When you’re in a relationship, you’re naturally curious about all sorts of things about your partner. You want to know about why they are the way that they are and what sorts of goals, dreams, and more they have. You want to know about their family and friends, their job, and just about everything else. To get some of this information, you might ask some questions. But there are some things you should never ask your partner about their past for a number of reasons. Things that you might sometimes be tempted to ask, but are better off not knowing.
Keeping secrets isn’t always necessarily a good idea. That can cause issues of its own in some cases, but you also shouldn’t necessarily ask your partner about these kinds of things. If they want to tell you about them, they’ll bring them up. Sure, many of these things are topics that you might be wondering, but in some cases, knowing the answer isn’t going to make you feel any better about things and might just make you feel worse. You’re better off avoiding bringing these discussions up on your own and waiting for the right time to ask any questions, should it arise.
1. How Many People They’ve Slept With Before You
You might think that this is innocuous enough, but in some cases it might be really difficult to hear the answer. Katie Ziskind, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Romper by email that this sort of question sends the message that you’re a bit insecure, so you’re better off not asking it.
2. Which Person They’ve Slept With Was The Best
There’s no reason to ask a question like this one. For starters, they’re likely going to tell you what you want to hear. And if they don’t, that can cause you to feel self-conscious or concerned. “When it comes to questions about sex in prior relationships, beware that answers can trigger a strong, likely unwelcome response,” Julie Ingenohl, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Romper by email. “For example, if you ask your partner who they had the best sex with and they give you the answer, be prepared that it may send you on a social media frenzy to check this person out and the next thing you know you are having pictures in your head that you can’t get rid of: your partner and this person engaged in different positions.”
It’s not going to bring the two of you closer together and it’s likely not going to make you feel very good to hear the answer, so it’s better to avoid asking.
3. Anything About Past Trauma Or Sexual Abuse
You shouldn’t ask about past traumas, not because you shouldn’t ever know about them, but because you should let them tell you what they want to regarding these kinds of experiences. Ziskind advises waiting until they tell you about them. Don’t try to get them to tell you about something by raising questions they don’t want to answer.
4. If They Still Have Feelings For An Ex
If you’re worried that your partner might still have feelings for an ex, asking if they do likely isn’t going to do you any good. As Bolde noted, if you’re tempted to ask a question like this, it might be that you already, deep-down, know the answer. And whether you know the answer or not, it might be that you don’t actually want to hear it.
5. What They Liked Best About Their Exes
Asking what your partner liked best about any exes is just asking for trouble. Again, Ziskind says, this shows where your insecurities lie. It’s better to talk about your relationship than to talk about past ones.
6. Anything That You Don’t Really Want The Answer To
“There is that age old piece of advice which says ‘never ask a question you don’t want the answer to,’” Ingenohl says. If you’re not ready for the answer or don’t actually want to know what your partner will honestly say, then you’re better off not asking that particular question.
7. Anything That Forces Them To Compare You With An Ex
Comparisons between you and an ex can sometimes leave you feeling less-than. So if you’re asking them questions that require them to compare the two of you, it might just end up with you feeling down. “Don’t compare yourself to their ex,” Ziskind says. “Tell your partner that you will be here for them anytime. Remind your partner that you accept and love them as they are. Reassure them that their past doesn’t matter to you. Remember, at the end of the day, simply be a good friend and caring, supportive person to your partner.”
Communication is essential in a relationship, but if you’re not ready to know the answers to some of these questions about their past, you’re better off not asking.