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Thread: obsessive thoughts

  1. #1

    obsessive thoughts

    Hi all,

    my first post to this forum, so forgive me if I make any mistakes. Just wanted to seek some advice on this.

    I'm currently with a wonderful man (although now we're in the middle of a fight about this issue, which has me unsure if we're still technically dating) and he's 9 years older than me, which has never bothered me. Because of our age difference, he has had a lot more sexual partners than I have, almost all casual/one-night stands. I also personally have never believed in one-night stands and never engaged in them despite opportunities to do so in the past.

    Lately I have been having intrusive thoughts about his past, with worries that he preferred to be with those women, that I am not as good as they were, that he would crave for some activities he did in the past that I would not be willing to do, amongst many other thoughts. Some judgemental and that label him (which I hate thinking about, because he is genuinely a kind, loyal and trusting person). His past should stay in the past, and I know I should take comfort in the fact that he has never misled anyone before or never made them think he had feelings for them when all he wanted was to have sex, but for some reason trying to rationalise it only makes me feel worse.

    Given my age and social circle, I also don't know a single person who has as high a bodycount as he does, or who has engaged in as many adventurous things sexually. I think that is also what makes it harder for me to rationalise these thoughts.

    It has come to the point where I am seriously questioning if our values are incompatible or if it is a problem within me. I feel that if I was with a partner closer to my age and with slightly more similar values, that I wouldn't have these thoughts, but I have done enough reading up on retroactive jealousy to know that that is unlikely.

    Any advice on how to overcome this would be greatly appreciated. Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Cloud Nine
    How long have you been dating? Never let someone talk you into sexual activities you are not comfortable with no matter how much they brag about 'all the others' who did this, that and the other with him. It's manipulative for him to give you all this TMI and hope you try to compete by doing what he wants.

    Agree that someone less promiscuous and more compatible would be a better fit. This is not 'retroactive jealousy' this is an ick factor for you personally that you need to pay attention to. If anything get tested for STDs.

    Rationalizing is 'making you feel worse' because you are trying to override common sense and your gut instincts. There is no such thing as 'being judgmental' in dating. Dating is not an employment opportunity or social work. Using good judgement to make appropriate dating/relationship choices means you are wise and mature enough to make sound choices.
    Originally Posted by heartzalot
    that he would crave for some activities he did in the past that I would not be willing to do, amongst many other thoughts.

    for some reason trying to rationalise it only makes me feel worse.

    I also don't know a single person who has as high a bodycount as he does, or who has engaged in as many adventurous things sexually.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    It appears both of you are incompatible. There are insecurities on your part and good for you for recognizing them. On the other hand, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself! You are perfectly entitled to have opinions about sex, dating and lifestyle choices.

    I see it from his pov and also from yours.

    Keep being you and don't second guess yourself so much. I'm curious if he's volunteering his previous relationships or sexcapades, by the way. Is he oversharing or are you asking a lot of questions?

  4. #4
    Bronze Member FairyGodmother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Insecurity is, unfortunately, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Acting out of our insecurities can push our partner away.

    I like analogies because they help me understand situations differently, so maybe think of it this way:

    Let's pretend you're a vegetarian and you always have been. And let's pretend your partner is a vegetarian, but he only became one when he started dating you. Before that, he ate meat. Okay, so there's no real problem at this point in time because you both share the same values which is that you're vegetarian (ie you're only dating each other). But now, you're getting upset at him because he used to eat meat (ie engage in casual sex and one night stands). He can't undo that, right, it's already been done. And he isn't doing it right now either - he stopped doing it when chose you.

    So I guess what you have to ask yourself is what do you get from being upset by this? It sounds like you may have already alienated him, because you're not sure you're still dating. And that was the exact opposite of what you wanted, which - correct me if I'm wrong - seems like it was reassurance that he enjoys being with you and doesn't want to be with anyone else.

    The problem is that your thinking has very little to do with him, and more to do with you. I would suggest trying to improve your self-confidence, and I am a big fan of cognitive behavioural therapy. You need to arm yourself with some mental "tools", so that when these intrusive thoughts come up you can tell yourself "I am equally as good as any of the women from his past. He prefers to be with me, and that is why he is with me and not them. I may not do the same sexual activities those women did in the past, but I provide lots of other benefits to the relationship that are equally as important and that is why he chose me."


  6. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I would consider whether this has to do with self confidence or incompatible values. I dated two men who'd each had multiple partners including many casual encounters/one night stands and they felt comfortable with their pasts. I didn't. For two reasons - values I held about sexual activity and the practical issue of high risk behavior and potential STDs etc . I did not worry about not being good enough in bed (I only had sex with one of them, not a casual or one night stand) nor did I think it made either of them more likely to cheat. It simply was a matter of incompatible values for a potential long term relationship. I had no issue with being friends with people who had casual/consensual sex whie single but getting involved in a serious LTR was another matter.

    If your obsessive thoughts are telling you there is a gut level values incompatibility here that's one thing but if it's about comparing yourself I would work on that sooner rather than later because you don't want it to expand to even more comparisons. We all have pasts especially as adults so if you get involved with someone and you're not that person's first love you might start worrying about whether you measure up to that person - normal worrying is one thing -obsessive thoughts is another.

    I would want to know how he feels about his past choices and whether know your values align.


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