefs and have you found the common ground, so that you can thrive and grow together?

There is a big difference in the WHY you didn’t know about his past. Did he lie to you, or did you simply never ask him before? When I hear “blindsided”, t makes me feel as if there were intentional secret being hidden from you. Being “unaware” means you just never knew and never asked, maybe you didn’t care or were respectful and not asking any details.

The next thing I wanna ask, fo you think it’s unfair to you, or are you feeling a bit insecure and overwhelmed with the new knowledge about his past? If you weren’t’ used to the dating world, it can be a bit of an adjustment. At the end of the day, COMMUNICATION!! Talk about your feelings and your fears, but also listen to his explanations and his words. It’ll be a bit scary, but you c an do this. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having limited experience, go forward into it with enthusiasm and not fear. It sounds like you have a great partner, trust him and trust yourself as well.

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I understand Lisa. It can be very difficult to see the world differently that you vere taught because sometimes we dont even realise what are the truths and what are lies that we have been thought. Dont get me wrong religion can teach you a lot of good but also a lot of bad. It is a mixed bag. I am very glad that you are working on those issues tho. You are very strong for that. :slightly_smiling_face:. I really wish you will be happy together. You are trying so hard. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Sita,

Thank you for reading and for responding! So our religious views don’t really affect much of our relationship. Only when it comes to sexual history, is where the real issue lies. When I mention that I feel blindsided, I mean that I was unaware of anyone he had been with before me. He is a very private person which I am trying to respect and I’m learning that our past can be private and that’s okay. I do feel overwhelmed and insecure by this new information and it makes me mad that he would put me in a situations that make me uncomfortable. I’ve explained this to him before but because we grew up so different, I don’t think he can understand.