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Would you go out with someone with a past? watch

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    Would you go out with someone who had something resembling a past life?

    I live in Britain now, and I could almost say that this is my second wind, my second go at life. I have a pretty heavy duty past; I used to be a(n admittedly middle-class) heroin addict and almost entirely wasted the years of my life between age 17 and 23.

    I've done crazy **** like carrying drugs over an international border (a small amount for personal use, over a Schengen border, but admittedly insane in hindsight), I've had very close mates die in a car wreck, I've made friends with some very colourful characters (I was back home at Christmas and one of these friends gave me a bullion coin worth about £1000), had close calls in Vietnam and Macau.

    I have a pretty respectable life now, I didn't catch any diseases or do any permanent damage. I'm studying and working in a job that pays well and has considerable responsibility.... but I can't ever tell anyone about the stuff that I've done.

    I can't unload any of this to anyone here in Britain, where my new life is. Particularly as it relates to romantic attachment, it's hard to have six years of your life that you can't share with someone you love. The question is if someone you were going out with told you about this kind of stuff, at the appropriate time, would it cause you to dump them?
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    I wouldn't dump someone because of this.

    Everyone has a past. It is the present that is important.
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    (Original post by Knalchemist)
    I wouldn't dump someone because of this.

    Everyone has a past. It is the present that is important.
    I suppose I'd add a slight caveat to that; I do continue to take a prescribed drug called suboxone. Essentially, it ensures I have no cravings for heroin and if I did take it the effect would be minimal or nothing at all.

    The problem is timing, and knowing in advance how someone will take it. For a lot of people, the things I've done and people I've known is just so alien.... I think it would frighten them off.

    Personally, I feel like it's a part of me; it makes me who I am and I think I have a degree of judgement and discernment that comes from that, perhaps over and above simlar aged peers. I manage to hide it so well that I'm sure people would be surprised, I just hope it's a benign surprise.
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    It wouldn't put me off someone. You should definitely tell someone if you're considering getting into a serious relationship with them - it isn't that someone has a 'right' to know about your past as such, but it's that, as you say, it's so many years of your life. If you life about a large chunk or your life it's not going to get your relationship off to a good start and your significant other will end up worrying what else you've kept from them.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)

    Personally, I feel like it's a part of me; it makes me who I am and I think I have a degree of judgement and discernment that comes from that, perhaps over and above simlar aged peers. I manage to hide it so well that I'm sure people would be surprised, I just hope it's a benign surprise.
    Exactly. Your past experiences create who you are today. It wouldn't put me off at all. I have to say, I admire you for coming as far as you have and sorting your life out. So many people don't manage that.
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    (Original post by Kabloomybuzz)
    Exactly. Your past experiences create who you are today. It wouldn't put me off at all. I have to say, I admire you for coming as far as you have and sorting your life out. So many people don't manage that.
    Thanks =) I'm doing a law degree and I actually had a really strange dream the other night, some presumable future where I'd been admitted as a solicitor and I was trying to convince this guy, another lawyer, that I had indeed been a heroin addict once.... he didn't believe me and I thought, "Well, at least I know".

    I suppose it shows how much I really want to tell people this stuff, but obviously I can't ever actually do that to other people in the profession (or at least, not until some decades down the line). I wonder whether anyone in this jurisdiction has actually been a heroin addict and gone onto be a solicitor? Weird stuff.
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    (Original post by Knalchemist)
    I wouldn't dump someone because of this.

    Everyone has a past. It is the present that is important.

    The funny thing is that people that love to spread this kind of nonsense generally seem like the type that will bail on someone or reject them for things that have happened in the past because some things DO CATCH UP WITH PEOPLE and some people have done things that you won't agree with.

    Obviously in the case of the OP it's all very tame and all any normal person will do is find their stories interesting but that doesn't make this true for everyone.
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    (Original post by concubine)
    The funny thing is that people that love to spread this kind of nonsense generally seem like the type that will bail on someone or reject them for things that have happened in the past because some things DO CATCH UP WITH PEOPLE and some people have done things that you won't agree with.

    Obviously in the case of the OP it's all very tame and all any normal person will do is find their stories interesting but that doesn't make this true for everyone.
    So true
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    It depends on what they did. I'm not sure I can handle everything. Sometimes things people have done reveal something about what they're like even if they've taken account of their actions. For example, I have relatives who were alcoholics. I never saw them recover but I have some kind of inkling of what that's like and I probably wouldn't date a guy who was a recovering alcoholic. I wouldn't date someone who had a history of treating women poorly regardless of what they said to me to try and make it sound better. Some areas are no goes. Sometimes it is pathological.

    I think it's all about how someone deals with their past with most cases. I don't think people should be cast with the same stick if they make improvements and a good life for themselves where they have been accountable for what they have done. No one is perfect. I never expect anyone to be.
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    (Original post by concubine)
    Obviously in the case of the OP it's all very tame and all any normal person will do is find their stories interesting but that doesn't make this true for everyone.
    I'm not sure people are as enlightened as you'd suggest. At least professionally and academically, it is prudent to have an absolute cone of silence / cover story as far as my past goes. This is the kind of thing that people can use against you, and for the same reason many people would find it socially / romantically to be an obstacle; they'd see it as being far more colourful than tame.
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    (Original post by Lucia.)
    X
    With respect, this is why I don't really tell people. I'd rather not give them the chance to be judgey and decide whether I've been "held accountable".

    It's not something they can find it incidentally or by discernment, and I'm fairly proud of the life I've made for myself. I've made good in a way that's better than many people who've never had such problems.

    I desperately want to share it because I'm proud of how far I've come, not because I feel I owe anyone a disclosure, particularly as I've never had anything in the way of criminal problems or health issues as a result.
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    This is one of those things that does hinge on being told at 'the right time' but it will always be difficult to judge when that time comes.
    Tell me about something like this too soon and I admit it would probably scare me off a bit; when you are just getting to know someone something like this is inevitably going to affect your perception of them and might give me cause for reservation.
    Tell me too late and I'd be upset that you 'hid' something so big from me.
    I appreciate this is probably quite unfair but I think there are a lot of things (both more and less serious than the case the OP describes) where this can be the case. Something as innocuous as never wanting children or believing/not believing in premarital can be a make or break issue for a couple depending on when it gets raised.
    Told at the right time (as difficult as that may be to judge) I think could accept someone with 'a past'. As long as I could see that who they were then and who they are now were not the same and that they were not going to behave that way any longer then I could cope with that. If I felt that they still needed to go a long way before these issues could be considered 'the past' I don't think that I'd be as comfortable persuing a fairly new relationship though. Whether someone can cope supporting a partner through those sorts of issues will depend on their own beliefs and circumstances and I would say that my own personal and professional life would not be compatible with someone who may take drugs or commit crime.
    So it would depend for me on when I was told, how I was told and how much the issues were 'in the past'. This might be selfish or even judgemental of me but I'd like to think it's a fairly natural, rational and honest way of looking at this type of scenario.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    With respect, this is why I don't really tell people. I'd rather not give them the chance to be judgey and decide whether I've been "held accountable".

    It's not something they can find it incidentally or by discernment, and I'm fairly proud of the life I've made for myself. I've made good in a way that's better than many people who've never had such problems.

    I desperately want to share it because I'm proud of how far I've come, not because I feel I owe anyone a disclosure, particularly as I've never had anything in the way of criminal problems or health issues as a result.
    Yeah I know what you mean. There are so many things people can easily judge, that I think it's better to reveal that later on when they've gotten to know you and when they're in deeply enough.

    I mean I've made some errors too and I know I could easily be judged for lack of discernment, so it's something I don't admit to up front, don't mention it until things are serious.
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    You should tell partners, if it puts them off you then it's their loss and you are better off without them. Everyone has a past, you shouldn't be judged on your past as it's the present and future that matters so when you are with someone you trust enough to tell them then go for it, their problem if they run a mile.
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    Basically this: if you're a good person, your past or even your present wouldn't matter.

    I absolutely adore my boyfriend and if he decided to start taking heroin right now and become an addict I wouldn't care and I would respect his decision.
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    I absolutely adore my boyfriend and if he decided to start taking heroin right now and become an addict I wouldn't care and I would respect his decision.
    I larfed so hard at this that I almost had tears rolling down my cheek (in a good way). You jest?
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    I wouldn't care. One of the most important things between two potential partners is that they can both communicate with each other.

    So, OP find a lass who you can talk too about your stuff, and who would give you a hug after
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    I would. If it had no affect on the present beyond being what made you who you are today, and who you were was someone I was compatible with, I don't really see the point is taking much issue to be honest.
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    Yes I would, up to a point (not if they had murdered/raped anyone) and only if they genuinely weren't that person anymore.

    But you shouldn't keep that from a long term partner, obviously don't give them your life story on a first date but don't feel like they can never know the real you.
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    As long as they didn't like rape or murder someone...
 
 
 
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