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The Essentials To Know About Your Partner's Past Love Life

by Ellen "Jelly" McRae 15 days ago in love
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We might want to know everything, but we're not always entitled.

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The romantic in me doesn't want to say this. I would love to think the next sentiment wasn't how we viewed relationships. But alas, I can't sugarcoat this.

Relationships are like jobs. Dating is the interviewing, and once you're official, you're off probation.

I would hate to think of my husband calling our relationship a job, despite the fact we both agree relationships take work. It's all so clinical, right?

Yet there is something to this dating like a job analogy. Could you imagine how much easier it would be if we treated relationships the same way as our professions?

Here is my resume, how many people I've slept with, what I like in bed, and how I like to spend my Sundays. You could save so much time in the torturous get-to-know-you process and jump straight to the ideal candidate.

But let's be real here. 

Even when we're applying for a job, your future employer doesn't need to know your life history.

Your date doesn't need to know your entire history, either. Those facts aren't necessary to get you to the first date, or even the tenth date.

But they are a few things about each other's past we should know before we start dating them.

Here is the list.

You need to know if you're related to them

This might be a given, but let's cover all bases here. 

Thanks to online dating, it's possible you've become matched with a long-lost cousin or unknown relative. Vetting their family heritage isn't only wise but it's necessary for anyone involved.

Here are some of the possible relationships to you that people often don't think to check before dating:

  • Blood relative - the long-lost cousin I mentioned, or possible relative you don't know about.
  • Married in relative - You might not share blood, but someone's in-law might be a step too far for some relatives to handle.
  • Friends of friends - It doesn't hurt to establish any mutual connections. If you're anything like me, you might have a few people in your life you aren't friends with anymore and might not want back in your life in the form of someone you're dating.

The Code

Someone you want to date might be someone you shouldn't date, according to the code.

Girl and guy code refers to the mythical rules surrounding who you date based on your friends' dating history. 

This code shows your loyalty to your friends and avoids an uncomfortable scenario where you're dating someone loathed by your friendship group. You also avoid the inevitable rift between friends, too.

  • One-night stands, depending on how they went, could use some vetting -  You don't know how it ended between the two people, or what mess you're walking into.
  • Avoid dating your friends' ex-flings - This depends on how your friend ended the relationship with the fling.
  • Best not to date your friends' ex-partners - People they have had confirmed relationships with. It's a sure-fire way to lose friends and make enemies easily.
  • Avoid at all costs dating someone your friend/relative was married to - That's a grey area that turns black once a friend feels slighted by another.

Girl and guy codes, for example, can change from person to person. It's an individual perception of what's acceptable behaviour between friends.

But if you want to be safe, rather than destroy a friendship, checking with your friend first wouldn't hurt the cause. But as a friend, you would probably know the friends who are "off-limits" within your friendship.

If you have to ask, it's more than likely "no".

Axe murderer detector

Before we date someone, it's important to know they aren't going to drag us into an alley and leave us for dead. Though this may seem like an exaggeration, there are enough horror stories to prove this indeed happens if we're complacent.

This isn't an anti-criminal sentiment. It's not about finding someone with a clear wrap sheet.

But it's important that both sides of the relationship feel comfortable entering the dating experience together.

If, for whatever reason, one side doesn't feel safe, the relationship won't progress. And it's been a waste of time for both people.

Can we ask someone if they have a criminal record, or if they have any plans to harm us? Well, no, unless you have the extreme confidence to get away with it. And if you do, let's face it, people lie to you anyway.

Instead, try looking for details that question our safety, and put safety measures in place to protect ourselves.

Here are some ideas:

  • Check their social media - Look for pictures with smiling friends and family. It's also a way to gauge the people they hang out with and if they align with the people you associate. I know it's judging a book by its cover, but it's all you have during this early stage of dating.
  • Try Googling them - A little cyber stalking won't hurt in this case, especially if it's to vet any serious criminal history or scandalous events. You might find information to affirm your safety; a glowing work report or commendation in their field, for example.


Some might disagree with this, but I would argue it's essential to know if this person is a parent or not. Perhaps at a certain stage of life, it doesn't matter anymore. But in our younger years, it changes a lot for us.

We need to know if this relationship continues, are we ready to be parents in some sort of way?

As much as we would like to think kids aren't a game-changer, or even comparable to checking for our safety, it forms an extreme shift in dynamics when you date. Everything is different, and the way you approach each other is always with the kids in mind.

Vetting this information isn't meant to signal out people with children negatively. It's a way of protecting everyone; the new partner, the parent and, especially, the kids.

Second-tier knowledge

There are so many things you might love to know about a partner before you go on a date with them. Everyone has their deal-breakers that would make the relationship impossible to continue with on a personal level. Or, perhaps given the right person, you might bend your deal breakers.

These could be:

  • What they do for work
  • Their favourite hobbies / what they do on the weekends
  • Their relationship with their family - is it good, bad, complicated?
  • Their past dating history - how many partners they've had, if they've been married before, have they cheated on a partner
  • What they like in bed - are they as kinky as you?
  • Do they smoke / drink / take drugs?
  • What do they want from a relationship?
  • Are they big spenders? Do they like a bargain over designer clothes?
  • I could go on forever with this list.

    This list has a lot of things in common, despite how haphazard it seems. These are things that would be nice to find out about someone before you go on a date with them, but people don't feel obliged to divulge.

    Or, the other way to look at it, this list is everything you might find difficult to ask without offending the other person. 

    Or seeming like you're being nosey.

    What about everything else?

    Here is a contentious argument amongst everyone who has an opinion on dating.

    Some people believe you should tell your partner everything about your past, regardless of what it will do to your relationship. Say it and be damned kind of approach. Others believe you don't have to say anything you don't want to.

    I sit in the middle. There are no rules with dating, which means there should be zero requirements for what you say.

    Unless for your own safety and happiness, which can be very broad and vague, you don't need to know anything about your partner to have a relationship with them.

    To have a successful relationship? To have an honest and real relationship? To have a relationship that can last through anything? 

    Well, that's a different story.


    About the author

    Ellen "Jelly" McRae

    Writes about romanceships (romance + relationships) | Loves to talk about behind the scenes of being a solopreneur on The Frolics | Writes 1 Lovelock Drive | Discover everything I do and share here:

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