At some point in every romantic relationship, the dreaded question is asked, “So… how many people have you slept with?” If you’ve really explored your sexuality (with multiple partners) like I have, the reaction to that question takes a little piece of your soul every time. But why should I be slut-shamed for my past experiences? Why does your partner have to know? Is it better to avoid the question? To blatantly refuse to answer? Or share, and hope that it won’t discourage them from moving forward?
You can’t help but be curious about your partner’s past relationships, sexual experiences, or life experiences in general – but is full disclosure the best way to share and communicate in any and all romantic relationships? Or will it come back to bite you in the ass when your past endeavors leave your partner feeling insecure?
Weighing Your Options
There are definitely pros and cons to each… you may even have to determine if it’s the right choice based on how understanding and accepting your partner is. Is it even worth the hassle? Is honesty always the best policy? Or are some things better left unsaid because they’re in the past?
Pros & Cons
For every pro of having a full disclosure relationship, there is inevitably a con to follow. But it is how you and your partner respond to the information that determines whether your relationship is worth accepting each other’s past ways or whether the information is too much to handle.
- Open lines of communication
- No secrets
- May reduce the desire to snoop
- No surprises in the future
- You or your partner may become insecure
- Changes your or your partner’s perception of one another
- More snooping because of newfound insecurities
- You may unnecessarily obsess over a past that doesn’t really matter
My Personal Experience
I have encountered this battle of full disclosure in relationships multiple times, but it has never been as prevalent or created as many problems than it has in my current relationship. Once I told my partner how many people I’d slept with during college, and how my count has nearly tripled since our last encounter, things began to change. Walls went up. Each time we grew closer, the fact that I had “given myself” to so many others really bothered him. This went on for quite a few months until I disclosed any and all details so he could stop imagining what could have happened instead of my true experience. Once everything was laid out on the table, we realized that our pasts have made us into who we are now. What we like and what we don’t like have been established and we know exactly what we want in a partner.
The answer really varies depending on your relationship, and what you and your partner both feel comfortable with. Full disclosure can be a bitch at first, but when you’re with the right person, you’ll reach a point where you’re able to overcome each other’s pasts, become stronger as a couple, and build trust. Other times, it causes you to realize who isn’t strong enough to be your partner. If you’re not ready to open up to someone who has a questionable past, and they’re not ready to accept you in your full experience, that might end up being toxic to your future. Or perhaps you and your partner simply don’t care to know, and what they don’t know won’t hurt them. It’s up to you both to determine what’s best for your relationship, and for you!
I am a man with a fairly young girlfriend who has 15 notches on (under?) her belt. Maybe it’s not that much, but above average, more than me, and more than 3x the count of any of my own ‘exes’. After a slight initial shock I’m totally fine with it. Because she made it quite clear that it is me that she wants, long term, and only me. The fact that after all that, she confidently and wholeheartedly chooses me, makes me actually MORE confident in myself and my relationship than ever before. So ladies dealing with an insecure boyfriend… it is THAT you should focus on when telling him. I mean at least you can compare. Should be an ego boost to STILL choose him!
I don’t have to shield her or be fearful who she hangs out with, because she hasn’t chosen me out of inexperience – she chose me after knowing very well what else is out there. So sadly for all those guys out there more attractive than me – Ihave something you don’t!
Of course I don’t need every dirty little detail and will definitely have to refrain from comparing myself in little areas, but I can be (And am) confident I’m the right package for her. More confident than you can ever be when you’re a girl’s first…
The only thing I sometimes worry about a little, is whether at some point she might miss the thrill of a new hookup and cheat on me. I guess we just have to not forget to still act like the hookup we once were, now and then. So far that works and is a lot of fun for both…
I really appreciate you, and I applaud everything that you just said.