Your Relationship CV
Just like hiring a new employee, starting a new relationship can be a complicated affair. You are looking for loyalty, trust and someone who understands your needs. Meanwhile the past of our new partners can be like a magical door you are never to open yet poses all too inviting (in the form of Facebook stalking for example!)
If a new partner got dumped for cheating or having a fetish for sheep – you’d rather know sooner, rather then later, right? Similarly, why should you trust your heart with someone whose track record may leave a lot to be desired?
You usually start your CV with your qualifications. As far as relationships are concerned this might be whether you have been married before, when your last serious relationship occurred or your general opinions on relationships. Most people lie or at least exaggerate on their work CV. This rarely benefits either the employer or the employee. Relationships are similar. For your own sake and theirs, being honest about your past is important.
If he finds out that you are still married three months into the relationship it will not bode well for mutual trust. Similarly if you cheated in your last relationship – let them know outright instead of worrying when they will find out! You have nothing to be ashamed of if it was in your past. Explain the mistakes you made, what you learned from it and why it wouldn’t happen again. If you were the one who was cheated on, be honest but try to avoid sounding bitter. Explain why you won’t tolerate infidelity but then drop the matter. Your new guy shouldn’t bear the brunt of the blame for your ex-partners indiscretions.
The Ghost of the Relationship Past
Don’t overdo it obsessing about your new partners ex. Checking them out on Facebook once is okay. Checking them out 20 times a day, driving by their house and Googling their name is not. Remember, there is a reason they are an ex. You are the person your partner has chosen to be with now. You are more likely to last the distance if you appear self-confident and secure so don’t push them to reveal any more then they want about their past.
Whether your ex was a banker or a lawyer, or whether he was he bad guy who had been in and out of prison – all of your relationship experiences make you who you are today. Whether you had one relationship for seven years or whether you flitted from guy to guy playing the field, it will affect your views on relationships as a whole.
You might be more experienced at getting to know someone and keeping it light and fun – or you might be more used to a stable, long term match where everything is predictable.
Making this clear can be important at the beginning to avoid misunderstandings. For example saying “I’ve just come out of a long relationship and am getting used to dating again” can avoid confusion. Or: “I’ve been playing the field for a few years and now I’m ready to settle down with someone special,” can reassure someone they are not just another notch on your bedpost.
Focus on putting across your positive points rather then your negatives. On a work CV you’d hardly put “Always late” or “Lazy”. It’s not bragging to say “My friends would say I am loyal” or “My friends have told me I am great fun to be around.” Your new date wants to find out more about you and he can only know what you tell him. Focusing on the negative and telling him “I am a total nag” or “I’m very clingy” will send him running for the hills. Just like a career CV, don’t lie but play down your flaws.
You have to tread carefully when talking about the future of your relationship with your new partner. You may have tried your name beside their surname already (in your head), but talking about marriage and kids on the third date is a recipe for disaster! When you go for a job interview you wouldn’t start by telling the manager you wanted to take over the company within a few months! With a career, you go in accepting your position at the bottom and hoping to climb the ranks and get promotions when you have earned them. The same goes for a relationship. The trial period is to see if you are compatible – not for staking ridiculous aims and expectations. This sort of pressure can cause you to self-destruct before you have given it a chance.
One thing you can never ask your new partner for is a list of references. But try to avoid giving your own references out too. “My ex thinks I’m a psycho” or “He moved country to get away from me” are not going to make you seem appealing to your new man. Similarly, “We still see one another all the time” may make your new partner nervous. Leaving the references off your relationship CV may be the best decision yet!