I recently started dating someone last year and we are thinking about taking our relationship to the next step and moving in together. My partner has had a very sexual past and he’s slept with just about every male friend he has had for the sake of just sexual pleasure. He assures me he is a changed person and no longer wants anything to do with any of that and I believe him. However, I have not met these friends and I know I eventually will because some of them are his best friends. Now, I am not a person who puts a huge amount of importance on sex, I know everyone has a past, however, a big part of me is upset that I can’t even have this intimacy of sex between us because I know all of his male friends have had a piece of him already and if put in a position where I’d have to meet these people, I’d feel like a clown. How do I approach this? It’s really having me second guess our relationship.
Dear Reluctant Rez,
Thanks for writing to me. I have to say, while your letter isn’t exactly long, I’m left wanting to touch on a few things. For starters, because you’ve never met any of these male friends your boyfriend has slept with, I’m under the impression that perhaps he’s using the term friend a bit loosely. I understand COVID has made meeting up with folks a bit more challenging, but unless you two are in a long-distance relationship or all his pals live far away, you would think you would have met a few of these “friends” by now. The fact that you haven’t leads me to believe these “friends” are just people he’s just cool with, and you’ll more than likely not have much interaction with them.
Secondly, you’re right about everyone having a past. Typically, I tell people that someone else’s past is none of your business, unless that person has slept with someone in your inner circle, has something that can be passed along to you, or there is a baby somewhere. Because those are my exceptions, I should tell you that what he did with his friends doesn’t concern you, and you ought to chill. However, I know if I were in your shoes, I’d probably feel awkward being around his friends too. It would feel as if I were hanging around his exes. As if my boyfriend goes out to hang around his exes. But that’s when I have to reassess my perspective, which is what I’m going to tell you to do.
Because your boyfriend has admitted to you that he has a “very sexual past,” I have a strong hunch that before you, sex for him wasn’t really tied to intimacy. He most likely reduced sex to his urge to relieve himself and a person’s physical traits. He didn’t have an interest in building something special with all of those people. Even with the friends he has slept with, if he had a deep desire to be with them romantically in a relationship, he would have been with them.
Also, to your boyfriend’s credit, he seems to be keeping it honest with you. He didn’t have to tell you about sleeping with his friends, but he did. With that said, give him the benefit of the doubt that when he tells you he doesn’t want his friends, that he doesn’t want them. And if you’ve been honest with your boyfriend about your feelings in regard to all of this, trust him not to intentionally put you in situations that make you too uncomfortable.
Suggestions going forward
- If you just don’t feel comfortable moving in with your boyfriend, that’s perfectly fine. You’ve been dating for less than a year, so trust me, you can wait.
- If you really love your boyfriend, don’t be so quick to punish him for things that happened before you.
- Remember, sex and intimacy are NOT the same thing.
As always nothing but love,