How do you tell a partner you've cheated before? On 'Love Is Blind,' it's complicated.
- Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first four episodes of "Love Is Blind" season 5.
- Uche and Aailyah's relationship almost ends after she confesses to having cheated on a past partner.
On "Love Is Blind" season five, hopeful singles Uche Okoroha and Aaliyah Cosby bond over poetry on an early date in episode one, and their connection only deepens from there.
It quickly seems as if Uche and Aaliyah are a surefire bet to get engaged in the pods and make it to the altar. At one point on a date, Uche even assures Aaliyah that they are leaving the pods together. But on that same date, they begin talking about past relationships, and Aaliyah admits that she's been unfaithful to a partner in the past because she didn't feel sexually satisfied in her relationship.
After she confesses her indiscretion, which she says happened two years prior, Uche doesn't take the news particularly well. "Oh boy, you're a recent cheater," he says from his side of the pods. Uche then begins to interrogate Aaliyah, forcing her to get defensive about her mistake and eventually reveal that she didn't tell her partner at the time about the affair and stayed with him for another three months after she cheated.
Uche's cold reaction to Aaliyah's admission eventually causes her to collapse on the floor outside of the pods in hysterics, thinking she's lost her chance at true love. The two of them eventually resolve the infidelity issue — though they later face an entirely separate issue that may or may not break them up for good — but the confrontation is one of the most tense pod conversations in "Love Is Blind" history.
So, is there any good way to reveal a cheating past to a new romantic partner?
Tammy Nelson, a sex and relationship therapist and host of the podcast "The Trouble with Sex," tells Insider that disclosing a past affair to a new partner could actually strengthen a couple's bond, depending on how someone goes about it.
Nelson says every relationship is unique to the people in it, so there's no "right" choice here.
Keeping your past relationship experiences private doesn't mean you're being secretive, Nelson says. But your new partner may not agree, so it's important to consider their perspective when deciding whether to divulge that information.
"Whatever you decide to keep private as part of your own history is your choice. But sometimes people will perceive that privacy as a secret, or something being purposely withheld. And that may give it more weight in your relationship than you imagined," Nelson says.
How to tell a new partner about a past affair
If you decide to tell your new partner about an affair you had during a previous relationship, try to focus the conversation on what the experience made you realize about yourself, Nelson says.
She says that people typically cheat so that they can show a different side of themselves that they feel they can't embody with their partner. Understanding who you wanted to be, or got to be, during an affair can help you grow from it, according to Nelson.
She suggests reflecting upon the following questions alone before revealing previous infidelity to a new partner:
Who were you trying to be when you were in that outside relationship, whether it was with someone online or in real life or in an emotional affair?
Who were you trying to become?
What was the part of you that you were looking for?
Nelson gives the hypothetical example of a bisexual woman who stepped out on her straight male partner. Upon reflection, the woman may realize that she cheated because she yearned to explore sex with other women, which she couldn't do inside her relationship. Understanding that in hindsight could help the woman be honest about her desires in her new relationship, and prevent the same outcome with her current partner, Nelson says.
She says that sharing these details, as opposed to giving logistical details about how an affair happened or how many times you were unfaithful, can help a new couple center their needs and build a relationship that they both want.
"You don't have to follow a certain rule book. You have to discuss, between the two of you, what's going to work for this relationship," Nelson says.
In Uche and Aaliyah's case, Aaliyah did seem to have reflected on the intent behind her past cheating — a lack of sexual satisfaction in her prior relationship — and shared that with Uche. This may have helped them ultimately move past the confession.
Past cheaters deserve respect, a therapist says
Nelson says that a partner receiving this information may have the urge to become defensive or vigilant of their partner's behaviors, like the time when they come home from work or who they're texting.
While it's normal to feel anxiety or worry about these things if your partner previously cheated (or you were once cheated on), it's not an excuse to treat your partner as wholly untrustworthy, according to Nelson.
"If you're weaponizing information about someone cheating, just be cautious and aware that that person has been through something as well," Nelson says.
So, despite Uche branding Aaliyah a "recent cheater" and questioning whether she'd eventually cheat on him too, Nelson says that the old adage "Once a cheater, always a cheater" isn't necessarily true.
That's why it's important to set aside preconceived notions of what a cheater looks and acts like, and instead look for signs that your partner is striving to be honest and accountable towards you, says Nelson.
The first four episodes of "Love Is Blind" season five are currently streaming on Netflix.
- The 10-year Treasury yield will drop to 3.5% by the end of next year as the massive bond rally will continue, UBS says
- Instagram's crisis highlights the bigger issues the entire ad industry is facing
- Exit polls predict BJP advantage in MP, Rajasthan, Congress win in Chhattisgarh, Telangana and tight contest in Mizoram
- Meta expanding child safety measures as scrutiny mounts
- IPL has given me confidence to remain calm under pressure: Rinku Singh
- GST collection surges to 8-month high in November
- Environmental Impact Assessments
- 10 Simple dietary changes to prevent heart disease