My house is furnished with my past and yours will be too... if it isn't already.

I don't think young people realize how much of your past doesn't go away, so here it is: My house is filled with reminders of relationships past (mine and his). The bra I am wearing came from my ex. It was part of my birthday present two years ago. The blanket on my bed came from another ex. Half of my bed sheets are left over from my first marriage and several more he had during relationships before me. My husband's sweater, the one I love to borrow that looks great on either one of us, you guessed it, a gift from his ex. I was married for 10 years the first time and have 8 children. Their dads call. My youngest son's dad sends letters and still sends Christmas and birthday cards to my other children. There are photographs. I have reminders of many of my former relationships lying around.
Here is my point: unless you are lucky enough to find that one 30 year old virgin in the country that is chaste by choice, you are not the first! (Be warned, if someone claims to be that one virgin, there is a very good chance they are lying or have some reason for that!) We all want to feel like we are special or charting new territory. There is very little new territory left. My husband knows he is not my first because I have biological children (he has also been good friends with my brother a lot longer than I have known him and my brother isn't my biggest fan). I could sugar coat things and minimize my past to make him feel special, but I refuse. I am glad that he respects me enough to do the same. I am a grown woman. I know I am not his first and only. I am perfectly happy to take advantage of the experiences he has had and he feels the same. Of course, I won't tell him how many times these panties were seen by another man. That is unnecessary. He knows that I had these things before we met and he knows that I dated before him. I don't throw around those stories every day. He generally only rambles about his former lovers when he has had too much Scotch, but he doesn't rub it in.
Don't expect to be his/her first. Do your best to be their last! Show respect when speaking of previous relationships. Don't accept any less from your partner. Take advantage of the skills you each learned before them and remember the firsts in your own relationship. Just because you have both danced in the rain doesn't mean the first time you do it together should be less incredible. Don't get rid of the memories but don't dwell on them. See every part of your past for what it is/was: a learning experience, memories, a stepping stone to where you are now. Make new memories, and note the significance of each new keepsake.

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