Last week, the internet was abuzz with recently published love letters from a college-aged Barack Obama to his then-girlfriend. The staggering undergraduate intellectualism of the letters notwithstanding, some of us in the office were mortified by the prospect of having our past romantic lives made public to the entirety of the free world. That mortification begat curiosity, and started a bit of an inter-office debate — how much of your past love life would you be comfortable divulging to your current partner? We decided to open the debate to the Nerve community at large, and the results are a bit surprising.
The overwhelming majority of readers firmly believe that "Honesty is the best policy:" 52% of those surveyed said that they'd tell their current partner "as much as they want to know." Of course, one of them also invoked Tom Waits in their response ("I'll tell you all my secrets, but I'll lie about my past") so that candor should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
36% of you went with the slightly more realistic answer of "Most of it, but I might skip some of the details." One reader invoked begged for mercy for the sake of their exes, noting that "Even my exes deserve privacy — mostly." Yes. My… exes. Their privacy is sacred. That's the ticket!
Finally, a relatively slim 12% of those surveyed responded with a cagey "I play my cards pretty close to my vest." "What goes on in the past stays there," one reader noted, which is both good advice and the perfect ominous-sounding tagline for my as-yet-unwritten erotic time-travel screenplay.