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Retroactive jealousy


Zimmermann
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Hello all,

 

So, I am suffering from retroactive jealousy, and i feel like it's messing up my head really bad right now.

 

To give you some background, I am 24 years old and have been dating this girl for about 9 months. She's two years older than me, 26. I had never experienced sex or romantic relationships, or dating of any kind before I met her. Our relationship has been very great, as in almost all RJ stories I have read.. And i really hope i could be happy with her.

 

So, now to the RJ part. In short, the things my girlfriend has told me she has done when she was younger disgust me and i do not know if i can get over it.

 

I never asked about her past when we started dating. However, as we started talking about sex after a few weeks of dating, some things came up. She told me that she has had her "wild times" and if had known what she was like when she was younger, i wouldnt want to be with her (i never asked specifically, but i think she referred to about ages 15-22). She told me that she experienced her first time at 17. She told me she was once pregnant (while in a relationship and despite using protection), but didnt end up having the baby due to various reasons (thats another stroy). I basically said that i can accept all this, which is how i actually felt at that time.

 

 

 

 

Later, I have also got the impression, based some things which she has "slipped" in our regular conversations, that she was a kind of cheap and easy girl to put it straight. She has also told me that she didn't have much dignity and was very prone to pleasing the person she was with and let herself be treated badly. My impression is that she has had many short relationships, one-night stands and that sort of things. I haven't asked how many persons she has been with, and I dont even want to know that. It's bothering me enough already. These are the things that bother me the most.

 

 

 

 

I havent actually asked any details about her sexual past except once. I asked how the relationship between her and the father of the baby ended. She told me that it was actually not a relationship, more like a friends with benefits sort of thing, where she wasn't respected. It was also revealed to me that she was 16 at the time, a year younger than when she first told me she had lost her virginity. So maybe it was just a small lie to not make me feel bad having been a virgin at 24, i dont know. I havent asked. However, the fact that she lied about that just makes me think she has done so many things she is ashamed of. Actually she has said that she wouldnt have done half the things she has if she could now decide. She has said she was a different person before. I believe her (her "wild" times are gone and she was in a relationship of 4 years before meeting me). But that kind of statement just makes me feel even more disgusted. I know that a should view a person as they are now, but i also believe that we are all a sum of the things we have done in our lives. Her past cannot be changed, but i dont know can i change the way i feel either.

 

 

 

 

I personally didnt have much of a "normal" social life let alone dating life until i met her because i was focusing 100 % on my studies and playing sports. I have been very succesfull in those areas so my "sacrifices" have paid off and i was very happy with my life and the choices i made even though i experienced loneliness sometimes. However, right now i have so many regrets that i havent been socially or sexually active earlier. I feel like i have missed out on a lot, which is how i would feel even without all this RJ thing. However, i regocnize that i feel the regret partly because i dont have anything to "compensate" for the things she has done and experienced. I feel like the regret and RJ are feeding each other and i feel really bad right now. The pain is like nothing i have ever experienced.

 

 

 

 

Im soon turning 25 and there is still time to gain some more sexual experience. I know this idea doesnt make any sense because i would like to be with her and im not the kind of person who would go on to have one night stands etc just for the sake of having them. She loves me in way i think no one else ever could. I just dont know if i can genuinly love her. However, i fear that if i cant get over my RJ or our relationship fails for some other reason, i would regret not going for something else when i still had the chance.

 

 

 

 

Is there some advice anyone could give me regarding any of the things i have written? I would deeply appreciate any help, thoughts and comments. I would like to hear anyones honest opinion on how i should view all this and what i should do. I have already set up a meeting to begin some sort of therapy. Im also wondering should i tell my gf about my condition. She has told me i can tall to her about anything and maybe she could help me. I just dont want to make her feel bad about anything. Im also thinking should i just ask her straight about her bodycount. I know i maybe wouldnt like the answer but what her real number was something i could accept. What do you think is an acceptable number?

 

Thank you everyone in advance!

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This isn't about some defect you have. it's about being with someone who lacks maturity, discretion, boundaries and simply goes on and on with TMI. Insecure people tend to do this. Unfortunately because of your lack of experience you don't know what to make of it and have as a result lost some respect for her.

 

Then you found the term "retroactive jealousy' and figured that must be the issue and you need therapy. You can get therapy if you want but you can also gain experience and realize some people are just not right for you.

I never asked about her past when we started dating. However, as we started talking about sex after a few weeks of dating, some things came up. She told me that she has had her "wild times" and if had known what she was like when she was younger, i wouldnt want to be with her (i never asked specifically, but i think she referred to about ages 15-22). She told me that she experienced her first time at 17. She told me she was once pregnant (while in a relationship and despite using protection), but didnt end up having the baby due to various reasons (thats another stroy). I basically said that i can accept all this, which is how i actually felt at that time.

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I don’t think this is entirely retroactive jealousy.

Stop googling!

 

This is simply you being a normal 24 year old not wanting to settle down yet.

But you are looking for reasons other that what it is.

 

But if it were RJ , how would you feel if you got into a relationship with a virgin and she was disgusted that you weren’t. ?

No one can change their past. What would you do?

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Imo, you are using RJ as an excuse to break up when in reality this is about you wanting to sow your wild oats. You knew going in that she was not a virgin. Her number didn't matter to you then but matters now? Imo, you need to break up but don't make her feel bad about her past. It's not the real issue here.

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By mid-20s almost everyone has a sexual past. Some of it might be "wild" but most people will not be insensitive enough to tell you all about it. If you are disgusted by this girl's past before she met you then it is likely you will feel the same about anyone else you meet too. If you feel the need to somehow "catch up" or score points by having one-night stands with random people then go for it, but I am not convinced it will make you any happier.

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Saying you have "Retroactive jealousy" points the finger at yourself, rather than at her, where it belongs.

 

She's oversharing because she can see that it makes you feel bad. You've even caught her in a lie, when she talked about her timeline of losing her virginity being later than when she actually got pregnant with her child. That's pretty blatant, and she told you this lie because she knows she can put one over on you.

 

Don't make yourself feel bad for this by feeling like you suffer some sort of retroactive jealousy. She's doing this because she wants you to feel jealous.....hey, look at me, I slept with all these guys before you even lost your virginity, nah nah nah nah nah.

 

Wipe yourself clean of this girl and find a nice girl who doesn't make you look up terms to use about yourself on the internet.

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I probably do agree that your girlfriend shouldn't be telling you so much stuff about her sexual past, especially as she knew you were a virgin before her and wouldn't have similar stories to contribute. But the rest of the comments I don't actually agree with.

 

The thing is that in today's society, if you're a young person in Western culture and you're not religious, it's basically considered perfectly normal to live this kind of life. I mean, I'm assuming she wasn't a prostitute or anything, but she just did things like one night stands and FWB? A lot of people I know had done that at that age, including me. Lots of my friends were on Tinder, which more or less a notorious hookup app. Every time I went to bars or night clubs, I had guys asking if I wanted to go to their place, same with online dating. I don't think your girlfriend is worse than anyone else.

 

No offence but at 24 in this day and age, I doubt you'd find someone else your age who is very inexperienced or a virgin. Our society is very different now and things like one night stands and FWB are VERY common. You may have even done those things yourself, since you're saying you wish that you had experienced all that. Just because you were a virgin doesn't make you better than her.

 

The past is called "the past" for a reason. It's gone and you can't change it. You can't change anything she did or the fact that you stayed a virgin at 24. If you truly like this girl then maybe you can find a way to move past all this? If it really bothers you then sure, you could break up and find someone else. But I just don't think you'd find that many girls in their mid twenties who have hardly been with any guys. It's actually very easy for women to get sex because men often proposition for it in bars, clubs, online. And we have a very sexual and casual hookup culture these days. So really I think you'd be looking for a needle in a haystack.

 

Regarding the pregnancy, if she was using condoms and there was an accident with a condom, that doesn't make her completely irresponsible. Also she was only 16 and people can easily make mistakes at that age. I can guarantee you that whatever the nature of the termination of pregnancy was, it would have been really traumatic for her.

 

I'm not sure if there is such a thing as "acceptable number" of people someone slept with. I think it just depends what someone finds acceptable. I'm 34 and I've had sex with maybe about 50 people. I didn't talk to my fiance about it that much but I did imply I've been with a large number of people and he doesn't care. If you have a problem with a certain number then I guess that's just your own opinion, everyone is different.

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Everyone has a past of course!

 

But let's face it, this girl's past goes beyond what most experience.

 

She was blatantly promiscuous in a very unhealthy and irresponsible way, she also LIED!

 

You have the "right" to be bothered by this, it points to her character no matter how young she was, and I think many, if not most, men would be bothered as well.

 

Also the fact she feels the need to share all this with you -- either she is self-sabotaging or attempting to provoke jealousy, the latter of which is apparently working.

 

I am not usually one to judge one's past, and some may even believe it's a double standard, that we as a society hold women to different sexual standards than we do men.

 

But nevertheless, you're entitled to feel however you feel without feeling guilt, deeming it some "defect" in yourself for not being ok with it.

 

You're young and inexperienced; my advice is to end it, date lots of women, gain experience , learn snd grow.

 

Eventually you will find a woman who is a better fit whom you can accept and cherish.

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Everyone has a past of course!

 

But let's face it, this girl's past goes beyond what most experience.

 

She was blatantly promiscuous in a very unhealthy and irresponsible way, she also LIED!

 

You have the "right" to be bothered by this, it points to her character no matter how young she was, and I think many, if not most, men would be bothered as well.

 

Also the fact she feels the need to share all this with you -- either she is self-sabotaging or attempting to provoke jealousy, the latter of which is apparently working.

 

I am not usually one to judge one's past, and some may even believe it's a double standard, that we as a society hold women to different sexual standards than we do men.

 

But nevertheless, you're entitled to feel however you feel without feeling guilt, deeming it some "defect" in yourself for not being ok with it.

 

You're young and inexperienced; my advice is to end it, date lots of women, gain experience , learn snd grow.

 

Eventually you will find a woman who is a better fit whom you can accept and cherish.

 

Yes that is the point, it IS a double standard! Also you ARE judging her past, that is just what you are doing. Do you not know how much many men sleep around? All you have to do is go on Tinder and you'll know. Most of my online dating experience was guys trying to get sex from me. Same with going to bars and night clubs. If anything, both men and women behave like this. But for some reason if it's a man nobody cares that much. Makes me really mad. Also I thought in this day and age having an FWB was perfectly normal? I didn't realise it was considered shameful? Exactly what has this girl done so much worse than anybody else? Also, even sleeping with a small number of people can lead to pregnancy if an accident happens. All the comments here are judgemental. And sexist. Because the OP is saying that he so badly wished he hadn't been a virgin and he'd done all this stuff etc. Because there also seems to be a stigma about men being a virgin by a certain age. If the roles were reversed in this relationship I bet nobody would think too much of it.

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Agree with Tinydance.

 

Nothing this woman has shared strikes me as anything she should feel ashamed about, and certainly nothing she should be judged for. There is nothing "disgusting" about her past.

 

Sure, the (over)sharing may be a bit clumsy, but all I see in that is a woman who is a little ashamed of her past—which sucks for her, and sucks that we still use a word like "promiscuous" in these cases—and is looking for someone to be cool with her so she can be cool with herself. Maybe not the ideal approach, but pretty common in young people who are still figuring out how to inhabit themselves with grace and acceptance—wherever they've been, whatever they've done to become who they are.

 

She's too much for you, OP, plain and simple. I suggest you chill with diagnoses like "retroactive jealousy" and simply move on to finding someone more your speed, someone you don't find "disgusting" and can accept for who she is. It's a beautiful feeling, that, both to give and receive. This is not the person for you to experience that with, so best to move on so you can both find someone better matched.

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Im soon turning 25 and there is still time to gain some more sexual experience. I know this idea doesnt make any sense because i would like to be with her and im not the kind of person who would go on to have one night stands etc just for the sake of having them. She loves me in way i think no one else ever could. I just dont know if i can genuinly love her. However, i fear that if i cant get over my RJ or our relationship fails for some other reason, i would regret not going for something else when i still had the chance.
Its not RJ you are experiencing its incompatibility.

 

You have different morals and sensibilities than her. She's got a different view of what is and isn't appropriate and your feelings on that incompatibility are quite normal. Just because she or we don't think that she should be ashamed of what she has done, it doesn't mean you should feel obligated to accept things that do not sit well with you. Loving her is secondary when you are not compatible sexually, morally etc.

 

You just have to decide if you trust that she has changed and will be able to happily remain monogamous with you for a lifetime or until the two of you end the relationship for other reasons, can you tear down your personal boundaries and sense of morals? Can you do that? If you can't then get yourself out of this relationship, heal and find a chica you will be happy to bring home to meet mom because she is more like you in personal sensibilities.

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Its not RJ you are experiencing its incompatibility.

 

You have different morals and sensibilities than her. She's got a different view of what is and isn't appropriate and your feelings on that incompatibility are quite normal. Just because she or we don't think that she should be ashamed of what she has done, it doesn't mean you should feel obligated to accept things that do not sit well with you. Loving her is secondary when you are not compatible sexually, morally etc.

 

You just have to decide if you trust that she has changed and will be able to happily remain monogamous with you for a lifetime or until the two of you end the relationship for other reasons, can you tear down your personal boundaries and sense of morals? Can you do that? If you can't then get yourself out of this relationship, heal and find a chica you will be happy to bring home to meet mom because she is more like you in personal sensibilities.

 

Well, this part I agree with, the values definitely have to be the same or similar regarding major things like sexual behaviours. My fiance and I are both pretty wild but if one of us wasn't, it might have been a problem.

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@Tiny Dance, yes I realize I was judging, which I normally don't do, or try not to, but yeah I am owning it, guilty as charged.

 

But nevertheless, the OP is still entitled to his own feelings about it; feelings are never right or wrong, they just "are."

 

It's what we choose to do with those feelings that's important.

 

He's not comfortable with her promiscuous past, her lying and her obsessive need to over-share, which is his right without being criticized or told he's "wrong" for having those feelings.

 

I wouldn't be comfortable with all that either if roles were flipped. I would end it and find a man who was a better fit for me, and I for him.

 

For me, the same standards I hold for women, I hold for men too, at least the men I choose to date and have relationships with.

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Always remember that a person's past has turned them in the person you fell in love with.

 

I don't think she's telling you all these stories to make you feel jealous. She's young, she might think she's just being honest. She'll grow up to find that her past is hers and hers only. She is not obligated to share it.

 

You have no right to ask for her "number". It's hers. If you feel that you need to see more people, but not out of insecurity, but for the experience, go for it. If you want to work it out with her, honestly, the one thing you need to understand is what I said in the beginning. Her past moulded her into the girl you fell in love with and noone can change the past.

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I agree that he's entitled to feel whatever he feels.

 

But the idea that she is a liar or maybe getting her age off by six months when she lost her virginity? That's a bit much. I know when I lost mine, who with, but I'm not sure if I was 16 or 17. Right around there, and all that was 20 some years ago—whatever.

 

I'm also not buying this idea that she is some obsessive ovesharer. They've been dating for nine months. In that time you generally learn a thing or two about the life someone has lived. With the right people, that stuff can be sweet. Here, it's not—no biggie, but no need to pull out the scarlet letters.

 

What's ironic to me here is that it seems like this woman has, yet again, met a man who doesn't treat her with dignity but instead objectifies her. He basically thinks his girlfriend is a sl*t, which sucks for both of them. Sucks that it seems she still self-identifies like that, since she's also young and, odds are, probably has a pretty tame and normal past in the grand history of human behavior. Hopefully she resolves that on her own, in time, but she's not getting any help on that path in this current relationship, just as OP isn't getting what he needs.

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When people have different moral guide lines it doesn't necessarily mean that he is not treating her with dignity or that he objectifies her or that he basically thinks she is a sl*t. It just means that they do not have the same ideals and sensibilities and therefore it is weighing on his own personal boundaries. I don't think it is helpful to make him feel guilty for what his basic ideals are. It seems unfair to me to judge him just while pointing out how she has been judged.

 

They are, at a base level, incompatible and that's okay that they have a different set of values. There is someone out there for both of them that matches up better to their way of doing and thinking.

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