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amandalove's avatar

What is the psychological background behind this situation?

Asked by amandalove (13points) January 24th, 2019

I have always wondered why when a man talks to his girlfriend about a girl he kind of dated before her, and maybe he has mention this girl a couple of times to his real girlfriend, then this creates a huge mystery surrounding this past girl he dated and a big curiosity for his real girlfriend to know more about this past girl he went out with.

Why does the girlfriend feel the need to see who the girl is, if she is pretty, hotter or more beautiful than her, it creates like an obsession, I have come across this so many times, it happened to me in the past as well, but I have always wondered, why does it create so much interest and curiosity to know who this past girl was and what she looks like and to even compare yourself to her, like if you needed to know everything about her, just cause she went out with the boyfriend in the past.

Is there some logical/psychological explanation to this or is it just based on insecurity due to the boyfriend mentioning this past girl and somehow this can create some sort of effect in the real girlfriend to find out and even compare herself to this past girl, even if it was nothing serious between them.

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17 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s a shit test. The boyfriend wants to see if you’re a jealous/insecure person. If you must know what the past girlfriend was like it either means that you are insecure or you want more insight into your partner. Usually it’s insecurity.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

^^^ Spot on. Your partner is testing the water to see if you’ll take this kind of shit (and worse) in the future. If not, the relationship has no future, from his POV.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dutchess_lll Um, no. He want’s to see if you’re mentally stable not that “you’ll take shit” @Dutchess_lll Just when I think you may be ok upstairs I can see the trauma in your past and your f’ed up view of men. GO SEE A COUNSELOR.

@amandalove An insecure partner will never trust you and that causes multiple problems. Insecurity is a major red flag in a relationship. Trust is key in making relationships work.

seawulf575's avatar

It might be nothing more than immaturity with the boyfriend. If he is young and hasn’t had a lot of girlfriends he might be merely tactless by talking about a previous one. He might just be telling anecdotes about his past and she just happens to be in them. But he might not be recognizing how it is coming across to you. He is, after all, a guy. We aren’t always the most tactful creatures in the universe.
Your best answer? Ask him. Next time he brings her up, ask him why. Does he still have a thing for her? Is he suggesting things he liked about her that he wants you to emulate? You don’t have to be nasty about it, just curious.

zenvelo's avatar

I am more in line with @seawulf575‘s thinking on why some boys do this; it is an attempt at explaining why one is single at a given time, or that one is worthy of dating because you experienced having a relationship before.

But it is also a common advice point on dating apps and in singles advice “don’t bring up or discuss your ex or exes”. A secure woman will think, “He isn’t over her yet”; an insecure woman will compare herself to the ex.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or he could be obliquely bragging about his sexual prowess.

@ARE_you_kidding_me, you’re joking, right? Abusers send subtle signals from the beginning of the relationship to see if you’re willing to put up with future abuse. If a woman chooses to ignore the signals, or makes excuses, then he draws her in further and starts stepping up the abuse.

I went on a date with this one guy once, and he sent out weird vibes so I was out of there. About 6 months later I heard he shot himself in front of his girlfriend saying, “This is how much I love you,” just before he shot himself.

I myself have never been in an abusive relationship because I wouldn’t put up with it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

In my experience, men do it to make the current girlfriend jealous. Not testing her or anything, they just don’t think about it, or think the current wants to know about the ex, which they often do.

I also know one man who has a martyr complex and always tells the new one that his old one was the ‘love of his life’. I’ve known him since I was 20 years old and when I heard he did this to his wife, too, I told him my honest opinion and he didn’t like it. He’s very needy and somewhat cruel, to fulfill his emotional and psychological needs by making women who love him depressed, upset and overcompensating. I love the guy, but he’s messed up.

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longgone's avatar

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Inspired_2write's avatar

It depends on how soon the breakup was and if he is ready for another relationship?
I would NOT be curious as to what his ex was like at all , its in the past and now you are in a relationship with him in the present.
Sometimes they are not ready for another relationship and get involved in another hoping to forget about the ex..this doesn’t work until the boyfriend is willing to take responsibility for the breakup as well and to change his behavior in a more positive way.
Otherwise he is destined to repeat his mistakes in all other relationships then on.
Perhaps time without relationships is better for them to understand fully what went wrong in the last one and why.
Pay attention to how he talks about his ex..anger or emotional..he is not ready for another one.
Everybody has been hurt in past relationships but some do not get over it while others learn to. Mentioning it once or twice to get it off his chest is understandable but to carry on talking after that is uncomfortable for the new relationship and one should tell him that.

amandalove's avatar

@Inspired_2write The funny thing is that she is not an even an ex, they did not have a relationship. they were going out, getting to know each other but that is it, maybe he idealized her so much, that he was left with the desire to be in a relationship with her, but she was not so sure about him, or was seeing somebody else. He told me everything that happened with them, and how everything evolve but I don’t think he actually told me everything completely.

Maybe something else was going on with her and he found out. My boyfriend is the type of man that has a very strong bond with his mother, he tells her everything, and if she tells him something I pretty much think he will listen to her and do it, and he told me that his mom did not like this girl at all, like she could not stand her, and they only talked on the phone, they never even met.

I do get along with his mom and I asked her about this girl, like if she knew about her and she said that yeah but they never had a relationship or anything, and that they are a very close family and they are different and that this girl was very voluble. but she did not care talking about this girl. cause she did not tell me much, I guess is because they did not even have something serious, it’s not so important to her.

I wonder what she meant with voluble?

answerbag's avatar

Jealousy: you need to prevent yourself for not end up as an ex.
About your situation: It can be jealousy, afterward curiosity. It because we need to understand things better to feel safe—though some people have more desire to understand things, and so they can be a little too much curious.

And voluble can be someone talkative or easy to understand because she is too good with words. Tell me the context… =)

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