Fear and shame crept into my heart. What if he no longer wanted to date me once he learned about my past? It had been years since I had hooked up with different guys, but I still was worried that my boyfriend wouldn’t forgive me.
Sometimes, it can be hard to start dating when you or your partner have a sexually broken past. I’ve been there. I feared what my boyfriend would think when I told him about the mistakes I made. The good news is that if you’re dating a godly Christian man, he will love you and forgive you no matter what happened in your past. In this post I will answer the following questions: when to share your past, how much to share, and if you should forgive your partner.
My hope is that you would feel peace and confidence about when and how to talk about your past with your significant other and that you would know that God loves and forgives you.
When should I share my past and how much should I share?
I remember clear as day sitting across from a guy I liked on our first date. He shared about school. I shared about school. He shared about his hobbies. I shared about my hobbies. And then he shared his past. All of it. He told me about every girl he slept with and every mistake he made. I was overwhelmed. Sharing all that information with me on the first date wasn’t his best plan.
After he shared his past with me, then he expected me to share my past with him. I felt uncomfortable and pressured. I did not need to know about his past that early into our relationship.
I wanted to get to know the man he had become, not the man that he was in the past.
When you start dating someone new, don’t share all of your secrets and baggage on your first date. Get to know the person across from you and slowly share your baggage over time.
Instead of getting too honest too quickly, go on adventures together with your friends, have day trips and film nights. Spending time together will allow you to get to know him.
If you go too deep too fast and then end up not dating, you will feel exposed, lost, and even more hurt. The whole point of this is to protect your heart. My fiancé and I waited a few months into dating before we shared some hard parts of our past. This gave us time to be able to trust one another and create a foundation in our relationship.
When you do decide to start talking about your past, you don’t need to share all the details. Sharing specific details about specific sexual situations does not help. Stick to the broad story and not the tiny details. Don’t beat yourself up over the past, remember that you have moved on, grown, and been forgiven by God.
Should I forgive and forget my partner’s past?
If your partner is a follower of Jesus, God has already forgiven him or her for their past. Remember that God has already forgiven you. Maybe your brokenness isn’t sexual sins, but you’re still a broken human. Thus, when you are able to forgive your partner for his or her sins, you are showing them the gospel.
In your relationship, you both will have to forgive each other over and over again. Forgiving your partner for a broken sexual past is a great place to start a lifetime of forgiveness.
One warning – when one person does have a past of sexual sin, it becomes even more important to fight for purity in your relationship. Flee from unrighteousness, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Do whatever it takes to fight for purity. Forgive your partner, but also be careful not to break physical boundary lines with your partner while dating.
Friends, no matter what you or your partner have done or been through in the past, know that God loves you, God restores you, God makes you new, and God gives you a fresh start. Embrace the opportunity to go on dates with new people on Match. Take the pressure off of the both of you and wait to share your past until you get to know each other.
Joy is a recent college grad who experienced Jesus’s love her freshman year of college and surrendered her life to him. She often blogs about Christian dating, contentment in singleness, and freedom from sexual abuse. She is now at Dallas Theological Seminary completing her masters in Women’s Ministry.