Rethinking the "Ex"-factor: Are you the same person now that you were then?

For lo these many years, I have firmly believed that it is important to know something about the way a person's previous relationships went so that you can gauge possible red flags in the making. But I think I'm changing my tune on that one. I still would like a heads up if dude has some Ike Turner-ish shiggity in his background, siphoned money from his ex's bank account or has his ex buried underneath the rosebushes out back but those are things I'd have to investigate on my own anyway.

The rest of it? How they were, what they did, why they broke up? I'm not sure it has as much impact on my thinking as it once did. I definitely have stopped carrying a ton of my issues from the last relationship(s) forward so shouldn't I assume the same for the s/o? Let me explain.

David is back from China for a few weeks since 1) He hated it there and 2) He wasn't really having face-to-face meetings with the client anyway. Since I headed off to Florida to visit my sister for a week or so, he headed down to Georgia to visit his fam. Sunday, he ran into one of his ex-girlfriends. Apparently, she had a few things to get off her chest. 

She told him that he was "emotionally unattached, stingy with his feelings, and hard to read." He apologized and told her that he really wasn't like that anymore. She told him that people like that don't change. Knowing that anything he said would be countered and dissected; he basically backed away with a "my bad" and fled.

I listened to this with no small amount of disbelief. Mister "Let's Take A Moment and Talk About This" used to be stingy with his feelings? The man who who requests "Relationship Status Reports" and "Cards on the Table Moments" was hard to read? When I asked him how this could possible be true, he said - I don't know, maybe I'm different with you.

Huh. Interesting. I mean I know people change a little (or should) to compliment the person that they are with but a complete change of communication styles? Let me think. Actually, I've done this. There was a long-term relationship where (believe it or not) I bit my tongue a lot. Which is (clearly) not my communication style. But I knew that speaking my mind would just kick up a whole of issues neither of us wanted to get into so I just kept my thoughts to myself. I don't do that anymore.

It got me wondering how much I've changed my relationship style over the years. More laidback, more communicative, less pressed, more "whatever will be will be." As one of my friends says, "I'm the same but... I'm not the same."

I guess my question, BougieLand is this - How much do (or should) we change to compliment the people we are with? Have you noticed what Jayme calls "Relationship Evolution" from one s/o to the next or with a long-term s/o? What's the easiest thing to change? What's the hardest? How much do we really need to know about our s/o's relationship past?