In the last few months, I've learned some good lessons about building a solid foundation for a relationship. I tend toward the conservative in theory when it comes to these sorts of issues ("wide margins"), but in practice, I've let remnants of past relationships continue to linger.
For example, until recently I still had hundreds of photographs on my computer of ex-boyfriends. I never look at the photos; they serve no purpose whatsoever. Yet I've never taken the time to delete them. And really I'd never given any thought to doing so until I asked about a photo album in Clay's closet. He had to look to even know what was in it. It was photographs of his ex-fiancee and him from years ago, and I didn't like how it made me feel. And it made me think about how Clay would feel if he ran across the photographs, cards, letters, etc. that I've held onto for years from various ex-boyfriends. Granted most are in boxes at my dad's house ("storage"), but they aren't things I need to hold onto as I move forward.
Similarly until recently I've talked to Carter when he calls each month or so. While our conversations involve nothing inappropriate and I enjoy chatting with Carter, it doesn't feel wise to continue investing in a friendship with an ex-boyfriend. And it doesn't seem like the best way for me to care for Clay and our relationship.
It's cost me very little to make these changes/deletions; it's just taken a little effort and time, which is absolutely well worth it to help build a healthy relationship that leaves less room for insecurity and doubt.
p.s. I'm grateful for a weekend filled with time with my family and a growing friendship with my secretary.