How much information and when to give it?

I’m mainly looking for the opinions of men out there but any opinions, especially those backed with experience are good.

What I want to know is, how much should you tell a boyfriend about your sexual past? How much is too much and how much is being dishonest. I know that theoretically what has happened in the past and been forgiven is not someone elses business but considering how many young Catholic men really seem to want to marry virgins I would not want to decieve anyone.

Also, when do you give this information? Again, I don’t want to allow someone to develop feelings for who they THINK I am.

How do you as Catholic men feel about this if it was your girlfriend who had a sexual history?

I’m not a man ;), but I think that when they ask you is the time to disclose the information.

I used to ask guys (before agreeing to the first date) if they were virgins, because the information was very important to me. I did not want to get attached to a guy who wasn’t a virgin, because as a virgin myself, it was my #1 priority to marry another virgin (I was not Catholic at the time).

To me, if the issue is super important to someone, they’ll ask sooner rather than later.

Oh, and as for what’s honest and what’s dishonest, instead of going into detailed stories, just answer the question directly. If they only inquire about your virginal status, simply state yes or no. If they ask you how many partners you’ve had, just give a number. No sense in blurting out more information than what the other person wants to hear. :smiley:

Because we had already been friends for over 2 years, my husband and I knew each other’s (lack of a) past before we started dating. In the very beginning of the dating stage (maybe after a month), I also shared with him that I was a survivor of sexual assault. But, I was totally comfortable giving him this information, since I had known him for so long by then.

Thanks for the reply. That is good advice though I guess it is something that weighs on my mind pretty heavily and I have to get over issues of not forgiving my self and not deserving a good Catholic man. I guess I’m also very sensitive about the whole “will only marry a virgin” idea as it only makes me feel more inadequate.

Thanks for the advice though.

I’m so very sorry…:frowning: I only meant it as a way to express how if it really matters to a boyfriend, they’ll ask you early on. Since becoming Catholic, virginity would not be my #1 priority (sorry I didn’t clarify that earlier), sharing faith would be my #1 priority.

Again, I apologize for hurting your feelings, Hon. :console:

sweetheart all you have to do is go to confession and talk to Father. We all make mistakes no matter who we are. You are only human. And you do deserve a Good Catholic man and if he is a good Catholic man he also knows that we all have sins and we can all repent. Remember a good confession and dont make the same mistakes again. Thats what is so great about God. he forgives. Im sure if you could do it all over again you would change things but who wouldnt. But the point is today and tommorow not yesterday. Remember what happened when they were throwing stones at the prostitute and what did Jesus say . Well, not one more stone. people started walking away didnt they. Remember what Jesus said Go and SIn no more. And God will send you a wonderful Catholic man just wait for him. And i will also pray for you. Trust me you arent the first to sin and will not be the last. And remember who did Jesus come for sinners to show us all a different way. We all have sins maybe not the same sins but we all have many. God Bless you

one more thing i forgot you dont have to tell him anything at first. But if you feel that you really want a relationship with him after dating him for awhile then you may want to be honest. But also ask father too. he will have better answers too. but remember if he is a good guy and you fall in love with him and him with you he will forgive you and if he doesnt he wasnt the one for you. And he doesnt deserve you. But if he does he has got himself one special lady

Cadence, you deserve the best.
Repeat this over and over again.

Sorry I cant give you any advice on this one, but I do hope you will never let anyone or anything make you feel like an unworthy soul.

Cadence, don’t worry. The past can’t hold you down and it shouldn’t undermine your conviction and throw you into depression or despair. :wink: The “virgins only” thing is more cultural than religious per se, I think. It may also have a lot to do with a man’s insecurities. I suppose questions about the details, such as how many partners and similar information, come from such insecurities and no one really needs that kind of knowledge. It might even be destructive, that is a man will ask out of despair and it will later come back to him and push him again in despair in a moment of weakness.

If you’re willing to take some advice, don’t let a man use your past against you, ever. He might react variously depending on how he was brought up and what he made of what you told him, but sins from the past are not an argument. They shouldn’t be used to bring you down and undermine your stance when you two disagree on something.

The way you care and the way you try to be so honest, shows that a Catholic man should be very happy with you and have a good life. Much more so than ticking a checklist away and playing each other’s judge. I wish you all the best and will pray for you in a while. Now good luck. :wink:

A female perspective here: if/when he wants to know, he’ll bring it up in conversation. I wonder how many of those young men who want to marry virgins are virgins themselves? Of course, if you want to get the “talk” over with, you could always bring it up yourself, but I wouldn’t do that on the first or second date. You don’t need to tell all of the details, but a general statement that you made some mistakes, along with the reassurance that this was confessed, forgiven, and repented of, is enough. If you haven’t already, get checked for STDs so you can (hopefully) tell him that you have a clean bill of health. If you happened to pick up something chronic such as herpes or HPV, he deserves to know that, too. And tell him that, just because you made this mistake in the past, you’re not going to do it again. Some seemingly-nice guys will use your non-virginal status to try to persuade you to have sex with them.

For those of us who may be in the dating market “second time around” after a divorce and annulment, we all have a sexual past. My general rule follows the statue of limitations – if it happened more than seven years ago, it’s none of his business, nor is it my businesss what he did back in the day. Some time within the first few dates I would have a general chat with the man about chastity, to find out where he stands as well as to let him know how I feel, and if he isn’t respectful of my views, he’s out the door. I’m not going to waste my time in a tug-of-war over chastity!

We all make mistakes, but once we have confessed them and been forgiven, we are as pure as newborn babes. You are not “damaged goods” – you are a beautiful child of God! Stay strong, good luck, and God bless.

When asked… answer the question.

If not asked, don’t offer. Guys that are serious about you don’t really want to hear about your “sexual” past - at least not now, and maybe never.

I was one of 3 guys that were competing for my wife’s affections/time. She was fresh out of college, in her 1st “real job”, living on her own, and had the world by the “ahems”.

After awhile it was down to me and another. A short time later it was just me… why?

Because I didn’t want to get into her bed. Over time I found out she was seriously dating someone throughout college, and possibly could’ve married him. The thing that killed the relationship was his pressures to “do it”.

I didn’t press about “how far they went”. I’ve got a good idea, but still don’t want to know the details 20-1/2 years later!

What I do know is that I’m her 1st and only. What she knows is I’m her last & only (I wasn’t a good boy in my youth). She knows about my sexual past, but has never asked about it… nor wants to know.

(About 15 years ago we ran into one of my previous “dalliances”… hoo-boy did I want to find a big rock to crawl under - I found refuge in the Mens Room for awhile! They actually chatted for a bit… When we got home I had to ask about the conversation…
My wife’s reply: “She’s nice… nuts, but nice. I can see you at that time doing what you did…” End of discussion.)

If God has forgiven past sexual deeds before marriage, then so can you.

I don’t really think Catholic men really mind, as long as it’s in the past. I am Catholic, male, 19. And I wouldn’t not consider a girl because she is not a virgin, provided she has confessed her past deeds and is walking with Christ, that’s what matters.

It’s like you are judging the person before you even get to know them :rolleyes:

Jason and Chrystellina were the best, Jason was a virgin, Chrystellina used to lead an immoral sexual life, but then she gave up that and walked with Christ for 3 years, completely out of the dating scene when she met Jason. I’m glad Jason didn’t use that against her, they both give chastity talks to youths and they are both happily married. What else can you ask for :thumbsup:

Lots of sensible advice here.

My thought - your past is your own business and no one else’s and you don’t have to apologise for that … so in your shoes I’d want to be convinced a man was quite serious about taking the relationship further before I felt obliged to answer such questions, or before I felt that he was even entitled to ask. We may well date a few different people before selecting a marriage partner, and who wants half-a-dozen ex-bfs or ex-gfs floating around in possession of knowledge about your life that is your business alone?

I think, also, that it depends upon the kind of past we are talking about and the kind of man who asks.

For instance, if my past sins have left me physically ill or in a position of making another person physically ill then of course I would owe it to that person to let them know, in as tasteful a manner as possible, that being in a marriage with me may present certain challenges in terms of health and sexual intimacy.

Of course, this would hold true if my physical health - or lack thereof - was a result of a sin on my part or my being a victim of a crime. And, to be really honest, if I had physical challenges to face that were NOT related to sexuality I would be inclined to let the gentleman caller know - there are people who do not wish to marry someone that has health issues.

I also think one needs to look at what their past has done to them, in terms of needing to heal. Women who chose to have abortions and now deeply regret that action may have some deep healing to do before becoming someone’s wife.

Some women, like myself, have a health issue that requires us to participate in 12 step programs and be available to help others. I have always let a man know this by the 2nd date. Sometimes, to ‘outsiders’, what I do to stay well sound noble and wonderful but the day to day grind of a phone ringing at any time or being involved in service is not very glamorous. In fact it can be tedious as all get out…so it’s important for a potential ‘him’ to know about that part of my life.

I guess it comes down to allowing another person to make a decision about spending time with me with all pertinent information. I don’t ever want to hear from someone “well, you didn’t tell me you were teaching RCIA, sponsoring 15 women, going to 3 meetings a week, have RA and love football - if you had, then I wouldn’t have stuck around”.

Does this make any sense? It’s 2:00am and I’m on the graveyard shift so I may be thinking kind of goofy…:whacky:

As a Catholic man I will say that the only information I would need is;
*]Are you a virgin?
*]Any information of a medical nature. If you have contracted any of the various STD’s?
*]Are there any children?
*]Are any of these men still in your life?
*]Have you been to Confession?
*]Are you now living chaste?[/LIST]Information I do not need;
*]Sexual details
*]How good (or bad) any of these men were or are (in bed or out)
*]Names[/LIST]All other information is between you and God and should stay that way unless a definitive need to know arises.

If you are dating someone and it isn’t super serious and you aren’t having sex ( obviously as you shouldn’t be ) then it is not a huge deal to know about the sexual past.

In my case, I was a virgin when I met my husband and he was definitely not. I absolutely had to know how many women he had slept with and when. I needed to know about STIs and everything. Names wasn’t a huge deal but I at least wanted to know if he was able to name them all. It turns out I knew one of them ( which was good to know ). I needed to know if he used a condom every single time, as the pill and all that doesn’t protect from STI’s.

My husband and I share everything.

If you are dating someone and you are seroius about them and plan on being in a sexual relationship with them ( marriage or not ) yes share all information.

Thankyou, this was exactly the kind of straight forward answers I was looking for. A couple more questions about what to say and what not to say:

Context? (relationships or casual sex)
Age virginity lost?
Number of partners?
If any of the men are known to him or are friends still?

*]Context is not important. What is is: did you have sex and are there any consequenses to be dealt with in the present? Are any of these consequenses going to affect our future relationship and family?
*]Age is not as important as how. (your choice or forcibly)
*]Don’t want to know. I only need to know if there are any lasting issues. Are any of these still in your life in any way today? Are there any permanant consequences?
*]If any are known to me, and I am in a relationship with you, then they qualify as being in your life still. I would rather you tell me than for him to do so.[/LIST]If you are serious about this man, you may want to sit down and disuss just how serious the relationship is. If you have been dating for six months or more and marriage is not a serious step being considered, you have no business continuing to “date”. If marriage is considered the probable outcome, you should have a conversation in which you both ask one another these questions:
*]What do you want to know about my past “love life” and to what detail?
*]Offer the minumun “need toknow” information and ask if your possible future spouse wants greater detail.[/LIST]All men are different. You (hopefully) are considering marrying this man. He is the one to ask how much you should tell. If you are not considering marriage, you should not be considering sex at all, in which case there is no need to divulge any information at all. This is true no matter how long you have known him.
Another thought: How mush information do you want from him?

Rciadan, you gave really good advice. especially your last paragraph.

Sorry to get a little off topic, I just want to point out that a person does not lose their virginity if they are forced into a sexual act with someone. Women who are virgins prior to being raped are still virgins afterward. Virginity must be willingly given. :thumbsup:

Well here’s the deal: I am not dating anyone at the moment but I have a couple of really good catholic guys who are kind of expressing interest and I have to say that while I would like to date one of them I feel a lot of anxiety because my past relationships have not been with good catholic men. The eventual conversation about my past is something I really fear. On the other hand I can’t imagine marrying someone who doesn’t understand the things I have been through as I believe they do continue to effect me.
Thankyou for the advice given here, I really appreciate it.

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