How Many Boyfriends Have You Had? (Answered)

Happy couple

This is a question girls and women get asked many times and there’s never a good answer.

Unless it’s a friend asking because they want to compare themselves to you. It’s nearly always asked by others wanting to form an opinion of you.

So what do you say? If you ask what do you expect to be told? How many have you had? And what is the definition of a boyfriend? In this article I answer every question you may have.

How many boyfriends have you had?

Some women may have had many while others none. What some people call a boyfriend others wouldn’t so it’s difficult to get a actual figure. Any number given may be influenced by who’s asking and in what context. The actual amount doesn’t define who you are.

What is the definition of a boyfriend?

What someone defines as a boyfriend may be very different from someone else. A friend might say they’ve had 3 boyfriends in their life. But they don’t count boyfriends they haven’t kissed or when it’s not been official.

When does a series of dates become calling yourselves boyfriend and girlfriend? And even if you did, do you count that in the numbers you tell people as maybe it didn’t last very long or was a quick mistake.

One response on Reddit was a 28 year old who married her only real long term boyfriend. But “fooled around” with 7 “dudes”. So she says she’s only had one boyfriend whereas as another woman may count those 7 in their number.

The consensus appears to be sexual partners don’t count. Or do they? For some they’re interlinked. For this reason whoever you ask you’ll never get the true number. Society says women should be very selective and not promiscuous.

Therefore, a lower number is generally favorable to most so that’s what you’ll be told. It’s a private question you can often be asked by someone who knows you very little. A question you don’t have to answer.

There are many names for women who people perceive as having too many boyfriends. Reputations can suffer and this can cause difficulties in her community. Always be cautious with this information.

What to say if you’re asked and by whom

Let’s say you know someone quite well, and they want to know. They expect an answer so what do you say?

It often depends on who’s asking, why and in what situation you’re in. Let’s face it, the interest is rarely positive. It’s not someone asking what you think of something, they’re asking a personal question.

I’ve looked here at who may be asking and what kind of response they’re likely to get:


If a female friend is asking, they might be concerned about their own number and how they compare to you. Perhaps they look up to you or see you a certain way and are interested.

Of course this might not be asked in a good way. There could be an ulterior motive, and they’re trying to judge you and see what sort of person you are.

This is especially the case with any male friends who can use the information in a variety of ways.


A date is someone you don’t know very well who you’re seeing if they have the potential to become a boyfriend. They often ask as though the answer doesn’t mean anything, but it does.

No date wants to think they’re dating a girl who’s had many boyfriends. They could feel like they’re just another one on the list.

Therefore, don’t say any number at all, just say not many and leave it at that. This way you’re both happy and you can move onto getting to know each other.


A boyfriend is probably not going to accept an answer such as “not many”. They may not have asked when you were dating but are now interested further on in the relationship.

It’s still someone you need to think about before answering. If you’ve had a lot then pick a small number and make an excuse why. Tell him you’ve been waiting for the right one.

If you’ve never had a boyfriend, you might choose to be honest and see what he thinks about it. Either way it’s a horrible question so best get it over with.


They may already know if you’ve introduced your boyfriends to them. A rite of passage for siblings as well as parents is to meet new boyfriends their daughters bring home.

The poor boyfriends must dread the experience, and there may have been a few to have come and gone. Parents only want the best for their children.

However, even they may not get an accurate figure. Daughters want their parents to see them in the best light possible.

Happy couple

How many boyfriends are too many?

There’s no real answer to this. But one way of looking is if it affects you, your behavior or your safety.

If you’ve had or met many and you’re yet to find someone you really like. Then you’ll stay with someone who makes you unhappy, this is not good.

You need to be more selective and be more patient before going on dates. Don’t take things so fast.

Also, if you’ve had many boyfriends or meet many men you don’t really know, you’re putting yourself at risk.

Not all men are safe to be around, some can be violent and try to put you in unsafe situations. Before calling someone a boyfriend, get to know them better.

If you’ve had many sexual partners, you risk your health too. Meeting men can become addictive and moderation or professional help may be needed.

Some women can have had many ex-boyfriends in a harmless way, but people don’t need to know about it. Just think about your safety first.

What if I’ve never had a boyfriend?

This is nothing to be embarrassed about and is not unusual. For some it has never been a priority in their life, while others are too picky. Maybe you don’t seem to attract men. What’s important is if it bothers you.

If you’re looking for a partner and you feel you’re at an age where you would like one. Then you need to think about what’s stopping this happening.

Your friends may be able to help you, as they would have heard you and observed you. They probably know exactly what’s causing it.

If they can’t help then a few sessions with a therapist may be able to shed some light on what you really think. And how it’s stopping you from finding someone.

Sometimes you need to be selfish to get what you want and not be so concerned about what other people think.

Don’t be too patient and let time pass. A boyfriend doesn’t need to be anything too serious and a few dates could really benefit you.

If men don’t go for you, then I suggest you work on your confidence and self esteem. Love yourself and men will find you attractive.

Finally, if you’re young, don’t compare yourself to others. If you’re only 18 or so there’s plenty of time for boyfriends.

How do you feel about your number?

Whatever it actually is, the thing is not to let it bother you. Like I said before, as long as you take care of yourself and your safety, that’s more important.

If you feel it’s too many and you still haven’t settled down, try going for other types of men and you may find more of a match.

Only you will ever know how many and no one else needs to. Everyone may have done things they’re ashamed of or not proud to admit.

Be sure to carry yourself with dignity and respect. Remember to keep private information about yourself private.

Remember when you ask other people, even friends, you’re not going to be told the right amount. It might be higher than yours, you’ll never really know.

What society thinks

Unfortunately, men can have many girlfriends and be looked upon admirably. Women would be looked upon as the lowest of the low.

Equality isn’t here today and probably never will be. The sexual revolution never really happened and probably never will.

Women are always expected to suppress themselves when it comes to sexual expression.

Even at a very young age, girls and women are expected to have as few boyfriends as possible.

In some country’s the situation is terrible. Some women are oppressed in the way they can behave and even what they can wear.

Fortunately, in most English speaking countries this isn’t the case. Women can live in a relatively free society, they can go out to work and be independent.

What really matters

Whether you’ve had too many or too few boyfriends, what matters is what you want to achieve and getting there.

Some women want to settle down and have children by a certain age. If that’s what you want, then finding the right man will be most important to you.

Make sure you do it because it’s what you really want. Not because your parents or society expect you to. If so, then a boyfriend will be the first stage.

No one expects you to find the right man in one go. You’re going to have a number of tries before you find the right one. For some it takes many and others not so.

That’s why I mentioned before, if you’re not finding the right man and you’re actively looking. Then do something pro-active about it.

Ultimately, if this will make you happy and content and it’s what you really want. Then that’s what really matters. Not some number for people to judge you on.

Emma Taylor

I'm a relationship expert with years of experience who's given advice to hundreds of people. I hope you've found some good advice here too.

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