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ss3117's avatar

How can I feel better about my girlfriend's past?

Asked by ss3117 (23points) August 25th, 2016

I’ve been with my girlfriend for almost two years now. She is beautiful, funny, kind, and just overall an amazing person who I’m very clearly in love with. There are times when it is very easy to get lost in my feelings for her, where nothing else in the world seems to matter – EXCEPT when her past relationship comes back into my mind. She was with her previous girlfriend for about two years, and it was the first girl she had been with.

Early on in our relationship she had described that it was this amazing, fireworks love that basically knocked her off her feet. Long story short, this girl suddenly broke things off with her after two years. We started dating only a few months after this occurred. Maybe a little under a year into our relationship she spoke to this girl (her ex had pretty much disappeared after they broke up) and was allegedly able to get some closure as to why the breakup happened. There are a lot more details to this part of the story, involving me being a little uncomfortable with her lingering feelings, and we actually got in some tough arguments about her ex. But time has passed since then, and our life and our love has progressed. To this day though, whenever her past relationship comes up (I can’t even remember why it came up last time – a few days ago) she always describes it in this way that it was this captivating, and exciting whirlwind romance. When she says this I can’t help but feel like she is comparing it to our relationship, and that I am either less exciting, or just more of a safe or secure choice. I’ve explained this to her, but she can sometimes be on the less understanding side, and instead gets defensive right away. All I know is that whenever I think about this I feel really insecure about our relationship. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do to try to make things more exciting, it still just never matches up to her past. We live together and are building our lives together, but I don’t want to feel like the safe choice, I want her to be excited about us.

Do you think I am overthinking this? Is there anything I can do to feel better about things? Thanks for taking the time to read!

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You have a choice – get past this, or break up with her. How you get past this is one of two ways: either tell her that if it continues, you will break up with her, or stop letting it bother you, and you don’t say anything about it ever again.

If that doesn’t work, then it is time to break it off.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It is a fact. Fireworks are spectacular. Why? Because they light up the sky with a bang! Wonderful!
But, the very thing that makes them great is the thing that prevents them from lasting: They burn out in an instant. Poof! and they are gone.

It is the controlled burn that keeps home and hearth (and heart) warm for the duration.
Where do you want to be?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yes I think you are overthinking it, and rerettably opening the door to unnecessary resentments. It’s a false and desperate road trying to top your sweetheart’s ex in this contest of your own invention. If your worst suscpicions are realized and your girlfriend does love her ex more than you, there isn’t much you can do about it but walk away. But from what I gather, this is a fear you’ve concocted from your own insecurity. You must master both and quickly. The alternative is certain misery.

ss3117's avatar

@LuckyGuy Thanks for the words of encouragement, it is much appreciated.

@zenvelo I think “stop letting it bother you” is easier said than done, I guess I’m looking for suggestions on how to do that. I’m having trouble making sense of my feelings, and how I can so quickly go from feeling deeply in love and safe, to feeling deeply insecure (something I had never until now really felt in any other aspect of life).

@stanleybmanly It is true that I need to figure things out, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not used to feeling this way so it’s a little tough for me to make sense of.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Who tends to bring it it, you or her?

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

The important question to have answered here (not by us, but by YOU) is, “How much of your insecurity and bad feeling have you communicated to your girlfriend about the way she describes the former relationship?”

That is, how much have you said – directly and in so many words “I feel ___ when you talk about you and her in this way.” Don’t make it indirect and get angry about other things – which we’ve all seen over and over. Don’t ascribe feelings for her that she has not expressed directly: “You obviously don’t feel the same about me,” unless she has said that in so many words. Don’t try to imagine that she’s damaged or fixated on that part of her life – unless she says that she is.

Obviously it bothers you; there’s hardly a human alive who wouldn’t be at least somewhat bothered by all of that. What’s important is how much of your “bothered feeling” have you expressed to her directly and only with regard to “your feelings”, and not something that she is doing or saying or maybe feeling herself?

LornaLove's avatar

I might have an odd answer, but I hope it helps. I always respect a person more when they speak highly of an ex. To me, that shows they make good decisions and are also willing to take some part of the blame for a break-up. If that makes sense?

It appears that she does talk to you bout the relationship, which means she isn’t hiding anything which is also a big plus.

Perhaps just lay your cards on the table, tell her that you appreciate her honesty, but does she find what you and her have together boring? Or, you could simply ask her what she finds special about your relationship, then grow on it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Overthinking, yes.

msh's avatar

The farther a person gets from a situation, the rosier the memory becomes. Hindsight is 20/20, also. Which one fits? It is a sticking point. Not hers, yours. She knows it. Know when you are being baited: if rosier times- “Boy, you really didn’t see that the a-hole would be such a calloused bitch later on, did you? How did you miss that coming? Or didn’t you wish to?”
If 20/20— “Hindsight usually points out little subtle signs that things weren’t going all that well. Are you feeling anxious that you won’t see those signs this time around? I’m not her. I’m better than that.” And a word- if someone wants to replay their past escapades like a movie reel, there is a big reason. Figure it out before too long. I hope it turns out as you truly wish it to. Take off any rose-colored glasses of your own if it begins to hurt you too much. Calm hearts to you both.

elbanditoroso's avatar

This is your problem, totally. Quit dwelling on it. Train yourself to not think about it. Otherwise it will eat you alive.

You cannot rewrite the past, and you cannot brainwash her with forgetfulness serum. At least some part of what she is today is based on who she was earlier.

So get a handle on it, yourself. Or move on. But everyone has a past.

rojo's avatar

Can you get over your insecurity? I think you will need to because there is a good chance you are going to encounter this in any and all romantic relationships you have. So, follow the advice of those above particularly that of @LornaLove.

Remember, you have been together for almost two years now. If she was unhappy I am sure you would know about it. She has chosen you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We all have an old flame in our history. As @msh, the fondness grows stronger over time. It isn’t reality, though.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Realize what she may think and say about you when you are long gone.
Look for someone who values “YOU” in such a way as to NOT talk about the one that got away.
Perhaps she is only with you in the iterm “until” her dream materializes.
Move on to someone who Loves you and devotes all her attentions to keeping both of you as a couple together and loving the present relationship.
If Not she will have to learn to let things go or let you go.
It ia not fair to you, you deserve a whole person not one who is half there.
Talk to a counsellor yourself for unbiased assistance.

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