Do You Know Your Partner's Number?

Sometimes it's better to not go there

Updated 10/18/19

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The question isn't whether you want to know your soon-to-be spouse's number—and you know we're not just talking about an arbitrary phone number. After all, according to Andrea Syrtash, a relationship expert and author of Cheat on Your Husband (With Your Husband), "It's normal to want to know about your partner's romantic and sexual past. It's a way of learning more about him or her—and also quenching your curiosity."

The bigger question is why you want to know. Dig a little deeper, and odds are there's a source for your curiosity. "Most people who ask believe they will be comforted by the answer or learn something new that is important to know," Syrtash says. "In reality, finding out your partner's number probably won't help you much."

Is Knowing Really Worth It?

In fact, simply learning a digit could create a problem in your relationship—from trust issues to jealousy—that shouldn't exist in the first place. "If the number is staggeringly high, you may wonder if he or she will have a wandering eye in your relationship," Syrtash says. "If the number is too low, you may not believe them or question their experience and skills in the bedroom. There is a chance, of course, that the number will be fine and not affect you either way—but in that case, what's the point?"

Find Other Points of Conversation

So if you're curious about your partner's sexual history, the best thing to do is steer the conversation away from a number you can't control and toward something that's beneficial to all parties involved. Consider asking questions regarding your significant other's past experiences, Syrtash suggests. What did he or she learn? What didn't work? "In your conversation, focus on quality information, not quantity," she says.

If you have a burning desire to know your partner's number, then keep an open mind when you ask—and try to keep a poker face once the number has been revealed. "Whatever you do, you should try not to judge or criticize since that's a conversation killer," says Syrtash.

Don't Jump to Conclusions

Remember that "having a different number of sexual partners doesn't mean you're not compatible," she says. "If, however, it reflects your values—one of you is a virgin and the other has had so many partners he or she has lost count—it may be worth a discussion to make sure your needs are aligned." Being as honest and transparent upfront will help keep any insecurities at bay, and pave the way for a healthier relationship in the long run.

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