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