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Interrogate Your Partner: Their Past is Your Future

Uploaded 5/18/2022, approx. 12 minute read

When you are faced, faced with a potential intimate partner, remember this, their past is your future.

You should be very careful. You are introducing a person, a new person, not only into your life, but into your secrets, into your intimacy, into your family.

Now, you wouldn't do that without learning everything about that person, would you?

And so today we are going to discuss what is legitimate to ask, and what is not.

Where does the line blur between bridging boundaries and insisting on adequate information for proper, safe decision making?


My name is still, last time I checked, Sam Vaknin, and I am a professor of psychology and the author of Malignant Self-Love. What else? Narcissism Revisited.

Okay, Shoshanim.

It is crucial that you learn everything about the personal and sexual history of your future intimate partner.

Absolutely insist on full disclosure. You have a right to. Don't judge. You don't have a right to judge, but you have a right to make informed decisions. And informed decisions mean information first, decisions later.

No one gives you the right to judge choices that your possible potential intimate partner had made earlier in life. You were not there, and she did not design her life to fit your prejudices, your expectations, your wishes and your fantasies.

And that's quite okay. You're not here to serve as a tribunal on her moral conduct or laxity on his good judgment or not. You're here to gather the information that you need to decide whether to become one with this new person in a unit, in a collaborative team, in a lifelong pattern of intimacy.

You know, it's not about, it's not only about alcoholism in the past, promiscuity in the past, criminal record. It's not only about these things. It's not only about finding out the dark, shadowy, penumbral aspects of your potential intimate partner.

These areof coursevery relevant, and they should inform your decision. But it's more about finding out the experience, the life experience of this partner and her personality.

For example, I would hesitate very much to go into a couple or to form a diode with a war correspondent. You see, not an alcoholic, not promiscuous, just a war correspondent.

Now, why would I be hesitant to join hands and tie the knot with a war correspondent?

Because she must have been traumatized by what she had witnessed and because choosing to be a war correspondent reflects on her personality. It tells me that she is, at the very least, reckless and possibly self-destructive.

Now, a war correspondent is a hallowed and glorified profession. They are contributing to society. They shed light on conflicts all over the world. They bring out corruption and war, war crimes. So, war correspondents are very useful socially acceptable vocation.

And yet, I would never team up with someone like that.

Sothe information about your future spouse or your future girlfriend or your future boyfriend should not be limited to misconduct, bad choices, personal corruption, lack of standards. The information should be comprehensive. The information should provide you with a template or a foundation to assess thoroughly who you're dealing with.

Now, between industries of self-help and psychotherapy, they are founded on the largely false assumption that fundamental personal transformation is always within reach, given sufficient willpower, given enough determination, anyone can change. Change is taken for granted.

And this counterfactual fallacious bit of self-serving, big bucks generating nonsense is pernicious. It's wrong, but it's also nefarious. These people are misleading you. They're misleading you because transformation is not possible in the vast majority of cases. It sets up its hapless and unhappy clients for perpetual failure and an inevitable all-pervading sense of guilty inadequacy.

Because if I can't change, something must be wrong with me. Everyone tells me that change is possible. So probably I am hopeless, a hopeless case. The industry of hope is founded on a lie.

And like every lie, the outcomes are said and tragic, tragic in many cases.

But coming back to our topic, when you're confronted with a potential intimate partner, don't assume that she can change or you can change her. People don't change. Don't think that you can transform him to become everything you have ever wanted, your white prince and shining armor. Don't. It's to take it or leave it proposition.

What you see should be what you get, but you should see first. To know what you get, what you're getting, you should first see.

And that gives you the right to ask questions. The truth is that we can alter, we can change, modify a small number of behaviors efficaciously and permanently. But that's just about it.

So you better get to know your possible partner.

Having passed some critical lifespan milestones, the personality is largely immutable, cannot be changed.

Attachment styles, promiscuity, dysfunctional behaviors, such as cheating, addictions, repetition compulsions like selecting the wrong maze, many post-traumatic reactions, most other psychological features and psychodynamics, they all cast in stone.

Do not assume otherwise, because if you do, it will be to your detriment.

And this gives you the right to interrogate.

And I'm using this word judiciously to interrogate your potential possible future lifelong intimate partner.

You have the right to ask anything and everything. And he does not have the right to refuse to provide you with any information of a personal nature. It's as simple as that.

Walk away. If he's withholding, if he refuses to disclose, if he's hiding things, if he's keeping back information, it's a serious warning sign. It's an alarm bell. It should walk away.

This kind of fencing off, stonewalling and firewalling big parts of one's biography and autobiography. These are not good signs.

Psychopaths do this. Narcissists do this. A truly honest, open, healthy, normal person has nothing to hide.

Yes, we all make mistakes. Yes, we all engage in patterns of misconduct, misbehavior from time to time. Yes, in everyone's past, there are transgressions, regrettable incidents. One might stand with dubious characters, sleazy and predatory. Everyone has this.

But the healthy, normal, balanced, safe person doesn't hesitate to talk about these things, doesn't hide them, doesn't cover in the corner protective and defensive, doesn't become indignant and aggressive when you ask questions.

If any of these things happen, I strongly advise you to walk away because people don't change and the best predictor and prognosticator of future behavior is still past behavior.

Past behavior tells you everything you need to know about your future together with this person.


Consider promiscuity, for example.

The following facts, facts are not moop anecdotes. They are facts. There are findings in multiple studies.

Socially unrestricted folks, casual sex practitioners are three to 10 times more likely to divorce.

The reasons these people give for settling down after a spree of sex with multiple strangers, these reasons are all wrong. They say they are exhausted. They say they are interested in financial security or in sharing the burden of existence. They say that they are motivated, but they are actually self-centered. Motivations are self-centered.

So you're getting these people, promiscuous people, socially unrestricted people, give all the wrong reasons for becoming your intimate part. Socially unrestricted people are also, in the majority of cases, self-clinical psychopaths, dark personalities.

Promiscuous people perceive long-term committed relationships as giving up on freedoms rather than gaining from the togetherness fear of missing out.

Promiscuous people trade sex. Their sex is transactional. In this case, they trade sex for the safety of a relationship with you. And as they age, they have much poorer body image. So they are looking to convert their fast dwindling assets into durable lifelong goods and services afforded by an intimate partner like you.

Even so, promiscuous partners set an impossibly high bar sexually. And so they are always disgruntled about the quality or frequency of sex in a serious relationship. These are all findings of studies.

Promiscuous people are capable of commitment, but they get bored of their relationship much faster than their partners and they cheat. They cheat way more often than non-promiscuous peers.

Their grievances in their mind, the grievances legitimize cheating. And their cheating comes usually in bouts of casual sex.

So now that you've heard all these facts, do you still think that you should not find out everything you can about your partner's sexual and relationship history? Are you for real? Of course you should find out if your partner has had a promiscuous past, served trashing sexually or otherwise. Of course you should ask whether she had cheated in her relationships in the past. Of course you should ask how many relationships he had and how long each one of them had lasted and why were they dissolved. You should ask all these questions repeatedly until you're convinced that you have received accurate and truthful answers.

One of the most moronic and politically correct pieces of advice online is your partner's sexual, social and psychological histories, your partner's past. They're not relevant. You have no right to ask about your partner's past. You should only focus on present choices, decisions and behaviors because they are the only ones that matter. Don't be retroactively jealous, they tell you. This is a moronic, idiotic piece of advice and yet preferred by the majority of self-styled experts and coaches.

I repeat, by far the best predictor of future behavior is your partner's past behavior. His past is your future.

Recidivism, relapse, defaulting to past misconduct, past patterns of misbehavior, they're rife, they're dominant, they're prevalent, they're almost I would say inevitable. More than 80%, that's 8-0, more than 80% of alcoholics, restart drinking, relapse, within one year from rehab. Almost 70%, 7-0% of criminals repopulate their erstwhile cells. They go back to jail, to prison. Having cheated once, you are three times as likely to cheat again.

Promiscuous women sleep around extra-diadically much more often than the regulated boundaries sort.

So by all means interrogate, interrogate as thoroughly and as methodically as you need to interrogate a new potential intimate partner to the greatest possible extent and to the minutest microscopic details. It is your life, it is your only protection against future seriously nasty surprises that can unfold you.

Actually, reality supports what I'm saying. People do base their decisions on their partner's self-disclosed past, including in a specially sexual past.

Studies in dozens of countries show that men are loathe, refuse to form long-term relationships with promiscuous women whose body count exceeds nine sex partners, fewer in some countries down to four.

Why do women refuse to have relationships or long-term relationships with women who had slept with nine men or four men lifelong, let alone women who had slept with 30 or 40 or 50? Why? Why do men decline the advances of such women or the interests of such women?

For three excellent reasons, for three reasonable reasons, for three rational reasons.

Number one, men are competitive and they seek high relative positioning among their peers. A woman who had been summarily used and discarded by multiple guys is an embarrassment. It's like that's the best you can do.

And all my friends have had her for free anytime they wanted. Such a woman is perceived as cheap or easy. Investing in her renders the men a gullible sucker and a simp.

Why be the only one to payfor what she had been giving away gratis free of charge topay for what she had been giving away gratis free of charge to everyone?

So that's the background psychological process.

But that's psychology. That's not reality.

There are problems in reality which justify the reluctance to team up with promiscuous women.

And men, by the way, promiscuity has been linked to subclinical psychopathy, firmly linked. Promiscuity is a strong indicator of a lack of boundaries, a weakness of character, people pleasing or reckless defiance. These are not good qualities to have in a partner. Promiscuity just tells you who your partner is as far as her personality. Past behavior is an unfailing prognosticator of future conduct. Promiscuity is strongly linked to divorce and serial cheating, as well as non-autonomous sexual self-trashing, driven by the wish to be accepted and the need to buttress self-esteem by garnering attention. These are all addictive lifelong behaviors.

Read the work by Kerry Cohen.

So when you delve into the mysteries of the histories of your partners, you're doing well and you're doing right.

Once an alcoholic, almost always an alcoholic. Once a cheater, yes, always a cheater. Once promiscuous, high risk of promiscuity, high risk of divorce, high risk of lack of commitment, high risk of cheating.

And even your partner's profession, a war correspondent, even a firefighter, even a policeman is indicative of a highly specific personality structure.

Narcissists gravitate to certain professions such as show business or the media. You would be safe to assume that these professions are indicative of a personality structure.

You need to know who your partner is and you have only one source and only one way to find out by asking your partner.

Sure, other people will provide information, family, your partner's friends, but it's bound to be biased, goal oriented, intended to manipulate you only by confronting your partner time and again, persistently and insistently.

Are you ultimately going to get the truth?

And then with this information at hand, make any choice you wish.

Just remember you're not there to judge her for her past. You're not there to punish him for his transgressions or bad choices. You don't have that power. You don't have that right. You don't have that authority. You're equals, but you definitely, you definitely possess every right to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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