That might sound like a funny question to some people, but I assure you that it comes up fairly frequently. What the question usually means is:
“How much of my sexual/relational past should I share?”
“Should I name names?”
“How explicit with details should I be?”
Those can be really sensitive areas and how you handle them is really important.
First of all, I would ask you a question. How safe do you feel in your relationship? Is the trust level with your partner at a place where you are confident that hard answers will be received with grace? Or do you worry that he/she will become angry and jealous? If you are not sure, then the relationship may not be ready to move forward yet with these kinds of questions.
Our advice is that there needs to be a high degree of transparency. Be honest if there have been few, several or many sexual partners in the past. Were they casual or long-term relationships? Did they happen early in life? How do you feel about them now? Were they prior to making a spiritual commitment?
If there has been sexual abuse or sexual addiction, this is important to share. These are issues that must be addressed and dealt with prior to marriage. Fortunately there are many resources available, and recovery programs and counseling can be very effective.
We believe sharing full names are important if you are likely to come in contact with any of your past relationships. You would not want your fiancée to be blind-sided by a confession from a former lover. If in doubt, err on the side of caution. Otherwise you can use first names only.
What about explicit details of your sexual activities from the past? It is natural that there would be curiosity, but I do not think this is helpful. Painting pictures in your partner’s head is not a good idea. It might create insecurity or make your partner doubt whether their performance will measure up. I would suggest that you keep reassuring your intended that this is the relationship that you want. If he or she is insistent on knowing everything in detail I would suggest talking to a counselor – there might be a deeper problem.
Lastly, if you are feeling guilt over past relationships we would suggest that you spend time with a pastor or Christian counselor prior to talking with your fiancée. It may be that you need to confess, repent and be forgiven, or spiritually break “soul ties”.