Why It’s Okay If You Don’t Want to Share Your “Number” With Partners

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By Felicia Sabartinelli

Recently I found myself in the middle of a heated debate with a group of friends. We were discussing dating and relationships, something that compromises about 90% of our conversations. One of my friends asked the group, “Do you share your ‘number’ (of sex partners) with your significant other?” 

I told my friends that I felt very strongly that you should never, ever share your number. This shocked many of my friends. “Don’t you want to know theirs?!” When I told them no they obviously asked, “Why?” I immediately broke into rap mode, singing the first verse from Salt n’ Pepa, “It’s None of Your Business.”

Obviously, quoting a hip-hop lyric did very little to convey my opinion, but it did provide a good laugh. As our conversation went on, I listened to my friends as they voiced their thoughts. Feeling a bit unsettled, I walked away musing over a few things I think everyone should consider before asking such a question.

Do you really NEED to know?

We are all curious critters. There is some part of us inside that is dying to know everything. I don’t take any offense to that. Look at our culture’s obsession with gossip, media and pop culture. Channels and websites are dedicated to social curiosity, an abundance of oversharing; this frenzied need to know everything, even when it has nothing to do with us. But do we really, really need to know?

The problem with knowing too much information is that we can over-exaggerate it.  Many times, a number can become the root of baseless jealousy. Maybe you start to wonder: maybe their number was really seven, thirteen, or thirty? You may feel the need to know more specifics about these ex-lovers. Prying and demanding to know even more.

Think about it, how many times do we compare ourselves to our significant other’s ex? She/He is much more attractive than me. I wonder if they were a better lover. Maybe I’m not good enough?  What if they were kinky together, when all we do is good ole’ missionary. Am I enough, sexually?

I personally do not want to know who my current lover dated or what their number is. Why? Because, even while trying to be completely level-headed, confident and non-judgmental, part of me will always wonder and compare.  I would rather save myself the stress by not knowing. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss and honestly, I don’t really need to know.

Does this number change anything?

If your partner isn’t hiding a sexually transmitted disease or dozens of love children, do you really need to know? Does it change, or should it change, how you feel about that person?

Maybe some of us have been a bit more picky about who we rolled around in the sack with. Maybe some of us have long since decided that being sexually free is much more our style. Whatever the case, our numbers should not reflect who we are as a person, or our ability to be a good partner.

Besides, if something happened before me, does it even really matter? Do I really want my next partner to hold my previous relationships over my head? Nope!  Been there, done that.

Does not knowing mean you don’t have an honest relationship?

One of my friends, during our discussion, asked, “But, by not telling them, are you hiding your number? How can you have a relationship built on honesty and trust, if you don’t share this with them?”

We all tell little white lies in our relationship. That’s inevitable. But by not having the conversation, we can avoid the possibility of doubt, question, and jealousy in our relationships. Hiding something is much different than two people deliberately choosing to not talk about a part of their past. It’s about respecting that privacy and knowing that ‘it’ really should not affect your relationship. You’re not hiding a secret love affair. You are simply choosing to not disclose a part of yourself that is no longer part of the here-and-now – something that really has nothing to do with your current relationship. Something you really don’t need to know.

So, do you really need to know?

I get why we want to know our significant other’s number, our curiosity has been piqued.  We want to know everything about our lover, knowing them in and out, better than anyone. But really, do we need to know? Do we?


Felicia is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. Find out how you can apply to become a Contributing Writer by clicking HERE

{featured image via unsplash}

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