Carolyn: I am currently considering getting back together with an ex. We were together for over three years, then were separated for over a year. We recently spent a wonderful weekend together in the Caribbean.
We both seem to be curious about one anothers love lives while we were separated. He says it doesnt really matter what I did during our time apart, but he just wants to know the truth. Ive also asked him some questions because I also wanted to know the truth, although, to be honest, I might have preferred that he lied.
He is from a traditional background, as am I, and although I did not do anything I am ashamed of, I just feel like providing details is more hurtful than anything else.
Do you think full disclosure is necessary in this situation? We have both been tested for STIs and are clean, if that matters. Do you think it says something about our relationship that I am unwilling to fully disclose?
There arent two types of sexually active people, clean and dirty, there is only one type: sexually active. Maybe you already think this way, but it is important to those who dont dodge the bullet to make the effort also to talk this way.
Needed to get that off my chest.
As for your urge to ask for details and your discomfort with the details themselves: Figure yourselves out, then figure each other out. Any details will be needless distractions without that crucial self-knowledge.
Meaning, understand exactly why youre curious about each others love lives, preferably before you start asking. Does either of you, for example, think sexual involvement would reflect poorly on the others character? Is it about health? Is your curiosity really just rubbernecking? Do you think theres a difference between having one sex partner during that year-plus and having two or three? What about two or three versus 10?
Once each of you knows what youre trying to find out, then youll see I hope not only that specifics are gratuitous, but also that requesting them is needlessly invasive.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.