Being an honest person is not the same as being an open book. I have a couple of examples:
I was emailing with a sweet girl this week who has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She told me that she shares this information up front with the guys she dates because she feels that it is only fair to them that they know she will have trouble conceiving.
I advised her against this for a couple of reasons. First, no one is guaranteed that they will have children. Second, she is not her fertility. She is a person with many attributes and gifts and her value is not based on her ability to bear children.
I recommend that she allow a man to fall in love with her ~ the whole person~ rather than dissect out one attribute (her fertility) as being some sort of fault. I think it would be distracting to the man and she could be sabotaging her chances at love.
I had two miscarriages when Gregg and I were first married. I never felt that this negatively impacted his love for me. In fact, that suffering we both experienced strengthened our love. Did we want children? Yes! Very much. But, we had to understand that children were not a right. It humbled us. We realized that were just happy to have each other.
I am not suggesting that she lie about it. I am suggesting that she does not know the end of the story. She may believe she will have trouble conceiving and carry a baby to term but how can one know this in advance? Truly with God, all things are possible. In the same vein, how does the guy know for sure that he will be fertile in the marriage? No one knows this in advance.
I believe that if a man loves a girl, he will love her just as much (maybe even more) upon finding (after trying and exhausting all avenues) she is unable to conceive his child. I have lived it.
You do not need to reveal your dating history to anyone. If you have dated zero or 50, it is no one’s business. A gentleman would not ask nor insist upon this information.
Oh ditto! A gentleman would never ask this. If he does, you can reply by saying “I am not sure it should matter one way or another.” Then smile sweetly and confidently.
What if you have an STD? Because this has the potential to affect his health then I suggest you share this but only after things are serious. And by serious, I mean a proposal. Then, at that point, you have the conversation that goes something like this: “I understand if this is something that you feel afraid of and I understand if you are not willing to walk this road with me.”
The reason why I think you wait until the proposal is because it is somewhat presumptuous of you to bring it up any sooner than that. I mean, what do you say? “If you are thinking of marrying me..” “If we get married..”
None of this should bring you shame. There is so much more to you than your sexual history or potential. Either way, whatever you say, smile sweetly and confidently.
Often the need to share too much is fed by our insecurities. Be that confident girl and not the girl who needs to justify or explain herself.
Feel free to write to me if I can help you navigate through any of this. email@example.com
God love and bless you!
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I have pcos. I always thought I would broach the subject towards the end of a courtship that is progressing towards engagement. Wouldn’t it be wrong to reveal such a problem after engagement? That might be a deal breaker for a guy and I’d rather a guy walk away prior to engagement. . .
Hi Anon! The issue is the fact that no one has a crystal ball on their actual fertility outcome, including and especially the guy. Very, very little can be done to change the shape and speed of the man’s sperm. If it is a deal breaker, then the love is weak and would not withstand a marriage. The weak love is really the critical piece of information, not the potential for a fertility issue. Praying for you, Cindy
I totally agree with these tips!
I will be talking to friends about people I’m newly dating and they will ask me all these personal questions like “how many gfs has he had, has he ever been married, etc.” and I just feel those are super personal and weird to bring up on the first few dates.
Thank you, Beth Anne! I do think a man should reveal up front if he has ever been married and if he has an annulment. If he doesn’t, then in the eyes of our faith, he is still married. But, this is for your information, not a detail for your friends to know. Praying for you, Cindy
I think that women and men should consider carefully with whom they share personal information, especially as it pertains to issues of sexual history and fertility.
I think it’s sensible to limit Story Time to the following people:
1. Confessor (if the sexual history includes sexual sin)
2. Medical doctor or other health professional
Two of the above are bound to keep your histories in confidence. The other, being someone who cares deeply for you, is unlikely to tell anyone.
This isn’t about deceit. It’s about who deserves to know what. If I start dating a guy, I am not automatically entitled to know his sexual history on the first date. If he asks me to marry him and I say yes, then I need to know.
Great points, thank you Julia! Praying for you, Cindy