When you start to date someone new, they will most likely come with some baggage.
Whether it’s a child from a previous relationship, a needy/clingy ex, or (most commonly) an extensive sexual history, there are always skeletons in the closet waiting to jump out.
It takes a strong person to be able to accept their partner’s past and move on in the relationship.
To help you, I’ve come up with a list of 18 healthy ways to accept your boyfriend’s past and move on.
1) Respect him for opening up to you
Hey, everyone has a past. It’s part of being a human being.
The fact that he’s being open about his past instead of keeping quiet or even hiding things from you is something that should be valued.
You see, it’s kind of a big deal that he’s opened up to you. It’s important that you try to be understanding of any flaws that make him who he is.
Put yourself in their shoes:
Instead of keeping quiet, he’s chosen to share his past with you. This is something that he should be respected for and in no way made to feel ashamed.
2) Don’t judge him
Some guys have a lot more baggage than others.
Now, maybe he had trouble being in a relationship for more than one minute or maybe he’s got a bit of a reputation for being promiscuous – the list of women he cheated on or lied to is miles long.
It’s tempting to judge him but try not to.
People change. People grow.
Just because he did something before doesn’t mean he’ll do it again. He’s obviously someone you like, otherwise, you wouldn’t be going out with him.
So, why not give him the benefit of the doubt?
3) Focus on the present
Whenever you find yourself judging him for his past, remember that you’re dating this person right now – in the present.
Here’s the thing:
You can’t control what he did in the past but you can control your actions in the present.
Put your time and energy into building a positive relationship with him instead of swelling on a past you weren’t even present for.
All in all, you should focus on the present, not the past.
Trust me, it’ll do wonders for your relationship’s future.
4) Accept your feelings
If you ignore your feelings, you’ll have a hard time moving on.
Now, you might find yourself feeling insecure about his past or paranoid about what he’s doing now.
Try to be honest with yourself. Don’t push your feelings aside, instead, acknowledge them.
The problem isn’t his past but how it affects your present.
There is no reason to feel ashamed of your insecurities, recognize them so that you can work through them.
5) Have open and honest communication
Here’s the truth:
Communication is the key to a happy and healthy relationship.
If you ever feel like your insecurities are getting out of control, bring it up with him.
Remember not to make the conversation negative or to attack him with accusations of infidelity. Instead, just tell him how you feel.
You might be surprised by how much he’s willing to help.
6) Don’t let his past define him
You shouldn’t let his past define who he is.
Here’s why: If you constantly bring up his past and talk negatively about it, you’re just digging yourself into a hole.
Instead of focusing on the bad things he’s done in the past, focus on the good things he’s doing now.
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, but they don’t define who we are.
Focus on the guy you fell in love with, the guy he is today.
7) Talk to someone about it
I don’t know about you, but I find that when I’m having trouble dealing with something, it always helps to talk about it with a friend or even my mom.
I get it, it’s hard to talk about your insecurities. But sometimes it helps to get things off your chest and to know that you’re not alone.
Let me explain:
Talking to a friend or family member might give you a new perspective on the issue you’re dealing with.
What’s more, it might help you see things from a different angle.
In short: Your friends may have good advice on how you can accept your boyfriend’s past and get on with life.
Worth the shot if you ask me.
8) Don’t be jealous of his ex
I know, I know. Easier said than done. But think about it:
If she’s so perfect, then why isn’t he with her?
See, exes will always hold a bit of mystery. No matter how much you learn about them, it’s impossible to know everything there is to know about someone.
But it’s important to remember not to be jealous of her. She’s part of his past and you are part of his present.
Things obviously didn’t work out between them or they’d still be together.
Bottom line is that he’s with you now so don’t obsess about his past and let it affect your present relationship.
Don’t be jealous of his ex, no good will come out of it.
9) Don’t snoop
Personally, I’ve never done it, but I have friends that just can’t help themselves!
They’ll go through their boyfriend’s phone and check his texts and emails. They’ll constantly be on the lookout, waiting to catch him “in the act”.
But I have news for you.
If you have no reason to suspect him of cheating on you other than his past, your suspicions are totally unfounded.
What’s more, you’re likely to push him away with your irrational and jealous behavior.
Now, you have no right to snoop through his phone or computer.
How would you like it if he went through your private correspondence?
Don’t dig through his stuff – it’s irrational, paranoid, and not cool.
10) Stop bringing up his past
Think about who you’re dating right now and not the guy he was before you met him. And please, stop making comments about his past and how it makes you feel.
It’s not going to make anything better. In fact, it will just put more pressure on your relationship.
He’s not accountable to you for his past.
If he messes up while you’re together, then this is something you can talk about. But you really have no place bringing up the past (before you) whenever you have a fight or feel insecure.
11) The past makes us who we are
He’s a great guy, right? And what made him such a great guy?
His past experiences of course!
You see, our experiences – whether they be positive or negative – make us who we are.
His previous relationships have taught him to be patient and a good listener.
What’s more, you should be thanking his exes for the fact that he’s such a generous lover.
See where I’m going with this?
His past – however you may feel about it – made him into the guy you know and love today.
12) Have empathy
I know it’s not easy to accept his past, but try and see things from his point of view.
How would you feel if he kept bringing up your past?
It’s hard to be in a relationship with someone who’s constantly making you feel bad about something you did before you even met them.
Now, look at things from his perspective and you might find that he does have a reason for everything he did.
In short: Empathy will make it easier to move on from his past and focus on your present and future instead.
13) Accept reality
Accept reality for what it is.
You can’t change his past and you know that he has baggage, so try and embrace it.
If you can’t live with his past, then you’ll never be happy with him and you should let him go.
What’s more, if you can’t accept reality, you’ll have a hard time not only in your relationships but in life in general.
14) Work on yourself
Let’s be honest: he’s not really the problem here.
You’re the one that just can’t let go of the past. Maybe your own past experience is affecting your ability to trust.
If that’s the case, you must work on your issues so that they don’t affect your current and future relationships.
Have you ever considered seeing a therapist?
Here’s another thing:
You’re too preoccupied with this relationship. Take some time to do something for yourself.
Take up a new hobby. See some friends. Take up meditation.
If you put some energy into something other than your relationship, it might help put things into perspective and help you accept your boyfriend’s past.
15) Don’t compare yourself to others
Why would you compare yourself to others?
Don’t think about the women that your boyfriend used to date. That’s like comparing apples to oranges.
If you’re happy with your boyfriend and the life you have now, then why should you compare his past and your present situations?
Think about it:
What’s the point? What could you possibly achieve with such comparisons?
16) Don’t punish him for his past
If you like this guy and want your relationship to succeed, please don’t punish him for having a life before you.
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll also see that you do have a past too.
17) Ask questions
Are you curious about his past?
Instead of imaging all sorts of things based on the little information you have, why not take the time to ask him about it?
In my experience, if something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it than to keep it to yourself.
If you’re not sure about something, ask for clarification.
Things are often a lot worse in our heads than in reality. And the more we obsess about them, the worse we’ll make them out to be.
You might find out that there’s more to the story than what you have imagined and it could even bring you guys closer together.
What’s more, being able to talk to each other openly about everything will make you a stronger couple.
18) Understand that it had nothing to do with you
In order to accept your boyfriend’s past and get on with life, you need to understand that it had nothing to do with you.
You might be the jealous type and find it difficult to accept that your boyfriend had many relationships before you.
But what he did in the past has nothing to do with you. He didn’t even know you back then!
The guy was just living his life – just like you were living yours – so why not cut him some slack?
How do you make sure you’re enough for him?
This article has a lot of great and healthy tips to help you accept your boyfriend’s past.
However, if he used to be a player, you might still feel a bit insecure and that’s totally understandable.
But, if you want to make sure that you are enough for him and he stays faithful, there’s one thing I can think of.
It’s called the Hero Instinct and it’s something that you can trigger in this guy.
If you want him to fully dedicate himself to you, then you’ll have to learn how to use it in your favor.
James Bauer, a relationship expert, has designed this concept for his female clients and he’ll tell you exactly how to use it to its full extent.
In his free video, he’ll show you exactly what it is that makes a guy fully commit to you, regardless of his past. He’ll show you what this guy needs from you so that he can dedicate himself to you like no other.
This is about a man’s innate drives and how you can trigger them to get him to behave properly with you no matter what he did in the past.