Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Discuss Your ‘Number’ In Your Next Relationship


Talking about the number of sexual partners you have had with your significant other can do more harm than good. This is from my weekly podcast, “Heart of the Matter,” which you can catch on Soundcloud and iTunes every Monday evening.

People have always, and will always make judgments based on numbers.

They will judge popularity by the number of social media followers one has. They will judge success by the amount of money in one’s bank account. Some women won’t date men who are 5-foot-11 because they ‘were so close’ to an even 6-feet.

If you think the number of sexual partners you’ve had doesn’t matter, go talk to the girl who has been called a ‘prude,’ or, better yet, the one who has been called a ‘slut,’ and see what they have to say about the matter.

Personally, I don’t care about such things.

I know people who have thousands of Instagram followers and are some of the loneliest people I’ve met. I know people who don’t use social media at all and are surrounded by people who love them. I know people who have money, but did very little to earn it. I know people who work several jobs and want for nothing.

Outside of my high school years, when the thought of losing my virginity was constantly looming, I’ve never cared much about what my ‘number’ is in relation to other men my age. I’ve also never cared much about a woman’s sexual history, be it that of a friend or someone I was interested in, because it was not my business, nor would it change how I felt about her.

I really don’t think your ‘number’ is a big deal, but that being said, I would not want to discuss it in a relationship. I don’t want to talk about mine, and I don’t want to know hers.

Ignorance is bliss? You’re goddamn right it is.

What possible good can come from knowing this information, for either party?

If my number is significantly higher than hers, it could make her feel self-conscious and I might fear she would look at me differently. If her number is significantly higher than mine, it might also make her feel self-conscious and fear that I’d look at her differently. Knowing myself the way I do, I’d probably subconsciously wonder how I compare to her past lovers.

We’re all human, and I think it’s humane for many of us to feel the same way. It’s a flaw in any of us who possess the quality, no doubt, but part of what makes us human is our character flaws.

Call it ignorance, or whatever you want, but some things really are better off left unsaid.

I have no secrets to hide from my partner. Anything she wants to know, I’m happy to tell her. All she has to do is ask, and I make it a point for her to know that. However, that doesn’t mean I will always volunteer information. For those thinking that is the same thing as lying, it’s really not.

There’s a difference between omitting the truth — which is really just a fancy way of saying ‘lying’ — and simply not volunteering information.

If my girlfriend asks me, “How many women have you been with?” I’ll give her the number, but that doesn’t mean I will volunteer that one of them was her friend before we started dating (or even before we met); it doesn’t mean I will volunteer that one of them was with my co-worker; it doesn’t mean that I will volunteer if I had a pregnancy scare with one of them.

Your partner doesn’t need to know everything about your sexual history. Often times, they probably don’t want to know everything about your sexual history.

You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube once it’s out, and I try to always be cognizant of that.

Honesty is invaluable to a relationship, and I think it goes hand in hand with trust. I don’t ever want my partner to feel like she can’t trust what I’m telling her, or that she can’t trust me to believe what she is telling me.

The way I look at it, if I’ve committed to someone, she is the only one I’m with, and she is the only one I want to be with. She is the No. 1 woman in my life, and to me, that is the only number that should matter.