When to reveal past sins?


Ok, I realise this topic may have been adressed already but advice is needed please.

I have been asked out by a very sweet Catholic young man who I know has only had one girl friend in the past and she was also a very good Catholic. I, on the other hand, have had many boyfriends and have quite a sexual past. I have confessed all my sins and am constantly trying to live a more virtuous life but these sins do haunt me. He has commented before about how i am such a nice Catholic girl and how I must never have anything “real” to confess. When do I tell him? And how much do I tell him?
I know this is early days, but I would not want to be guilty of decieving him.


Thanks in advance


Well hopefully as of now you ARE a good Catholic girl with few or no sexual sins to confess … don’t worry too much about the past unless you yourself start repeating past patterns.

A good rule of thumb is to be honest if he asks - doesn’t mean you have an obligation to graphically spell out every gory detail of your past sexual history, nor would he probably want to know such.

Tell the truth, if asked or if he makes clear that he thinks you’re innocent. But do it in a gentle way - ‘yes I was sexually active, it was before I was a Christian or Catholic/because I was a stupid teenager who didn’t know any better/whatever relevant background reason, it was a dumb and wrong thing to do which I’ve confessed and haven’t done for x number of weeks/months/years.’

If he finds this amount of truth problematic then he isn’t the person for you, plain and simple.


When he says you are a “Good Catholic girl and must never have anything to confess…” is he just kidding around or is he really trying to pump you for information? Maybe he is joking, just wondering.

If/when he does ask you…feel free to share with him that you had a past life and regrets but you have moved on now and are very happy. If he asks for more information just keep repeating that statement. There is no need to give him the details, numbers of boyfriends, graphic images etc…this is not necessary and he does not need to know or benefit in any way from this information. The only time (I beleive) that you would be obligated to share specifics with him, is if you are the carrier of a sexually transmitted disease.

As far as being haunted by your past…this could be the devil trying to hurt you. Just when you have changed your life and are rich in your faith and have met a nice young Catholic man…here is the devil trying to make you feel ashamed and that you are not worthy!!! This is bunk…ignore it and pray a lot. Hope this helps.


As someone who has had the same sort of past I understand your questioning. My ex boyfriend found out about my past after we broke up and he was sooooooooooooo angry. I have sworn that I would never lie/hide my past from anyone again, I will tell them up front, early early days. If they stay, great, they get to know the new you and they will not dwell on your past, if they dont stay, better to finish something before it starts, the blow is alot easier than if you wait untill theres real feelings involved.

If you wait too long it can hurt them as they tend to think you cant trust them with the truth and that causes alot of problems. Like Lily said if he has a problem with your past, then he is not for you.


It’s very naive to assume that because someone is a good Catholic now, it means they have always been.

You don’t have to go into detail, but if he mentions it again, youc an always just say that you haven’t always been such a good catholic as you are now, but God has done a lot of work in your life to make you who you are today.

Then it’s up to him to ask for more info, if he wants it at this point. At least that way, he won’t have any overly-rosy ideas about your past, and you don’t have to worry that he has the wrong impression.

And I agree with the other posters. God has forgiven you your past. If this person is not willing to do so, he is not the right one for you.


It is naive of both the man and the woman to assume that the other has always been a good Catholic. In fact the reason that one dates/courts the other is to determine if this other person is indeed as good a Catholic as he/she seems to be currently. And then there is the further question as to whether or not this person is a potential spouse.

One’s past is just one of many things that doesn’t need to be shared with casual aquaintances and may eventually need to be shared with closer ones. So I think it needs to be kept in perspective.

The subject came up in another thread as to how much you should tell your children about your past. Now children are not would-be spouses but I think one thing is the same. It’s better to tell your intended yourself than it is for them to be unpleasantly surprised later. Since family members and friends probably knew some of these people it is highly likely that they will not stay hidden forever.

I would say that in general the time to reveal the past (whether it is sexual in nature or some other problem) is when you decide that this new person in your life is someone you would want to marry and you think they have the same thoughts about you. I think that someone who wants such info too soon or someone who wants to share all too soon is showing evidence of desperation. And I think that is a red flag suggesting that this person has personal problems that need to be resolved before they are ready to commit to another.

But I also think that the time to reveal one’s past may need to be moved up if your past is really well known to common acquaintances. Likewise, if either of you is a public figure and there is a potential for scandal, it is only fair to let the other person know what they are getting in to.

As far a details are concerned, I don’t think it is necessary or proper to reveal all. But I think it is reasonable to give something of a timeline as to how many years you engaged in the sinful behavior and, perhaps even more importantly, how long since you’ve repented of your ways. (If it’s been a couple years, great! If it was last month then maybe you haven’t really changed.)

Names, addresses, and phone numbers of past partners should NOT be revealed. But you probably need to give a general count. (It was one or two; it was 10-15; it was 75+, …) If the occasional name or live person shows up then at least it will be within some previously known context.

And I just need to reiterate what others have said. If this new man cannot handle what he learns, he is not the man for you. It doesn’t mean he is bad or that you are bad. You are just not meant for each other.


I would also keep in mind that as you have assumed much about his past because he has only had one other steady girlfriend who was a faithful Catholic so is he assuming much about you now because of your present behavior…this is dating. It is how one discerns marriage. take it slow and ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit and your confessor…remember, we are all sinners who have been saved, are being saved and are working out our salvation in fear and trembling…


Just remember that a sexual “checkered past” is only one type of sin which may have an impact on a relationship. Some people may not have compromised their chastity in their life but may struggle with lying, stealing, etc.

Concentrate on having fun and praying together. If he is meant for you by God then God will give him the strength to see past it. :slight_smile: How could he not forgive if God did?

Give it some time before spilling the beans. Just my :twocents:


You must be honest with him, but as it has already been said, that does not entail going into detail. When the time is right (only you can really decide this), let him hear you. It will take courage, but hey, if he loves you he’ll love you anyhow. :slight_smile: And if you love him, you won’t keep something like this from him.

May God bless you both. I’ll keep you in my prayers. :slight_smile:


Please tell me why do you feel the need to relive the past. What happened in the past should stay in the past. What business is it of the next person what you did when they were not in the picture.

It is like bringing that baggage into a new relationship. I would not tell what I did in the past because it has nothing to do with now. Why should you have to confess everything when you have already done so and asked for forgiveness. Why should another person judge you that is not their right to do so.

Just tell him that you were not such a good Catholic once upon a time and you made mistakes that you regret but you have asked forgiveness for what you did in the past before his time. And it has nothing to do with the relationship that we have now. And you do not want to speak about it because you have put all that behind you. And if he is not satified with that then he is not worth wasting time on. If he wants to be with you then he should be with who you are now not who you were before his time.

Nobody is perfect and everybody makes mistakes. God is the judge and jury not man. If you have asked God forgiveness that leave it that way. You made the choice a long time to change and become a better person and you do not need somebody to question you about past relationships or past issues. That creates so much problems in a new relationship.

But goodluck and just pray things have a way of working out.



BTW, “good” Catholics also sin.


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