My Boyfriend Doesn’t Know I’ve Had Relationships With Women

In my first year of college, I had two short-term romantic relationships with women, both of them older than me. It was fun to experiment, but I’ve only ever dated men outside of that. Before and after those relationships, I’ve exclusively dated men, which is why I’ve never mentioned my experiences with women to my boyfriend.

  1. It’s something that happened a long time ago. It’s been years since I dated a woman, so I don’t see the need to bring it up now. My boyfriend hasn’t told me about all of his sexual history either. I just think that it’s best to leave the past in the past, especially when it’s already been put to bed. Do I want to know about all the people my boyfriend has slept with? Hell no! I take him for the man he is now, and I want him to do the same with me.
  2. I’m not sure how to label my sexuality so I’d rather not bring it up. We live in a world with dozens of labels for sexuality. I honestly don’t know where I fit on the spectrum. I’m afraid that if I tell my boyfriend about my relationships, then he’ll ask me what I am. How can I talk about it when I don’t know how to label it? I’m not embarrassed about my relationships with women, they just fall in this weird period of my life when I was experimenting. I’m pretty sure they were a one-time thing, but I don’t know what to call that so I’d rather not bring it up.
  3. It doesn’t have any bearing on the life I want to have moving forward. This is a big one for me. Outside of the two short relationships I had, I’ve never considered dating another woman. I’ve been physically attracted to them, but I’ve never wanted to take that next step. Why should I bring up something that is irrelevant to who I am now and where I want my life to go?
  4. I don’t want him to think I was false advertising. Yes, I did keep a small part of my past hidden from my boyfriend, but I feel that it has minimal bearing on the person I am now. I was seriously immature in college, and it was my experiences and relationships after that helped me grow. The woman I was in college is not the woman my boyfriend met, so I didn’t feel the need to tell him about her.
  5. I don’t want to put a rift between us. While my boyfriend is progressive, he’s also religious. It’s that part of him I worry about. I know what his religion says about same-sex relationships. I don’t want to put us in a tight spot where we disagree about something so profound. I know you may wonder what will happen when we have kids that might turn out gay. To be honest, I feel like we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I don’t want to introduce the topic now.
  6. I don’t want our friends to know. If I told my boyfriend about my relationships with women, he’d tell his closest friends. My boyfriend and I have a tight-knit group of friends and it would only be a matter of time before the tea got spilled. I have no interest in discussing my past with everyone we know.
  7. I don’t want our sex life to change. I have had sex with women and enjoyed it. I’ve also had sex with men and enjoyed it. I have no interest in bringing those two worlds together. I worry that if I tell my boyfriend I’ve been with women, he’ll start pushing for a threesome or for us to introduce toys to the bedroom. I like our vanilla sex just fine, thank you, and I genuinely believe that not spicing things up can keep a relationship going for much longer.
  8. I don’t want to change a thing about our relationship. People often say that they love a person no matter what. I don’t think that my boyfriend would leave me if I told him about my same-sex relationships but I do believe that it would add another, unnecessary layer to our relationship. Things with my boyfriend are perfectly fine so I have no interest in introducing another layer—not when I’m not 100% sure what effect it might have.
  9. I have a right to have secrets. In a way, this is what it comes down to. Every human being has a right to keep certain things to themselves. I’m not ashamed of my relationships with women, but I also understand that revealing them will complicate my life, possibly in a negative way. Everyone has secrets, good or bad. I guess this is mine.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.