8 People Reveal How Much Their Partner Knows About Their Past Relationships
by Candice Jalili

I'm a very open person. Some would even argue that I may be a little too honest, especially within my relationship. I mean, the way I see it, my boyfriend is one of my best friends and I tell my best friends everything... so he should know everything. That being said, I struggle with how much I'm supposed to divulge about my past relationships. I mean, it's hard not to wonder how much to tell your partner about past relationships without it being too much or too little. Luckily, a recent Reddit AskWomen thread asked ladies to share from personal experience their best practices when it comes to discussing past relationships.

Read along and take notes!

Only mention the important parts.
All the important things, but not every last detail. He knows I had one long term boyfriend who treated me badly, one who treated me well but we didn't work out, and one very short term boyfriend who cheated on me. He doesn't know an exact number of sexual partners but has an idea. We don't talk about that stuff much because it makes him a little jealous to think about my past, though he knows I have one and doesn't hold anything against me.


If you're comfortable answering questions, you might want to provide info your partner specifically asks for.
He knows as much as he wants to know. I'm always open for questions about my past and he's open to answering any questions I might have, which have been very few. Honestly, his past is his past and helped shape him into the wonderful husband and man I call my best friend. Same for my past. The events in it were important in creating who we are today but that's about it. The past stays in the past as we walk forward into our future together.


If you're in a non-monogamous relationship, full disclosure is key.
We have a full disclosure of past partners with one another. There's no shame or reason to hide them - those relationships brought us to where we are now. He probably doesn't remember all their names, and some have been discussed more than others. But I'd be happy to tell him anything about them that he wanted to hear. They are important to me, as part of my past and as part of the lessons I have learned, and I want to share my whole self with my partner, openly.
We are also in our 30s, both on our second marriages (with one another), and we are ethically non-monogamous. So being cagey about sexual history or jealous of past partners isn't really in our repertoire.


Be mindful of how much you're comfortable sharing.
Not much. Not because I don’t want him to know, I just don’t want to bring up my ex’s if he doesn’t want to know about them. If he asks I’ll gladly tell him but I don’t just offer up the info. I know a lot about his because I’ve asked questions.


Give them an idea of how many past relationships you've had and leave it at that.
He knows all the crap I went through with my last ex because I told him all about it as the relationship was ending. We started dating shortly after. Other than that, he knows how many boyfriends I've had.


Full disclosure is important to some couples.
Everything. Absolutely everything. And I know everything about his. It’s really important to me to be able to know everything about my partners’ past love lives, and for them to know mine. I never really feel like I know a person, otherwise.


Be clear that your exes are part of your past.
Pretty much everything - definitely all the bad stuff (cheating, fighting, defensiveness, etc on my end). The only things I skimmed over was my attraction to various exes (I was not initially very attracted to my husband) and I steer clear from comparing him to them. I talk about them as part of my past and part of what's made me who I am.


Avoid bringing it up too much.
Too much. He brings it up sometimes and it's really uncool. Saying I would do this for someone else but not him. F*cking annoying.


I think the important thing for all of us to take note of here is that these women could not have more different points of views on the subject. While some women like to divulge every last detail, some only like to share a few details here and there. Then, of course, there are the ladies who'd rather not talk about it at all unless their partner brings it up.

The point is that different strategies work for different relationships. Take some time to figure out what works for you and your partner.

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