We all have a different dating history.
I have some friends who’ve dated dozens of people and others who’ve remained single and only had one or two relationships.
If you’re dating someone who’s had many partners and you haven’t, you know that emotions can run high and jealousy and misunderstandings can quickly crop up.
Here’s how to deal with this the right way.
Dating someone who has had many partners: 8 things you need to know
1) First, get clear on what ‘many partners’ means
First, it’s important to be clear on what you mean by many partners, since it can mean several things.
This means either that you are dating someone who has had many sexual partners, many serious relationship partners, or a mix of both.
It makes a big difference, because there are different emotions and ethical considerations involved in these situations.
I know that in my case I’ve had serious misgivings and emotional upsets trying to date women who’ve had a number of long relationships before me, whereas dating women who’ve had many sexual partners before me is not as difficult for me to stomach.
That’s because it’s harder for me to feel comfortable with someone who’s given their heart away many times than it is to feel comfortable with someone who’s given their body away many times.
But everyone is different. Get clear on what you mean by partners and make sure that you’re not just working off vague rumors.
Communicate with your partner and hear directly from him or her about their romantic and sexual history.
If they’re not ready to open up about it, give them time. The same goes for opening up about your romantic and sexual history: only do it when you feel ready.
2) Relating positively to a partner who has a busy sexual past
When it comes to someone who’s had a very…full…sexual past, this can also be a challenge for some people.
Many of us still adhere to the ideal of meeting someone who’s relatively innocent or sexually pure.
In our modern world outside of certain religious and cultural contexts this is increasingly hard to find and can lead to some serious frustration and disillusionment.
“If her number of lovers is particularly high, then you might even wonder whether she will want to move on from you eventually.
“Does she have a high number of lovers because she gets bored with men and then moves on to the next one?”
The solution here is to be honest about how you feel with yourself. If you are contemplating dating someone who’s had a lot of sexual partners and it makes you too uncomfortable to continue, then say it.
Sometimes that’s just the way it is.
If, on the other hand, you feel it’s something you can overcome and learn to live with in a positive and truly accepting way, then move forward proactively and continue the relationship.
3) Relating positively to a partner who has had many relationships
As I said, this is an issue that’s been difficult for me in my romantic life.
I find it hard to feel secure and trustworthy of someone who’s had many serious relationships or long-lasting relationships prior to me.
I know it’s a juvenile and potentially weird thing to be hung up about, but I am, and I prefer to be honest about it. The idea of someone giving her heart away to various guys and it not working out is tragic to me.
The idea that I would now potentially be the next guy to go bust gives me cold chills and an upset stomach.
The best advice I’ve seen on this comes from dating writer Kristine Fellizar.
“Obsessing over a specific ex won’t do any good for you.
“Your partner may have been in a relationship with that person for many years, but there is a reason why they’re not together now.”
She’s absolutely right, and this extends to your partners’ exes in general. Yes there may be a couple more than you’d like there to be, but think about the fact that this doesn’t doom your relationship and is actually a marker of her trusting and liking you more than her ex.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and even though you might prefer your girlfriend or boyfriend not to have been in multiple serious relationships, it’s not always something we get to have.
4) Work on your most important relationship
The thing about someone’s dating history is that it can have a big impact on how
“dateable” they are.
“Sexual history is an interesting personal quality in that it is both a choice and, once done, is beyond our control.
We don’t write about it in our online dating profiles, but it is a quality that many people care about when looking for a husband or wife,” notes columnist and author Marina Adshade.
If you’ve been with many people, you yourself may feel like you’re less appealing to many potential partners, which can be a crushing and demoralizing feeling.
But this is also a valuable chance to improve your love life.
The truth is, most of us overlook an incredibly important element in our lives:
The relationship we have with ourselves.
I learnt about this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. In his genuine, free video on cultivating healthy relationships, he gives you the tools to plant yourself at the center of your world.
He covers some of the major mistakes most of us make in our relationships, such as codependency habits and unhealthy expectations. Mistakes most of us make without even realizing it.
So why am I recommending Rudá’s life-changing advice?
Well, he uses techniques derived from ancient shamanic teachings, but he puts his own modern-day twist on them. He may be a shaman, but his experiences in love weren’t much different to yours and mine.
Until he found a way to overcome these common issues. And that’s what he wants to share with you.
So if you’re ready to make that change today and cultivate healthy, loving relationships, relationships you know you deserve, check out his simple, genuine advice.
5) Busting down relationship FOMO
For me, relationship FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has been one of the main things that’s crippled me.
I feel like I’ve missed out on experiences other people have had in some of their long-term relationships and that this makes me disadvantaged or “behind” them.
This feeling has been very hard for me to shake and it keeps popping up. I feel resentful and weird that other people seem to have had more relationships than me that were more serious.
And I’m not the only one.
As Sarah Spoljaric writes about here, even marrying someone who’s already been married can cause serious relationship FOMO:
“The part I struggle with is that my boyfriend already took significant life steps that are fresh and new to me.
“In dark moments, I worry that if our relationship progresses towards marriage, it won’t be exciting or meaningful for him because he’s already been there, done that.”
This emotion can be very difficult. Don’t push yourself to feel “fine” or let people tell you it’s no big deal.
If it’s a big deal to you then it is a big deal.
The only thing I would emphasize here, is that the person you’re dating can’t control his or her history or change it.
If they say they’re all in with you and your relationship is going well, do your best not to focus on the past. They’re with you now, and that’s what’s important.
6) Is someone who’s slept with a lot of people harder to form a family with?
As Professor Nicholas Wolfinger notes, premarital sex became much more common in the West in the 1960s.
Men still have more sexual partners, on average, than women. The average American woman born in the 1980s has had three sexual partners, the average man has had six.
As Wolfinger notes, over three decades of data backs up the finding that those who have had less sexual partners have, on average, happier marriages.
This, of course, is based on General Social Survey data that people report, so we have to note that people could be lying.
But when you take millions of people’s results about how many sexual partners they’ve had and line it up with how happy they are in their marriage a clear result emerges:
More sexual partners leads to less happy marriages.
Love it or hate it, that’s what the data says.
Now it could be that people who tend to have less sexual partners are more easily satisfied in their marriage or come from cultures and religions which have stronger social structures, but the point remains that it may be harder for you to build a happy marriage and family with someone who’s slept around a lot.
7) What does this person’s romantic and sexual past mean to them.
Pay attention to how this person talks about their exes and past sexual partners.
Are they still torn up about the past or have they moved on?
What did their many or few sexual and romantic partners mean to them?
How does it relate to their core values and what they’re looking for now in a relationship?
“It’s often less about the contents of their past and more so about their energy in the way they discuss it. Of course, there are also exceptions for careless or violent red flag behaviors.”
8) Think about why their last relationships and sexual dalliances didn’t last
On the other hand, it’s key to look at someone who’s had a lot of sexual or romantic partners in a different way as well.
If you’re falling for them and wondering if that’s a bad thing, keep in mind that they’re single for a reason.
Another important thing when it comes to dating someone who has had many partners is to remember that there could be a reason they’ve had so many partners.
In fact, there’s a little known but increasingly popular theory circulating in the relationship world about what makes a relationship last.
Many men don’t end up feeling the desire to commit to a woman, and many women don’t end up displaying the behavior that makes a guy want to stick around.
You see, for guys, it’s all about triggering their inner hero.
Could this be the relationship where she brings it out in you? Could this be the relationship where you bring it out in him?
I learned about this from the hero instinct. Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this fascinating concept is about what really drives men in relationships, which is ingrained in their DNA.
And it’s something most women don’t know anything about.
Once triggered, these drivers make men into the heroes of their own lives. They feel better, love harder, and commit stronger when they find someone who knows how to trigger it.
Now, you may be wondering why it’s called “the hero instinct”? Do guys really need to feel like superheroes to commit to a woman?
Not at all. Forget about Marvel. You won’t need to play the damsel in distress or buy your man a cape.
The truth is, it comes at no cost or sacrifice to you. With only a few small changes in how you approach him, you’ll tap into a part of him no woman has tapped into before.
The easiest thing to do is to check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here. He shares some easy tips to get you started, such as sending him a 12 word text that will trigger his hero instinct right away.
Because that’s the beauty of the hero instinct.
It’s only a matter of knowing the right things to say to make him realize that he wants you and only you.
From many to one
Even those who haven’t had many sexual or romantic partners have felt strong attraction and wanted to be with various people at various times.
Despite Wolfinger’s findings and some of the difficulties in dating someone who’s been around town, I would encourage readers to think of it this way:
We can’t control our romantic past, only our romantic future.
If you’re dating someone who has had many partners, remember that out of those many you are the one they ended up with.
That can actually be a very beautiful thing if you look at it from a certain point of view.
You’re the one who ended up being a good fit in the end.
Sometimes real love doesn’t come easy or fast, and that’s just the way it is.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.