Why do lovers dig into ex-files? Does it help?

Posted: April 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


Trying to investigate a lover’s past intimate relationships – is like shooting oneself in the heart. The thing is that, for the average lover, the temptation will always be there to want to indulge in this not so rewarding game, even when it may be clear that the consequences could be disastrous for the current relationship. While it could also be healthy, in certain ways, for the relationship, its genuine complexity lies in the fact that those who wish to dig into the ex-files are probably already hopelessly in love when they contemplate doing it. And that often presents the real problem. X-LOVERS.


A friend of mine (musician and Salma). He used to be away most nights and weekends when he was performing yet that was when she needed him most. It was one of the reasons they separated. Abdul Jr is a young IT Specialist whose past two relationships were not without desire, on his part, to know everything about the boyfriends his girlfriends had had. His confession is a typical example of not only why lovers try hard to revisit history, but also the futility of it all. He recalls that, during his first relationship, he was not comfortable asking his girlfriend “about when she lost her virginity or other such controversial issues,” because “though I wanted to know everything, I did not think she would tell me the whole truth.” A sustainable option, admits Jr, was “to go and do my staff elsewhere.” Quite predictably, this staff involved having secret though harmless dates with her confidantes and old friends, the process of which produced mixed results. He did not like it, because what he got to learn was something that – even when it did not incriminate his girlfriend for telling lies – still made him want to know more about her past relationships. “I realised that there were some missing gaps that only she could fill,” he says. While Jr does not know with certainty whether his girlfriend was doing similar investigations on him, he confesses that he was doing it in good faith even if it did not seem gainful in the end. His first girlfriend, Angel, had dated someone before him but that relationship had ended the moment he left the country for further studies. The feeling that he was the man of the moment probably because someone was missing in action somewhat hurt his ego in as much as it also inspired him to prove that he was no substitute. “That is when I lost it because in proving that I was the right one for her, I ended up behaving in a rather unconvincing way,” he says. His relationship lasted only one year, and his second too, which had a tinge of the same, lasted only five months.


Jr, who has no regrets about this practice says: “I will always try to find out to whether am on the same footing with my partner, because I do not want to be taken by surprise, but women are not known to be honest on those issues.” But the irony with such investigations is that, most of the time, women – in contrast to men – will either ask their men one-on-one about their past relationships or ignore the idea completely. “The thing about female dishonesty is just a cover-up because the problem cannot be divorced from this virginity thing,” says Flavy (a friend), a psychology student. According to her, society has always had this sexist conviction that virginity should be kept only among womenfolk, which, she insists, is the wrong reason men will go at lengths to investigate, among other things, how many partners she has had and the class of men they were. “Most women do not ask those silly questions”, she argues, “because they have been made to look more guilty than their male counterparts.” When asked about the basic minimum information she would want to know about a potential lover, she interestingly says, “Only what is enough but that does not include asking him when he lost his virginity


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