Courtesy of Josh Brentan
This past week, I heard a story about a woman who had been dating a guy for a few months when he revealed to her that he had a son from a prior relationship. A big deal, to be sure, but not unimaginable. Fast-forward to a year later—the man and woman are now engaged, and he reveals yet another secret: He has two other kids from a different relationship! Naturally, this got me thinking—is there anything Erica hasn't told me? Would I even want to know? Here are five things I would definitely like to know....
1) Family History - Yes, I know your uncle Stanley can get a little rowdy, but that's not what I'm worried about. What about the people I haven't met? Are you hiding them for a reason? Maybe they carry a rare recessive gene that could make our children look like the banjo kid from Deliverance. I'm assuming that I don't even need to ask about secret kids, right? Hello...?
2) Financial Matters - Is there a trust fund in your name that I should know about? Or are you sitting atop a mountain of credit-card debt? (Read: Can I quit my job, or do I need to find another one?)
3) Unfulfilled Dreams - When you hit your midlife crisis, are you going to leave me in order to go save the African gorillas? What about that photo of a one-person raft in the middle of the ocean that you keep on the fridge? Any chance your long-held fantasy is really to cook me dinner every night? I didn't think so.
4) The Ex(es) - I don't want to know how many people you slept with; I just want to know how many of them still keep in touch with you. Are there any who still cling to a shred of hope you might one day take them back? Don't make me go snooping around your e-mails....
5) Filthy Habits - Is there anything you like to do when nobody's looking? I'm not talking about picking your nose—everyone does that from time to time. I just wonder if one day, I'll come home and find you biting your toenails, or some other unsightly thing. Will I still want to kiss you hello?
As it turned out, the man and woman mentioned above got married and are living happily ever after. Clearly, deal-breakers vary from person to person. What about you? What would you want to know?
—Josh Brentan, The Groom With A View