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So You Think You're An Adult: 'My boyfriend keeps asking me about my exes'

On this week's So You Think You're An Adult, a listener wants advice about a boyfriend who keeps ...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.33 29 Aug 2021


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So You Think You're An Adult:...

So You Think You're An Adult: 'My boyfriend keeps asking me about my exes'

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.33 29 Aug 2021


Share this article


On this week's So You Think You're An Adult, a listener wants advice about a boyfriend who keeps asking about previous relationships.

This week, Amanda Brunker and Declan Buckley joined Moncrieff to give advice to this listener and others.

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So You Think You're An Adult: 'My boyfriend keeps asking me about my exes'

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The dilemma

"I have been with my boyfriend for three years. We have a very loving committed relationship. Yet I notice he has a lot of anxiety around performance in the bedroom.

"We’re in our early 30s. He came out in his late 20s so he feels that he doesn’t have a lot of experience in comparison to me and I think it’s starting to impact us negatively. He has also regularly started asking me in detail about my exes and previous relationships.

"I’m not very comfortable with talking about the past but he insists. I don’t know what to do. Is this a self-esteem issue on his part? How do I help him feel less anxious?"

Declan's advice

"It might just be that the boyfriend who he is writing about has that kind of personality - he's just nervous about things.

"I do think the low self-esteem estimation is probably accurate.

"Just because the manifestation of the issue is in the bedroom, it doesn't mean that's the cause of the issue.

"Relationships are more than just sex. I think it's a bit strange that the boyfriend is so fixated on your previous partners, but I do wonder whether or not it's your reluctance to talk to that is causing this weird [tension].

"Openness is important in relationships. Maybe if the guy who wrote in doesn't want to answer the questions, maybe he needs to find out why the question is being asked.

"I was wondering whether this curiosity about other people wasn't so much performance-related as curiosity about actually having sex with other people.

"This person who came out late...  maybe he's wondering about where the boundaries are in your relationship.

"There are a lot of ways people negotiate the territories of their relationship. Just be aware of that."

Amanda's advice

"Talking about exes is never a good plan, especially talking about how they performed in the bedroom. Nobody wants to know 'my last partner was a stallion'.

"You have to remember, we're still in a pandemic zone. Anyone who has a slightly anxious temperament anyway... this is going to be heightened now. A lot more people are getting nervous, and they don't really realise why they're nervousness.

"Life has been quite difficult for people - it could be absolutely nothing to do with sex. It could be they're just a bit stressed out with life in general.

"You are going to have to tread carefully and be really sensitive to this person's feelings.

"I have found it definitely helps... if you make your partner feel great about themselves. If you need to start saying things like 'you were wonderful' even when they weren't wonderful... it could work."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Daniel Bockwoldt/DPA/PA Images

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