He Said-She Said: Should the Past Stay in the Past?
- Thursday, August 26, 2010
EDITOR'S NOTE: Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness, please click here to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I'm dating a man for less than two months. He seems interested about my past—especially he wanted to know whether I'm a virgin or not. In fact, I'd rather answer his question. However, this devoted Christian man wanted to get married to me within this year. I was wondering if I have to tell everything about my past. Such as whom I have dated before and so on.
HE SAID: Relationships are difficult, especially during the transition from a "dating" into a "serious" one. Individual desires, the speed at which the relationship grows and the transparency of each person can often vary a great deal during this period.
Two months of seeing each other is a relatively short amount of time to begin discussing marriage within the year. Unless you have known this man for awhile and have been around him in a variety of situations, neither of you probably knows each other very well.
Marriages today don't have the best success rate and many of those failures could be attributed to rushing into it. Couples may be listening to an arbitrary societal "dating to marriage" timeline, to their family and friends, or to their own body clocks and decide to go ahead even though they are not ready or mature in the relationship.
Other marriages may fail due to "undisclosed" indiscretions that are discovered—some shameful past incident or embarrassing struggle that comes to light. Some of those may not have any bearing or be imperative to a relationship and some are. This may be part of what your boyfriend is trying to find out.
So, how much of your past should you "disclose" to your boyfriend at this point?
In an ideal committed relationship between two believers, neither should feel there are things they can't tell or be afraid of the response of their partner. As long as there is remorse, confession and repentance on the part of the perpetrator, there "should" be no condemnation from others.
My question for you is, "What in your past are you afraid to divulge—a relationship, an incident or an addiction?" If you truly care for this man and he loves you, you should be able to share your past (although not every detail of every relationship is always necessary) with him (at some point), which may actually bring you closer than drive him away.
We all have things for which we are truly repentant for and have sought forgiveness. God forgives us and so should we. If your boyfriend condemns you or holds what you have done against you, he may not be at a point where he loves you unconditionally and he may not be the one for you.
Just from what you have shared, it sounds like your boyfriend wants to "fast track" the relationship and you seem to be a little hesitant, which is perfectly normal. It is not uncommon for one person to want to move a relationship along faster than the other; however, that alone is a reason to be cautious.
Marriage is a sacred bond between two people and God. Today, too many people take the sanctity of marriage too lightly and don't consider it as a holy bond.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate (Mark 10:7-8).
If God has joined a couple together, no man (including themselves) should separate it. It is not God who breaks marriages up, but rather our (man's) own doing. It is our inability to commit, be loyal, be steadfast, love through all things, and live up to our promise that marriages don't succeed.
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