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Can't stop obsessing about her ex


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So I've been dating the most amazing girl for about 6mths, and it's by far the most wonderful, healthy, happy relationship of my life. I'm so in love with her, she's amazing. But I'm terrified that my stupid intrusive thoughts and obsessiveness are going to ruin everything. Right now it's manifesting itself in my constant obsessive thoughts about her ex.


The woman she was dating before me was in her late thirties (we're both in our early twenties), and is an esteemed and successful poet/academic. They were together for two years, but it was a turbulent and rocky relationship (completely unlike ours) driven by lust/passion, and at times bordering on abusive. Being with this woman made my gf really unhappy. She understandably doesn't like talking about it in great detail, but I find myself clinging to every detail she tells me with a kind of morbid fascination.


I *know* my girlfriend is telling the truth when she says she now can't stand the sight of this woman, and yet I can't stop thinking that she must have been smarter and more exciting and interesting than me. That she was more educated and probably better in bed, and ultimately that their love was deeper and more legitimate than ours.


I've even started to think she looks a bit like me, when actually she probably doesn't at all. How do I stop myself from obsessing, and perceiving myself as some inferior rebound from this other woman when I *know* it's completely groundless and irrational?


I don't know if I should bring it up with my gf because I know the problem is 10000% in my head and my own insecurities. I know how the conversation would go: she would tell me over and over the reality of the situation (that her ex was awful, she's much happier with me etc etc) which wouldn't make me feel any better, and would probably stress her out/make her feel guilty. I just need to put the brakes on the intrusive thoughts I keep having, but I don't know how.

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Your girlfriend obviously sees a lot more in you than she did in her ex. That relationship evidently had a negative impact on her, and with that, a person learns a lot of things and takes a lot from that. like new standards for a future partner, some general expectations in said partner, such as her needs getting met and that she be respected. she had the opposite of this in her previous relationship hence why she's hurt and hesitant of the subject. she loves you and appreciates you and all that you have to offer. It's not uncommon to feel inferior to an ex, but if you were a rebound, she'd most likely be talking about this woman often. negatively or not, she'd express thoughts of her and you'd know if she was still hung up on her. this woman played a part in her life but now it's your time and you both sound fulfilled. enjoy that, enjoy her, enjoy each other and leave this woman in the past. wish you the best!

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  • 2 weeks later...



First, good call not bringing it up to your chick. No matter how inferior you feel compared to Brand X; no matter how pathetically you fixate upon what those two had and how you compare; don't ever, ever let your chick see you sweat about it.


Second, is your girl really over the ex? How long ago did they break up? How long have you two been together? If she admits that she "can't stand the sight" of her ex, that means that there are still lingering feelings. Hate is not the opposite of hate -- indifference is. Love and hate are Appalachia-level close first cousins. Though you shouldn't give any indication that you are feeling inferior, I recommend that you ask your girlfriend straight up -- not in a mopey or fearful way; but with conviction and maturity -- "are you over your ex?" Feel it out. It sounds like she isn't totally over it -- but that's not necessarily a problem. You can be mentally and rationally committed to the notion that you and an ex are undoubtedly not a good match and that it isn't meant to be, yet still have less conscious, more visceral emotional bugs that simply aren't all the way cleared out yet.


The trick is to figure out if she's hanging on because deep down she wants to get back with her ex, or if it really is over and she just needs a little more time to totally reach an emotionally neutral state. If you guys have a good connection and communicate well, and she's a with-it female, you should know where you stand by having said conversation. If she seems over it, but in a month or whatever, seems to not have moved on much and that the same issues remain, it may be time to reevaluate your situation.


In the meantime, you need to blow her mind. Instead of focusing on how that other girl has you beat (or you think she has you beat), swing hard at the things that you have that the ex doesn't. Drench your girlfriend in a confident exemplification of what's awesome about you and why she chose you. Lever your youth and virility -- ex can never outdo you on that. And if you feel that one of the big draws for your girlfriend to her ex was the intensity of borderline DV-rap neurotic passion and wildness -- blow her goddamn mind. Be spontaneous and unpredictable. Get primal. Rough her up (consentually of course) in bed and create a sexual and passionate energy that makes her say, "holy ," in which you completely usurp the incumbent and plant a flag in that sh*t. Take it.


- SL

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