Q—Alisa!!!! We have been dating for almost 4 weeks now but this week he told me that he has been into pornography. It shocked me, but he said it’s behind him. Do all guys seems to have a past? I don’t feel worried to continue dating him, but should I be? Was it too soon for him to tell me? He treats me so well and respects me. I think he told me because he wanted to honest, but I want to avoid some of the problems you discuss in the Be Safe section of your first book, Dating Game Secrets for Marrying a Good Man. How can I keep the conversations going without talking about the bigger things like marriage and kids—things I am not ready for. I want to keep things simple. We haven’t even been together 6 weeks, and we are already making out (which makes things feel more complicated and less pure, too). Also, is it ok to meet his family and friends before the 6 weeks is up, or should I tell him to back off a little? I don’t know how to do this and I want to keep the rules. Please help!
A—I am less concerned about the fact that he has viewed pornography in his past than I am about how he has resolved it (did he take responsibility, develop greater empathy, go through the stages of repentance, learn what was necessary to develop greater self-control, etc.?), and how long it has been since he last engaged in it.
If you trust that he is showing (and has shown) empathy, self-control, and personal responsibility, then start getting to know him better, spending more time with his and your friends and family, and building the relationship.
Hold off on being exclusive until you understand what his pornography history has been and you’ve seen that he really is living a plan that prevents pornography in the present. If you need to date him for several months before you are ready to be exclusive, so you can take the time to see how he manages the issue, than do what is best for you. If his recovery is sincere and he really cares about you, he will probably be patient and supportive during the process.
It’s important that you act curious and respectful as you talk about the issue. This one-hour audio should help you know how to do this, Pornography: Understanding it versus fearing it. And here is an audio for those men who worry about When to reveal your issues.
Oh, and try to avoid making out. Kiss him but try to keep your kissing to 5 minutes or less and try to avoid kissing while lying down (which always increases the risk of sexual contact), because that can ruin the relationship.
I hope this helps.