To tell or not to tell…Can you afford to be really honest in your relationship?

Have you ever wondered if “honesty is really the best policy?” At some point, couples in every romantic relationship have “the talk” where they spill the beans on their pasts. It’s a chance to come clean and get all the skeletons out of the closet. But how much information is truly necessary? How much truth is too much? For instance does a woman have to be completely honest about every romantic relationship she’s been in?

There is a yes and no answer to this issue. Yes, it can be good to honestly share about the major relationships of your past (usually three to five is average). It can help you to understand each other more by discussing and analyzing past relationships, like: what brought you together with past loves, what caused the separations, and anything in between that you feel will not threaten your current relationship in any way. This will show your mate that you trust him enough to be upfront with him and that you no longer carry feelings for those you were involved with before him.
You could, and should also talk candidly with your mate about any hurtful relationship experiences you may have had—abuse, rape, or childhood molestation. Don’t hide any of this from him. It wasn’t your fault that someone did such an awful thing to you. Any decent mate will understand and will want to protect you from ever getting hurt again, and will in fact draw him closer to you.

However, what is sure to tear your romantic relationship apart is if you’re not over an ex. The question is, should you admit this to your man? Absolutely, not! It would be downright hurtful. What you should do is figure out why you’re still carrying feelings for someone who has left. Let it go and move on. Put your emotions into your current relationship and withdraw your invested emotional energy from the one who is now yesterday’s history.

Another definite no for discussion is if you’ve had more than ten lovers in the past. For instance, if you were once a promiscuous woman, who has had enough male lovers to place one in each of the fifty States, leave that information out of your current relationship. I’ve counseled enough couples to professionally tell you that no matter how much the man may say he’s open to your past, he wants to feel as if he’s the first to have you. Even though he knows that you were not a virgin when he met you, he wants to know that you’re his personal and private “rejuvenated or born-again virgin.” No man wants to know that his prize (you) have been sampled by an extended list of “Tom, Dick, Harry, Larry, and Barry.”

It is ancient Biblical wisdom, that there is a time and a season for everything: “a time to speak and a time to withhold from speaking.” Honesty is truly the best policy, but be smart with your heart. To sum it up in a nutshell, “there’s a time for the past to be told, and a time for you to withhold.”

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Grace Cornish Livingstone, on-air staff psychologist for the former Queen Latifah TV show, is one of America’s foremost relationship consultants. She is an award-winning, bestselling author of ten popular books, including 10 Bad Choices, The Band-Aid Bond, The Sacred Bond and You Deserve Healthy Love, Sis! Dr. Grace is currently the popular relationship columnist for the London-based Pride magazine. For Dr. Grace Cornish healthy relationship books and healthy relationship CDs visit