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Can’t Stop Thinking About Boyfriend’s Sexual Past

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I can’t grasp how many women my boyfriend has been with. My boyfriend has been with more people than I can imagine. He feels rather ashamed of his sexual history. He has had sex with friends, married friends, one night stands, and made friends just to have sex with them. As far as he can “remember,” he did not use a condom with 3 of them (his total number of sexual partners is 15). Since then he has been checked for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

Still I have this overwhelming feeling of having to share him with all of them. As if I will never be the only important woman in his life. I don’t think he would ever actually cheat on me, but it is always looming in my mind, because he has been with so many of his “friends”. I don’t want to leave the relationship, and besides this one point, he and I are VERY good friends and have no other major conflicts. I don’t know how to get over these feelings of his sexual past and I want to make every effort to get over them. I have tried to write out my feelings and why in journals, talk with him about it, not think about it, ect. I don’t know what else to do. I get upset, not yelling and screaming but more disappointed and sad. Many times I just cry because it overwhelms me so much. Thank you for your time.

Can’t Stop Thinking About Boyfriend’s Sexual Past

Answered by on -


First, it’s important to understand that your boyfriend’s past is his past and it should stay that way. Who he had sex with previously should have no bearing psychologically on your current relationship. If he had unprotected sex, then this should concern you only from the perspective of not wanting to contract a sexually transmitted disease, but this should be your only concern. There is nothing that he can do to change his past. The problem is not his, it’s yours.

If his past bothers you, then it is important to examine why that may be. Part of it may be jealousy. Jealousy is related to a lack of self-esteem. If you felt fully confident about yourself, then you probably would not be thinking about his previous relationships and girlfriends. You may also think that because he has had many sexual experiences, he must be comparing you to those women.

Please realize that your boyfriend cannot change his past, and it is not fair for you to be upset with him about actions that he took while you and he were not in a relationship. I also question whether it is fair to be concerned about his “friends” if he has not done anything untrustworthy to warrant your suspicion. With time and as you gain self-confidence, his sexual history will not – and nor should it – concern you. As you remain in a trusting, faithful relationship with him, your sense of self and his reassurance will help you reach a better place of acceptance regarding his past.

In the meantime, it is important for you to recognize that these are your feelings and concerns. Your boyfriend cannot wave a magic wand and “wish away” his past behavior. If you want to continue the relationship, then you need to stop focusing on his past. Redirect your focus on the “here and now.” Judge him for the actions that he makes while he is currently in the relationship and do not punish him for his previous behavior which he cannot change. Try thinking of it this way. If it were you with his sexual past, would you want him to judge you as you are now or as you were then?

Can’t Stop Thinking About Boyfriend’s Sexual Past

This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on September 15, 2008.

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). Can’t Stop Thinking About Boyfriend’s Sexual Past. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 May 2019 (Originally: 15 Sep 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 May 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.