Don’t Let Your Partner’s Sexual History Drive a Wedge between You!

Don't Let Your Partner's Sexual History Drive a Wedge between You!

Sometimes, you just can’t help but think about your partner’s past sexual exploits. But you can keep those thoughts at bay with these tips. By Eli Walton

Most people have been in a relationship before, and have some sexual history or past partners. This can be hard for people to accept, especially when it’s more than just one person. Men often have fragile egos and try to possess women. Women often have hang-ups about their bodies. And both sexes worry that their sexual performance might leave something to be desired.

There is a lot of baggage that comes up when you think about your partner’s sexual past. Dealing with it and learning to accept it can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. You’ll need to learn to communicate openly with your partner. You’ll need to respect your partner and try not to shame them. And finally, you’ll need to learn to accept that what has happened, happened, and that your future together is more important than what’s in the past. [Read: A past confession gone horribly wrong!]

The less self-confident you are, the more your partner’s sexual past will eat at you. You’ve got to get over your ego and accept that your significant other is with you because he or she wants to be with you. When you can do this, not only will your relationship improve, but so will your self-confidence. It’s a total win-win, for you and your partner.

Communication is key

As with just about any other aspect of being in a relationship, being able to communicate openly and honestly with your partner is the surest way to overcome any problem. If you are troubled by your partner’s sexual past, the first thing to do is tell them. Be honest, but don’t attack them. Most importantly, stay cool and collected. The worst thing you can do is come off as jealous and neurotic.

No doubt your partner will tell you all of the great qualities about you that they prefer over their ex or exes. You should believe them. The fact that your significant other is with you means they have already moved on. You need to do the same.

Of course, it is possible that your partner’s ex satisfied them more than you do in the bedroom. Their relationship probably ended for reasons that had nothing to do with sex. But dwelling on it, and simply moping about it won’t change anything. If fact, it will only make matters worse.

Once again, communication is the key. Once you can be open and honest with each other about your sex life, you will both find that it immediately improves. Nobody is consigned to be a failure in the bedroom. If you are open to constructive criticism and willing to learn, you can get better and satisfy your partner. Give it time, talk things out, and you’ll soon be satisfying your partner more than the ex ever could. And don’t think about it as practice or a chore. You should enjoy every minute of getting to know your lover’s needs and desires. [Read: How to talk about past relationships with your partner]


When your partner’s past sexual experience is weighing on your mind, a common response is to attack them over it. You must not do this. Shaming your significant other for their sexual past is just about the fastest way to end your relationship. At the very least, it will be extremely hurtful towards them.

When someone can’t accept their partner’s sexual past, it is a reflection on them, not on their partner. If you attack your partner over this, it is not because they did something wrong, but because your own insecurities are preventing you from accepting them for who they are. It is also a sign of immaturity on your part.

Men are more likely than women to do this, although women do it too. It’s crucial to accept that your significant other is your partner, not your property. What they did or did not do sexually before you met is not something you have any right to fault them for. This really just shouldn’t be an issue. You’ve got to accept it and move on. If you truly cannot get over the issue, then find someone whose sexual past is more acceptable to you.

Change the things you can change

Of course, you don’t have to just roll over and accept anything regarding your partner’s sexual past. You can have legitimate grievances that you need to work out. If your significant other mentions an ex often, or compares you to their ex, then you have every right to ask that they not do that. If your partner is shoving it in your face, then of course, their sexual past will get to you.

As mentioned above, another thing you can change is your sexual performance. There may be some area where you are not measuring up to one of your partner’s past lovers, and it can wear heavily on your mind and your ego. But if you can communicate openly together, there’s no reason why you can’t improve your performance and put the ex-lover completely out of your partner’s mind. [Read: 20 common sexual problems you can easily avoid]

Accept the things you cannot change

Once you’ve changed what you can change, you’ve just got to accept the things that you cannot. The past is the past, and there’s no way you can alter it. If your partner is someone you know you want to be with, then you just need to accept them for who they are and for what they’ve done before you came along.

Everybody knows the feeling, and it will eat away at you if you let it. You need to understand that it’s just your ego getting in the way. Your partner left their ex and chose to be with you. He or she is not constantly comparing you to any past lovers, and there’s no reason you need to be doing so either. To dwell on it will only undermine your relationship and destroy your self-confidence.

This is especially true for men who often feel a sort of ownership over women. If your culture or beliefs dictate that you must marry a virgin, well, then that’s what you should do. In that case, don’t date anyone who is not. But if you are a modern gentleman, then you will accept that women can choose their own destiny and you will respect their decisions. A man with poise and self-confidence will never tear down his partner or himself over the unchangeable past. [Read: How to get over insecurity in your relationship]

Buck up, let go

Letting your partner’s sexual past haunt you is a surefire way to ruin your relationship. The feelings of jealousy, and possibly, inadequacy, are only natural and most people will experience this sometime in their lives. But you’ve got to let it go. Communicate, work to improve yourselves together, and accept that the past cannot be changed. After this, you will overcome your ego and your jealousy and your relationship will prosper.

[Read: The right way to deal with jealousy in your relationship]

Don’t let the past destroy the good thing you have going in the present. Whether you choose to talk about it, practice new moves or just ask your partner to quit talking about the ex, you can find a way to keep your partner’s sexual past from haunting you.

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Eli Walton
Eli Walton
I'm a freelance writer dividing my time between the beaches of Thailand and my hometown of Chicago....

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Let Your Partner’s Sexual History Drive a Wedge between You!”

  1. taime says:

    My boyfriend and I knew each other way before we got together and it just bothers me so much that I know all about his sexual endeavors when we were in high school. I get jealous when I don’t have the right to. I wanted to be his first but I just couldn’t it got to the point where I wouldn’t speak to him for weeks because I was jealous. He understood me and still waited for me. I just wanted to be his first like he was mine. He had so many girls before me but I only have him. He had to teach me how to do it and I still suck at it. I bet that all the girls he fucked with before were really good and I’m afraid that he would dump me because of my lack of experience. I was really lucky though because my boyfriend never made me feel that way and it was just all in my mind. He is a great boyfriend and the perfect one for me but I just get so jealous and that’s my own problem. I just wish that I could be his first, is that so much of a dream that it can’t be turned reality? Where’s a time machine when you need it the most?

  2. Mid says:

    I’m a mid twenties woman and my boyfriend is uncomfortable with my past sexual history. I love him, much more than any of the other previous men I have had, but he says that my large number makes him really nervous. How do I comfort him? I’ve never cheated and never intend to. I have slept with thirty-seven men, thirty of them during one really bad period in my early twenties where I had a lot of one night stands. I want my boyfriend to know that I love him.

  3. In search of learning says:

    Hi – I’m on the opposite side of that equation. So I hope we can help each other (even just a little) to understand the “other side” a bit more…..

    I’m a mid thirties guy and my mid 20’s girlfriend just told me something similar.
    She told me her number out of the blue – I wasn’t asking for it. (Btw – the number was in the mid 20’s). I was slightly taken aback by the number initially as it was higher than I had expected (and my expectation had been built on things she had told me about herself (not just some societal expectation I had in my subconscious) i.e. “I’ve never cheated”, serious relationship history, sex drive, etc)

    So to give a bit of insight as to what would be going thru my head/and thus probably your boyfriend’s (assuming he’s a regular guy and not a religious extremist of some variety):
    – firstly and most importantly – he cares about you – that’s why he’s got this reaction. Ppl (guys or girls) who don’t care about your number, most likely don’t care about you and are not looking for anything long term…… So he cares! (That’s a good thing)
    – With this in mind, just try to be as open as possible and not defensive as much as possible. He may ask you questions which you may think are attacking you, but he’s just trying to understand. (IF he’s obviously in a rage then best to restart the conversation later when everyone is more calm).

    – for a guy, your history brings up questions about why….? Why so many partners in such a short space of time…And the reason we ask “why” is because correctly or incorrectly, we use past behavior as an indicator for future potential behaviors……… that’s just the facts. This leads to questions which are driven by a query around trust:
    – “can I trust her to be faithful?
    – Am I just another notch on the bedpost, or does she really like me?
    – Why couldn’t she hold a relationship before – So is it worth my time and effort to invest emotionally in this?
    – “is what we have really that special then? She slept with all these other guys”
    – “Guys inflate and girls discount belief”……. “has she slept with more than she’s told me…”
    (Btw guys really do inflate – Whether girls discount or not, is really like to know tbh… altho all the surveys out there come to that conclusion).
    – (It really is all the same things a girl would ask about her man who has a long sexual history)…

    – so the best is to find out why “it makes him nervous” – there are various multiple possibilities. And then you can address his concerns specifically and try to comfort him. Genuinely re-assure him that his concerns are not issues now/ and will not be going forward if you honestly believe so…
    – some “Don’t”s – well you can, but it will probably be counterproductive…..
    * Dismissing his concerns – will not build trust – will only do the exact opposite.
    * playing the whole feminist card – “why is it ok for guys to sleep around and women can’t”. He will just ask himself – ok – “so you just fucked around to prove a point??”. ( Btw – both woman and men CAN fuck around all they want. And those that have – just have to deal with the same consequences/questions when it comes to that potential special one…. (so feminists, plz leave this one at the door – it doesn’t help ppl who are at the stage of working through something serious).
    (For those that insist on this line of argument – then all I would say is – All you have to do is ask yourself honestly – how would you feel if he told you his number was (a) the same as yours, and (b) higher than yours…. How would you honestly feel. Based on your honest answer to yourself – hold yourself to the same standard and you’ll know how much effort to put in and what to do…. )

    He needs to know you want to make him your king (as he should want to make you his queen).

    It’s by no means expansive – but hopefully gives you an insight into what sort of things are going thru his head and thus how you might approach comforting him…. good luck…. I guess I’ve incorprated my questions somewhat in the above….

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