Yesterday I sent out a message on BB which read the following,
Please answer truthfully: You’re not a virgin and the person you’re courting is not either. Do you need/want to know how many persons she has been with in the past or would you rather not? Whatever your answer, Why? And when is the right time to tell? For girls, what’s your take on this?
Before I share the replies I got, I will tell you what led me to asking this question in the first place.
So, there was this guy I started talking to again (don’t roll your eyes, I am not always talking to guys; and no, it is not the friend described here either) and, well, stopped talking to again too.
The story went something like this:
I met Jay, whom I met through Mo. Stating the obvious here: I knew Mo first; we met in 2006. We kind-of-went-out then but didn’t make it official. I didn’t want to because I knew it would most probably not last. We are still friends till date. I met Jay a year or so later and we spoke as good friends.. nothing more (at all). Moving on, he really liked me but nothing ever transpired between the two of us; after-all, there was Mo, who was our common friend, besides I didn’t see the point in dating someone else “just for the sake of it”.
Fast-forward a couple of years and we are in June 2012. I (as I am so awesomely good at keeping in touch with people) am still communicating with Mo (just as friends, every now and then), but as I haven’t seen Jay in over four years, look forward to meeting him again. Jay picks me up from the house and his old passion is rekindled. “I still like you, Yinka.” I smile, I blush, I thank him. “You never gave me a chance. Why now? I think we would work really well..” I reply with a smile and tell him, “You’ve always said you liked me. I wonder why. You know so little about me. About my past. My Ex’s. My life. What basis do you have for liking me? I really don’t get it.” And he simply replies, “Believe me, I am not a boy, I know what I mean when I say I like you. I know you well enough. I know your family. I know why I like you. But you wouldn’t just let me prove it.” I laugh sheepishly at that, “What does my family have to do with that? Just because I come from a good home doesn’t mean I’m a good girl or haven’t had my share of naughtiness.” He smirks and waves the topic off. We should talk about different things. I shake my head. “Okay oh.”
We don’t really drop the topic, but we don’t discuss it much either. We just chill and talk. He drops me at the airport (I was on my way back to Vienna) and we talk some more as I land. We Whatsapp a lot; then it stops.
I wonder the first day as he stopped sending “Good morning, darling” messages, and the second, realizing I haven’t heard from him at all.. no “Good night, babe” message either. I decide to enquire about how his exams went and am relieved they went well. He’s probably just been too busy preparing. Girl has learnt to chill. But a couple of more days pass; nothing. I decide to call once, to write twice, nothing. I shrugged and moved on..
That was until I got a message two days ago, “I can’t believe you had something with Mo!” My first reaction was to lol.. I was shocked he didn’t know. Surely Mo would have told him about us then? Apparently he didn’t, good. But he wouldn’t have now either. I reply, “Yes, I did.” A long moment of silence passes and he replies, “I can’t believe it. I’m in shock.” I don’t know whether to hiss or to laugh, or to be upset. I explain it was many years ago; and wonder why he was making a big deal of it now. After all, we weren’t even dating!!
What upset me the most, however, and why we are probably not going to talk for a very long time, is the fact that Mo hadn’t actually told him anything at all; he was “trying to use style” to find out about me.
My reply to him was this, “I am really disappointed to see you act like this, as we are both adults. If you want to know about my past, why not just ask? You’ve known me for a very long time, I don’t act, I don’t lie, I don’t pretend. I have no problem with my background at all, and I am willing to share information freely. You only have to ask. Why “use style” to find out whether I had anything with Mo? He did not disvirgin me, so there is obviously at least one more person I’ve had something with. All I can say is that next time, just ask.”
Needless to say, he did not reply and that was that. I then talked it through with a good friend of mine and she was furious, as she did not even see the point in anyone asking about things that are now long gone. What’s his business in asking? Why does he want to know about you and Mo? You guys are not even going out. Besides, he should have just asked. And it’s way too early to talk about these things anyway!
It was based on this, that I sent the BB message out and got very interesting and varying opinions.
The first few will be guys’ reply to the question. I will share observations right after the selected comments. The second part will be the ladies’ replies. Enjoy and feel free to comment!
I’d want to know. Badly. But I know it’s best if I don’t. So I hold off from asking as much as I can. The right time to tell is a time when it helps boost trust in the relationship. But I wouldn’t want to know. Personally, it takes a great deal of trust for me to commit in the first place so I wouldn’t be with someone who I didn’t trust or whose past I wasn’t comfortable with in the first place. (Male #1, 27)
Yes, I would want to know, just for curiosity. If she’s been with many guys, I really don’t expect her to tell me the number though. I’d rather she just kept it to herself, that’s just me though. I’d want her to tell me 4-5 out of 10. If she said she’s only been with two, I’d definitely know she’s lying. (Male #2, 26)
What kind of question is this? NO! (Male #3, 19)
Well, 9/10 I already know. I would have done some sort of research into her past. I can’t marry a harlot. I can’t marry a girl who’s been with one of my friends. Besides, I like to think that from the time she met me, she behaves. However, sometimes someone’s past can tell you a lot about their character. Even if I don’t know any of the men she had something with, a hoe is a hoe. A girl once told me she was wild, cheated on her Ex. So I already knew the extent of her wildness. I wouldn’t date such a girl. Little things like people already knowing about the girl can be embarrassing for the guy. Definitely enough not to want to take her serious. Men have pride, you should know this. And for the girls who have claimed they have changed, most really haven’t. And when you know their past, it’s like a hint to stay away. And if they don’t say, if the guy does find out, it can bite them. I am laid back, most of my friends are too. We don’t want a girl with more than 5 guys to her name. (Male #4, 23)
It’s irrelevant.. why? Because it could change the view of the person, even if it is small. I see it as a question I don’t want to know the answer to. I wouldn’t feel cheated or deceived if I eventually married her and found out because it was in the past and before. (Male #5, 23)
Sure, I would definitely want to know how many guys she’s been with. If not for anything, at least for aproko sake. Anyway, not asking because I want to use it against her but because I want to know. Even if she was a virgin, I would still want to know how many guys she’s dated before. I just want to know everything about her past. Others might not care about all this much, but I personally would want to know. From the first guy, to the second guy, to when and where and how it happened. I want all the details! (Male #6, 28)
I don’t think I would want to know. I really don’t want a mental image of her being intimate with another guy. But anyway, I wouldn’t just ask for asking sake. If it somehow came up in a discussion, fair enough, yes. I’d probably probe, but with my heart in my teeth. I’m very uncomfortable with those kind of conversations. (Male #7, 26)
It’s pretty irrelevant. Even if she slept with 100 guys before you, you can’t undo it. If you love her, you love her, simples! If you really have to discuss it, it should be towards the deep end of your courtship. But there’s really no point to it, because you’re sure to meet fights there. So no, I wouldn’t want to know. What about the girls the guy might have done? Or you find out she’s done 30 guys, 4 in one night. Your ideas about her change, thoughts fly in. Things will definitely change. What is past is past. She was not answerable to me then. (Male #8, 28)
The only observation I will share at this point will be that the more “gracious” guys were all- with one exception, perhaps- Christians, who quite obviously had a profound understanding of what it meant to love, forgive, and be born-again. I posted all replies in compressed form (I left out some things), but can disclose that the more judgemental of comments stemmed from men who also said they did not believe a person could change. This was evident in statements such as “once a hoe, always a hoe”. Others, although they admitted to being curious, were humble enough to admit their own weakness (ego) and dangers (such as looking at her with different eyes) should her “number count” come as an unwelcome surprise. It is also interesting to note only one person (Male #8) found the guy’s past to be as (un)important as the girl’s.
Now on to the girls:
No guy wants a trollop! Period! (Female #1, 26)
Don’t tell. That’s one stupid question. As in, never ever! Whoever wants to know needs to grow up. Then you ask why they want to know.. it’s just to judge you! Will they like you more or less; or feel better? Please! You are a new creature, old things have passed away. If he doesn’t get that, he gasta go figure out if he’s born-again jor. These kind of questions piss me off. Only self-righteous people ask them. Kmt. Nonsense. What bloody right does he have to ask? Is he God? When you get married you can share. But even then, what for? So he can use it against you when you argue? After-all he’s human and will make mistakes. Don’t give room for disrespect or insults, not even in marriage. All that happened in the past is the “old man” and he is dead, so it is so not relevant. Whatever happened then is between you and God. Did you know your husband then? Was he there? What does he want to do about it now? And the girl too, does she want to knock his confidence or something? Please. They’ll say it doesn’t matter but it will when it works for them, like when you upset them etc. Honestly, plus a man’s ego. Boy, you don’t want to mess with that! Nobody discusses news that’s 5-years old. Why should you? I’m speaking from experience (first, second, and third hand), plus study. So this is knowledge and understanding, not just blah blah. Don’t tell! Everyone who didn’t or won’t use this insight, trust me, will wish they did one day. (Female #2, 29)
No thanks, don’t need to know. It’s irrelevant because what’s done is done. You can’t unsex the person. He just has to accept you the way you come and forget about the past. (Female #3, 20)
What is he asking for? I don’t even mind saying because it’s my past and I am born-again now. But it’s arrogant and self-righteous people that will ask that question. What does he want to use the information for? I see it as irrelevant. If he can’t love and respect me for who I am now, then what’s the point? Besides, a man’s ego. It will crush him if he knows you’ve been with lots of men. There is really no point in him asking. But if he does, I will tell him sha because I don’t want to deceive him. Let him know who I am and if he can’t deal with it, he can go. (Female #4, 27)
Why should I be concerned about his previous sex life? 1. Let’s go to the clinic together and both get tested. 2. Do you have any kids? That’s all I need to know in relation to his previous sexual activities. (Female #5, 26)
There really isn’t much to say to this. Girls are generally not so strict when it comes to “How many girls has my man been with?” but do care (for obvious reasons) about how this same info (reversed) can or will affect their relationship. No one wants to be judged based on their past. It is just sad that many (and these are mostly guys according to my study) will choose to overlook the plank in their own eye, well looking down on those with lesser/greater/similar faults.
The way I see it:
One of the things I value highly in individuals (and I am sure will be a strong determining factor in my choice of partner) is an understanding and forgiving heart; one that keeps no record of wrongs (and certainly none that were long before his time..)
One of the first things that happened to me right after I finally accepted to follow the Lord (fully) was remorse over having allowed useless guys touch me. I did not just feel sorry for myself, I felt sorry for him, my husband-to-be. I felt sorry because I believed that- although I did not know him then and he was nowhere to be found- I had betrayed him still. I felt sorry because I knew (even then, and still now) that he would feel as much hurt and pain as I did, and that this would (maybe in a perverse-kind-of-way) connect us intimately.
My “sexual escapades” do not define me in any way, but they have taught and shaped me a whole lot! I have a hundred-and-one stories to share. There is no way in heaven or earth (because I will surely share these stories, especially since they are more or less directly related to what I see myself doing in the near future: counselling) he will not end up asking me, “Gosh.. how many guys have you been with?” And I’d really just he knew sooner, rather than later.
This is a personal choice, however, as I do believe and see how it might not be the best course of actions for all females. I, however, value honesty, truth, and integrity so much, that any failure to disclose this on my (or his) part would be considered betrayal. And I would feel I betrayed myself.
I want my husband to look at me and feel no shame. I doubt I could do that if I knew there was something potentially important hidden from his “face”.
I could not look at myself and feel he really loved me for me- and all I came with- despite the fact that I am now a new creature and the old has passed away.
I would not feel confident in the love he had for me, for fear this little “secret” might come up one day with the ability to change the dynamics of our relationship.
But this is me. I want to be able to stand naked and unashamed, knowing I am loved regardless of my past. So, yes, at the right time.. I most probably will tell. (This song is so apt!)