A. I’d like to think that relationships ought to be based on honesty, truth and transparency – all of which build trust. Good open communication is key! At the same time there’s no need to tell all and reveal all, not everything needs to be said so early on in a potential or budding relationship.

I know you told me some Rabbis told you that you must lie about past relationships, especially considering how much you’ve grown spiritually and emotionally since that time. I think that instead of brushing your past under rug, your spiritual and emotional growth is something to celebrate and share, and is a healthy way to understand the context of any past relationships and how they are no longer relevant now. If someone can’t relate to that, it might not be a good fit for marriage anyways. Your future spouse needs to accept and appreciate who you are, putting up a false front doesn’t help build meaningful, honest and genuine relationships.

Again, I wouldn’t bring it up (until much later in the relationship if at all), but if it comes up or he/she asks about it, you can share it to the degree you are comfortable, and give it that context. I wouldn’t be comfortable with an outright lie, especially with someone you seek to explore marriage with.

There are some exceptions to the above – and that would be if there remain emotional ties and connections to old dates, or if a past relationship went much further than a date and may necessitate a religious divorce according to Jewish law, or of course – if there are children from past relationships, but that goes without saying.