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Whether he was the one who got away or the one you couldn't wait to get rid of, your ex had a place in your past. And discussing him, like it or not, should be part of your future. "Relationships are valuable, even when they fail, because they're lessons we can use to learn what not to do next time, as well as what to do," explains relationship expert April Masini. "And your history — whether it's your family history, your history with friends and career, or your history with exes — helps shed light on who you are as a whole person."
Start delving into the past before your very first date. "It's always good to know if this person is married, getting divorced, divorced, or only ever single," Masini says. "Lots of men and women know that they only want to date other single parents, for example, or that they may only want to date people who've never been married before."
If you've made it to the third date, it's time to dig a little deeper. "This is the date where you often decide if you like the person enough to have sex with them — so it's also the time is when you might want to learn about pertinent ex-file details," Masini says. "You want to share anything that might be someone else's deal breaker, and try to find out the same. Wasting his time by hiding your ex-secrets, ultimately, means wasting your own time."
Of course this isn't the easiest conversation to broach, so consider starting with your own stories. "Sharing your own experiences is always a gracious way to start a conversation where you'll ask if he has any similar stories," says Masini. Also consider hinting toward the conversation, she says, with opening lines such as, "I bet you've left a lot of women disappointed!" or "Have you dated a lot?"
"It's important to date seriously, as well as to have fun and be fun, because if someone has an ex who's actually your sister and you never knew about it, now is the moment for him to confess — and for you to elicit the confession — so you can decide whether to proceed, proceed with caution, or reach for the ejection button," says Masini.
When did you and your fiancé talk about your past relationships? Sound off on Facebook!