Our past…accepted, acknowledged, ignored, denied or rejected.
The past is obviously a very sensitive subject for many, on the other hand, you have those who have accepted and are at peace with their past and have no qualms in discussing it.
To narrow down a vast topic, I’m looking at our ‘relational’ past, i.e. our love lives, casual and serious sexual partners, short-term and long-term partners and parents of our children..
On the 16th of November, I published the ‘Your past’ image, on my Facebook page, Facebook profile and here on the BLOG.
I noticed that the subsequent images received more responses; I wasn’t really surprised about the FB users but was a little bit surprised about the lack of response here on WordPress.
In a non-rebellious, totally obedient society, filled with love and humility, all things being equal, our past experiences would have all been similar.
All things being well, we would have been born, having a father and mother, who were married and living lovingly towards each other and us.
We would have been brought up having the space and time to develop spiritually, emotionally and intellectually while we learned (from parents and other senior family members) about our physical and sexual development, at a rate where we could understand those changes and developments.
We would have been introduced to an existing strong family network and whether or not we migrated with our family, we would have established good relationships within the communities we resided in, irrespective of that community’s ethnic diversity.
At the right time, after having socialised with the females within those communities (at places of study, work, fellowship etc.) the young men would have a conversation with their parents about the young woman they developed strong feelings for.
His parents would talk to her parents and an agreement would be made for them to ‘officially date’.
After a period on non-sexual courtship there would be a mutually consensual marriage.
A marriage in which the young adults would be able to develop and grow as a couple learning how to mimic and hopefully improve on the parental models which brought them up.
Whilst experiencing all the benefits and enjoyment of learning to develop an intense, disease free, ‘emotionally’ baggage-free wonderful orgasmic sex life.
Can you hear the music? the birds singing, feel the warmth of sunshine on your face and a light summer breeze, while you smell those lovely intoxicating flowers…
OK, utopian dream over…the MP3/Blue Ray player has stopped playing and we’re back to reality…
How many of us actually grew up from our ‘genesis point’ experiencing all or any of the above?…I know I certainly didn’t.
Most, if not all of us, have experienced a life totally different to that ‘ideal’; mankind, having the power of choice, has certainly exercised that power to make some ‘interesting’ choices.
Speaking of choices we make, I haven’t mentioned the negatives and evils of ‘abuse’.
Physical, emotional and sexual abuse can have serious impact on an individual and their relationships or lack of relationships.
Acknowledge and understood but I’m not going into those negatives as they warrant more space and time.
One size doesn’t appear to fit all
Barring the serious issue of abuse and all its ramifications, the majority of people ‘rightly’ profess that the past is the past.
They quote the usual: – “I was young and immature”, “That’s no longer the person I am.”, “You learn from your mistakes.”, “Those things only make you stronger” and so on.
However, why do so many lose that pragmatism when their relational/sexual past has been called into question?
Surely the same rules should apply…that was us back then, we have learned from those mistakes and we are stronger for having gone through those experiences.
If we, quite rightly, should not be judged by our past, why can’t we simply pragmatically profess what we did and with whom?
Sometimes it’s hardest to forgive ourselves
Maybe there is a little bit of embarrassment on our part, in having to admit we made wrong ‘partner’ choices.
We all have to make peace with our past in order to enjoy our present and hope in our future.
If we were promiscuous we need to accept the fact that those actions didn’t create lasting contentment.
If we were extremely rigid and cold, we need to accept that those actions only repelled and possibly prevented the possibility of forming a life partnership with someone.
There are all the differing variations of actions in between which include, experimentation in areas you no longer participate in, contracting STD’s, unwanted pregnancies and terminations, being date rapped under the influence of drugs, mistaking the signs and forcing someone to have sex against their wishes and more…
Obviously, before being forgiven by others and forgiving ourselves…some areas of some peoples past require the intervention of the law and paying a penalty for violating an individual and breaking the law.
Putting the law issues aside there is also the morality issue, however, morality in general society…without the specific guidelines of a belief in God…has a massive sliding scale of acceptability, depending on who you speak to.
Made my peace, now easy to share
My past has a few uncomfortable chapters but I’m still able to talk about them (when needed and in context)
Born to two unmarried teenagers, who broke up after my sister was born.
Watching my mum have children with another man and seeing that relationship break up.
All helped to shape my views on relationships, initially with marriage NOT being an option.
Due to my frequent Q&A with my mum and other adults around me, I always had a more mature outlook on relationships than most of my peers.
I knew I wanted to be in a stable relationship, which didn’t involve marriage and having seen all the mistakes made by adults around me, I still made a few of my own…I know, who hasn’t?
My past involves 2.5 sexual relationships (I’ll explain more in other posts and the project).
My first ‘puppy love’ girlfriend came when I was 14 and was with a Chinese girl who moved to Britain from Hong Kong at an early age.
I had subsequent ‘young love’ relationships with a girl from Martinique and a girl from Nigeria before progressing onto my first sexual relationship with a Turkish born Kurdish girl.
This resulted in engagement then me breaking off the engagement and relationship when I realised a hot sex life and the feelings we had for each other wasn’t enough to change/overcome generations of established xenophobia from her parents and other family members.
I knew and worked with a young lady back then, a fellow Brit, we became really good friends and became lovers, after my relationship ended with my ex-fiancé…I’m married and still with her today.
The past is the past, grown up and mature
I would like to think I’m fairly balanced and mature, I don’t believe in going back after a break-up; I’m a believer that things end for good reasons.
I would like to have remained friends with all my ex-girlfriends as I don’t believe in holding grudges and truly do believe that the past is the past.
One has left the UK and now lives in Australia, one sadly died a few years back (before reaching 40) due to having Sickle Cell Anaemia, I’m in contact with the others via Facebook
Experiences and a relationship philosophy
I have always tried to maintain the quality over quantity philosophy, I don’t think that gaining a ‘reputation’ is only applicable to women, it’s also applicable to men.
Things have not been perfect for me, I’ve had the secret abortion performed (unbeknown to me at that time) and there is the .5 situation I mentioned earlier, which was a very serious chapter in my life.
Yet despite everything, I did discuss my past with Lois and God forbid, if I ever became a widower in my future, I would do the same again with any possible future Mrs Gayle and I would expect them to be totally open and frank about their past.
So, how about you?
As I said, we tend to be pragmatic concerning some things and secretive or evasive in the area of sex and our past sexuality, in general, but especially in certain circles, such as within Christian (especially religious) circles.
I have a fair few real-life scenarios recorded in my memory banks and I intend to cover those on this Blog and more in-depth within the project.
Obviously, it would be unwise and almost impossible to share all your history in one conversation, especially when just getting to know someone, however…
- Have you omitted information about your past for fear of it ruining a possible serious relationship?
- If asked specific questions about your sexual past, would you be totally honest, lie or omit certain details?
- Do you think it’s important to know where someone is ‘coming from’ and for them to know that about you?
- If someone told you they had a lot of sexual partners in the past or even did a stint in the Porn industry, would that be a deal breaker?
- If you experimented with homosexuality or swinging, would you be open about that?
- Do you think, like me, people should be up-front and open before a relationship gets serious, or do you think the full truth should only come out after the honeymoon?
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