How to accept your partner’s past mistakes

Past mistakes don’t necessarily spell doom for your current relationship.

Leaving the past in the past is essential to move forward in any relationship. When you start dating someone new, it is obvious that they will come with some baggage. In this case, it is important not to fixate on the past and focus on your present.

"It is very important to remember, that each new relationship should be given a new start," Dr Ronica Arnold Branson, licensed therapist and relationship coach, told Bustle. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, including you. These experiences should be used as a stepping stones to grow and not to judge your new partner.

Here are some things you shouldn’t worry about your partner’s past:

One-time cheating

Infidelity is a deal-breaker for many. If you find out that your partner has cheated in a previous relationship, it can raise red flags in the current relationship. "If the person demonstrated genuine remorse, regret, empathy, and apologised to their partner, and never cheated again, they just might be a one-time cheater," Dr Fran Walfish said.

Sometimes it is also important to understand the circumstances under which happened. Maybe your partner was then in a bad relationship, or did not intend for it to happen. But if they have had a history of cheating repeatedly or known for having full-blown affairs, then you may want to rethink the relationship.

Immature behaviour in past relationships

Obsessing about your partner’s past relationships should be avoided. What they did in the past, won’t necessarily happen this time around. "If we held ourselves accountable for the way we behaved in every past relationship, some of us would be classified as 'undateable,'” Adina Mahalli, relationship counsellor said.

Every relationship has a different dynamic and yours is different from what they shared with their exes. It is also important to remember that people change. Don’t jump to conclusions about your partner.

Their sexual history

The number of sexual partners you partner has had before and related information shouldn’t bother you. The only reason you should scrutinise your sexual history is to talk about any health issues, if any.

"If anything, one ought to be thrilled that their partner has had an elaborate, exciting, experimental sex life prior to meeting you," said Dr Mark Borg Jr, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist. If you really want to know about their past, don’t then use it to compare it to yourself.

Specific exes

There is no need to feel insecure about any particular ex. Always remember that there is a reason that they are no longer together and you are dating your partner.

"Life can’t be lived comparing yourself to someone else," Branson said. "You can’t be successful based on what someone else has done. Know that you are uniquely you and that your partner likes you for who you are, not for what they had."

Money mistakes they made

Money can be a source of major concern for couples. It is possible that your partner would have made some mistakes in the past. Whether it is credit card debt, making impulse purchases, etc. But if they have learnt from those mistakes and it is not affecting their life now, then there is no need to worry.

"If they are now successful, moving ahead toward success in measurable ways, and feeling confident about their future, then the mistakes made served a purpose," dating and relationship coach Rosalind Sedacca said.

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