General Question

nikipedia's avatar

How much would you like to know about your significant other's exes?

Asked by nikipedia (28046points) May 30th, 2009

Do you like to pretend you were the first person to ever date your person, or would you like to know about his/her relationship history? What’s an appropriate level of detail to go into? Do you think it’s weird if someone you’re dating never mentions exes?

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41 Answers

Tink's avatar

I don’t think it’s weird because what if there was no one before me I wouldn’t want to akward him
But if there was I wouldn’t care because as @cyndihugs put it he’s with me now

Blondesjon's avatar

As long as they are 100% exes, I don’t need to know shit about them. Why set yourself up for all the drama that brings with it?

chelseababyy's avatar

I’d like to know a bit. I don’t really know anything about who my boyfriend was with before me. He knows all about my past.

cyn's avatar

i don’t even have to ask him for his relationship history
he’s the one that tells me about it
i do not care
because he’s with me
not with them

La_chica_gomela's avatar

This is a good question. Personally I can admit that I haven’t matured enough to pick a side. I still want to have my cake and eat it, too. I want hear all about them, but once he starts telling me, I want him to shut up. lol

I would think it was weird if they never mentioned their exes, on the other hand, I wouldn’t want them to talk about exes all the time.

mjchatter's avatar

I like knowing about the Ex’s but I also wish I could talk to the Ex’s about what didn’t work. You might see a pattern that would be a “warning”. LOL

aprilsimnel's avatar

It doesn’t have to be never, but certainly not much. I’ll assume they got from any former relationships what they needed to get and learned what they had to learn. Their time with me is a new chapter of the book, AFAIC.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I want to know about an ex if they are still in the person’s life.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve met both of them, and one of them was a very close friend of ours for a long time.

casheroo's avatar

When I was younger, before I met my husband, I wanted to know everything about my boyfriend’s exes. But, I also didn’t like hearing about them at the same time lol. I knew enough about the girls he had dated, I never met any because he ended it badly with pretty much all of them (should have been a sign for me!)
My husband only dated three people before me. I’ve seen a picture of one of them, have no clue anything about one of them, and I know the other one personally.
Are you asking how much I want to know about their relationship? Or about the ex personally?
I would find it super weird if my current didn’t mention any exes, especially if they dated them for an extended period of time. I mean, they did things together right? That’s bound to come up in conversation eventually! If they avoided it, I’d ask them why.
Sometimes my husband asked questions, and sometimes I asked questions…I don’t see anything wrong with that. The men I’ve dated have always been willing to talk about it, and never had anything to hide about it.

bea2345's avatar

I do not in the least wish to know. All that was before I met him.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I know enough, but not too much. I know my girlfriend’s previous relationship was in early teens, and therefore there is nothing significant for me to worry about.

Clair's avatar

as little as possible.

robmandu's avatar

I find that I don’t like hearing about it.

There’s nothing I can do about it now anyways. I prefer to look forward.

hug_of_war's avatar

I don’t feel it’s important. And the longer we’re together the less and less important it becomes

eadinad's avatar

I like to know everything because it’s a part of who they (the SO) are. I also like to know they can articulate the failures and successes and have grown as a person because of it. I don’t feel jealous at all, unless of course there’s a reason to. It’s usually come up with the people I’ve dated. If they never brought it up, I would ask them about it.

SuperMouse's avatar

Until I read this question I never really gave it much thought. I know an awful lot about the mother of his children, none of it all that great. I kind of wish I knew less, because what I do know will probably make me uncomfortable when we finally me. As for his other ex’s I know next to nothing and that is fine with me.

Crusader's avatar

Just that discretion and/or protection was utilized.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

The extent of the ex’s involvement in my partner’s present life and how my partner views their ex, if there is respect or hostility, friendship or merely tolerable acquaintance, that kind of thing.

noelasun's avatar

I’m really insatiably curious about my SO’s exes. I also really really hate the idea that there was “anyone else”. It’s really better if I don’t know. Or maybe not, because if they don’t tell, me, I get even more nervous…
I know, I know, I really need to mature a bit. =/
It’s just that for me, everyone I’ve liked or been in a relationship with prior to my SO has felt like people I found while looking for my current SO. Maybe I want that sort of reassurance from him as well.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I know all about everyone my wife ever dated, and she knows all about my exes. Honesty is the best policy. The past is a whole nuther country, they do things differently there.

DarkScribe's avatar

Not at all interested, never have been. It occasionally comes up in conversation, and I have met the only ex, but it doesn’t really concern me.

justus2's avatar

I want to know as much as he can ever remember about his exes and everything, I like everything completely honest and out in the open and i love to have conversations about everything.

augustlan's avatar

“Inquiring minds want to know.” I’m a very curious person, so I ask about everything, including exes. It doesn’t bother me to know about them in the least… I find it intriguing and enlightening.

spresto's avatar

Not a damn thing. I know enough that if I ever see a single one of them ever, chances are pretty good they would no longer have life.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s relevant insofar as it tells you about what a person’s experience is and what they learned from it. It can also tell you about their character.

However, I found that as I got older, I was less interested in their pasts. I figured out how to get to know them on their own terms, if that makes any sense. I could tell what she had learned without knowing all the details.

That having been said, occasionally these things come up as stories, and we don’t have any embarrassment about telling them. I remember one car trip where the kids got into it, and so we told them about our exes.

shortysith's avatar

I like to know just because it helps you see what shaped your SO, what their first love, first kiss were like. It’s not a bad thing…it’s fun to talk about our past, that’s why we are all on here! Plus, I think sometimes it helps in knowing what your SO likes and doesns’t like too, and maybe helps you understand why they are the way they are. I’m not a crazy “I need to know everything” type of person, but I think if you are comfortable enough to share a bad, you can share your past!

CMaz's avatar

As far as I want to be concerned. She is always a virgin. And, I was the first man she has had a relationship with.
If she tells me she has been divorced like 5 times. That is enough information, and I need to look elsewhere.

mpjt2005's avatar

I always want to know what they looked like for some reason, maybe that is my self concious side rearing it’s head. I always feel like I am being compared to other woman that my S/O has been with. I have to admit that when he mentions an ex I get sort of pissy and say things like oh you don’t do that kind of thing with me or what not. So either way I am not satisfied.

moorpheus's avatar

I want to know as much as necessary so I can evaluate his behavior and probably predict how he will treat me!

How he talks about his EX matters. How he treated her matters. How he ended it matters. Of course, if he is still in love with her matters.

I don’t care how many women were in his life in the past—they helped him develop into the man I now love. I DO care if he had multiple relationships at the same time (e.g., if he cheated on her) because I feel that is predictive on his behavior in the future.

Disc2021's avatar

As far as the person was willing to share. A lot of times, inquiring about it only provokes bad emotions of the past that perhaps your partner would rather just leave there.

When they were ready to tell or if they brought it up, I would listen. Otherwise, what’s more important to me would be our future.

wilbert's avatar

this is a formula for arguing. unless a mass murdering mad person, should not be of concern otherwise, you will continue to compare yourself and others. Heck men in this town just want woman who have no thoughts and are contortionists.

EdMayhew's avatar

The only thing I want to know about the other half’s exes is that I’m better than them in every way.

The rest is immaterial.


SABOTEUR's avatar


I learned from my first marriage to:

Be careful what you look for…
…you just might find it.

Besides…why bother now after 25 years?

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I want to know at least who they are. I don’t hide who my ex’s are to guys I am interested in if it comes up in conversation. Why should I? I’m not ashamed of them and I think it’s healthy for a guy to know what he is getting into if he wants to be with me. If he can’t accept my past, will he be able to accept my future? It is said that past behaviour is a reliable predictor of future conduct. I would rather him find out who I am now than to find out who I am later on down the road when, say, we’re married, and it’s too late, and he finds out he’s totally not okay with me as a person. If he doesn’t accept me now, why should I expect him to later? If I’m not willing to be honest with him, am I doubting his interest in me? Am I trying to impress him by showing only my good side to him? Does that mean I don’t trust him? I think that if I feel like I can’t be honest with him, that is a BIG SIGN that he is not the right person for me. The same rules apply to him in my head. If he doesn’t want to tell me anything about his past, does that mean he doesn’t trust me? A relationship NEEDS trust, ABSOLUTELY. If he can’t find it in his heart to trust me, then pursuing a relationship with him is not worth it. If he can’t handle hearing about something as simple as who my ex’s are, then what does that say about his emotional stability? If I can’t handle hearing about his, what does that say about mine? If he only shows me his good side, how am I ever supposed to know him? Is he waiting until I’m “snagged” and am way too caught up in emotions to leave? Is that right? What about any potential children? How might they be affected by this? Shouldn’t they matter? Is a relationship full of romantic energy and pleasure really all that worth it if the downside is that after the spark fades out, you’re gonna end up with a broken home where either the father or the mother runs off? Where fights result? Where there’s never ending battles where you can’t seem to agree on anything? So, yeah, I think it’s DEFINITELY important to know about ex’s. It gives you an idea of what kinds of things the person you’re interested in as attracted to. It also lets you know how it shaped him or her as a person. If you do ask about the ex or ex’s, though, make sure you don’t ask anything you don’t actually want to know the answer to, because he or she might just tell you! It’s also important to train yourself not to be a jealous person if you are and to also accept that the person you are interested in DOES have a past. You have a past, too, so remember that. If you don’t want to reveal something about yourself, don’t be surprised if your significant other does not want to reveal that same thing about himself or herself.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Great Caesar’s ghost, I want to know just enough about her exes so I know when I am being compared to them, other than that c`est la vie….....

SABOTEUR's avatar

She’s had ex’s?

Aster's avatar

As much as possible! Love All the details but don’t get many.

zen_'s avatar

Although I GQed this – my personal answer is: Nada.

But it’s fun to read other answers to this question.

OMG – it’s actually spell-checking this as I write it – is this a new feature – or is it because I switched to mozilla?

aprilsimnel's avatar

Firefox has spell-check.

zen_'s avatar

Thanks, @aprilsimnel – it’s pretty cool.

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