We all want to know the answer to this question. When you first get together with someone new, everything is bright and shiny and exciting. But then, something about a past relationship comes up and suddenly you feel caught. You don't know how much you should say and how much you need to keep to yourself.
Some romantic partners come off as really jealous and possessive, which might force you to maybe withhold more information than you intended too. Others seem to want to know every little detail. Navigating this is hard, and unfortunately, there's no way around it.
So, how much do you tell your partner about your past loves? The answer is really more simple than we think.
You tell them only as much as you're comfortable with.
That's it. That's the answer. No relationship can work without trust, and when it comes to spilling out all of the secrets and memories of previous relationships, that's not always the easiest thing to do. The best solution is to take your time and tell them what you want to tell them when you feel as though the time is right. There is no need to force the conversation, and you should never let your partner force you into telling them anything.
In a previous relationship, I was with someone who came off as sweet and charming but was really insecure. He demanded to know every little detail of what had happened with the boyfriend before him, even though there was about a year in between the two relationships. His prying and forcefulness actually broke us up. Though we ended up getting back together, it was hard to forget the uncomfortable feeling that I got whenever he said my ex's name and asked questions. He made it almost impossible to share and I actually started to feel ashamed of my memories.
So I started giving vague details and keeping the rest to myself. In all honesty, I no longer felt like sharing. Every time he would ask another question and a new minuscule detail would come up, he would jump at me and tell me that I had lied to him, that I wasn't being entirely honest. It was terrible, and it just about broke my trust in our relationship.
That's just not the way that things should be. You tell what you're okay with talking about. When talking to someone who loves and respects you, the words will flow in their own time.
Now, I have no problem telling my significant other stories about who I was with. He trusts that I will tell him what he needs to know and now we just laugh about it. When you tell someone that respects you, it makes a world of difference. There is no more feeling uncomfortable or like you have anything that you need to hide because at the end of the day, they are your memories. What happened in the past, is the past and there's no reason to ever let that hinder your future.
If you're worried about your partner's past significant others, take a step back and ask yourself why it matters so much to you. Are you worried about losing them if their ex comes back into the picture? Do you think that they haven't completely moved on? Or are you just being possessive?
With that being said, the moral of the story here is to let things come in time. Trust your gut when you feel comfortable and don't ever let anyone force you into telling them anything.