4. Fewer relationships are better.
In his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Joshua Harris recounts a young woman’s dream about her wedding day. As she meets her groom at the altar, other young women begin to line up behind her future husband. They are both devastated as they realize that he will be bringing his (rather large) entourage of ex-girlfriends into their marriage. Harris goes on to explain that the dream was a metaphor for his dating experience.
He realized that he had given each girl a piece of his heart and had taken pieces of theirs. Each successive relationship left him with a little less to give to his future wife. It’s like when you stick two pieces of masking tape together and pull them apart. If you continue to repeat the process over and over again, eventually no stickiness remains. There would always be memories, thoughts, and images that were shared in previous relationships that would influence, and to some extent shape, the future marriage. Memories from past relationships can linger for dozens of years and threaten the foundations of even the most stable marriages. According to a survey at Your Tango, thinking about exes is a serious problem:
- 74% of women and 64% of men think about their ex too much
- 76% of women and 70% of men have looked up an ex on the internet
- 50% of women and 40% of men say they look at their ex’s Facebook or other online profile too often
In simple risk-assessment terms, the less baggage and the fewer corpses of past relationships you drag into your marriage, the stronger the foundation will be.