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A 5 year previous relationship

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I need to vent. I don’t know why I feel this way. I met this woman on social media and we hit it off, started talking and then dating (still a bit recent). We live in different countries. When we were talking, before we actually started dating… for some reason I always felt uncomfortable asking about her past dating/sex life and she wouldn’t touch the subject voluntarily either. Since I had been to her profile before, I saw some old photos she had posted (2-3 years ago) where she was really close with this guy (never kissing though) so I assumed he had been her bf at some point.

Fast forward a bit. We started a playlist together (and she made me another one too) that I cherished and loved thinking it was something unique and just ours, and then I found out on her Spotify that she had also shared playlists with him before and most of the songs she was sharing with me she had done it with him. I was crushed that day because I thought it was just something ours, you know? I know it was stupid of me to feel this way. And since she never touched the subject or that relationship, I was frustrated because I was waiting for her to open up on her time without me having to ask questions or pressuring her… so after some stalking on her accs, I started making a timeline and figured out that they must’ve dated for two years or something. How wrong I was. Two days after she finally ended up opening up alone, she was the one who touched the subject of her ex… and told me they had dated for five years.

That they had been best friends since highschool and started dating when they went to college (despite going to different ones). She vented about how he was the one breaking up because he told her he didn’t feel anything anymore. The way she talked, it was very clear to me she loved him very much and that it was serious, she didn’t want him to break up and was extremely crushed/destroyed to the point of taking 2 years just to get over seeing him because everything around her reminded her of him. I was trying to be supportive and just listening and being there for her but on the inside I was crushed and only felt like crying. I couldn’t stand the fact she had been with someone for so long – almost a 7 or 8 year relationship with this guy… that was serious! Especially when I thought about how inexperienced I am, she’s my first on everything and I’m not for her. I have never had a relationship (esp not one so long and serious) which makes me feel like I'm at a "disadvantage" when compared to her… and I know, it's not a competition, but I feel like if I had one and wasn’t so inexperienced, I probably would cope with the jealousy better. It’s an insecurity of mine, my inexperience. And I know it’s stupid because she doesn’t care about it, but I do.

Continuing to what she was telling me, I realized she loved this guy so much to the point of telling him they couldn’t even be friends anymore (which I’m glad she did bc I wouldn’t stand it if he was still actively in her life, even though they have a really big circle of friends in common). She said they used to spend the weekends together and from some photos she posted, they used to travel a lot together too… and most of these things she didn’t even tell me (at least not yet). I feel like she tried to downplay a lot what she felt for him or what they had together to not make me feel bad when the reality is that she probably thought she’d marry this guy and build a family with him. She tried to downplay it yes, but the way she sounded when she was telling me all that was like nothing would ever compare to what they had.

From her account that day she made it clear in her tone and in how she said things sometimes that if it depended on her they’d still be together today. I feel like she didn’t really get over it no matter how much she tried to pretend she did and that she was ok now. She also didn’t even take the photos with him down her social or deleted their playlists (which she didn’t need to do for me, I’m just pointing it out why I think she really hasn’t gotten over the whole situation like she said she did) and I know she still holds onto several other photos and memories of them together as a couple. It normally wouldn’t bother me if I was 100% sure she was over it or if she didn’t mention him with such fondness.

I could see it’s something that still hurts her very deep and I just can’t think about someone else touching her or spending time with her, doing little things and having that intimacy. I knew she probably wasn’t a virgin… but having the confirmation that she had a 5 year relationship… I can’t stop thinking about all the intimacy they shared, the sex, everything. I try to resist any urge to ask about details of their relationship or their sex life because it’s in the past, that’s what I try to tell myself. That she isn’t with him anymore, that she chose me, she likes me and wants to be with me now. I just can’t stand the thought she once loved someone else to that point. It’s really hard for me. And I guess what triggered me today to feel it that badly was the fact we were talking on the phone and I made a stupid question like ‘have you ever slept naked before’ and her answer was ‘wait… hm, on my own? Then no’… meaning she had at some point (of course with him). I just wanted to cry and throw up after that. Especially because we also do sext a lot… and I can’t keep thinking what else she’s done with him that she’s doing with me? Did she moan for him like that too? Did she used to tell him these things she tells me and that I thought were special? So yeah, whenever those thoughts come in, I go into a total misery spiral internally, you know when your stomach just drops, throat closes and tears come to your eyes?

I do consider myself a rational person and it infuriates me when I start feeling jealousy like that for her past experiences when she didn’t even knew I existed, but I just can’t help it. I know it’s wrong and stupid. I also want to know everything about her… and her past (and him, unfortunately) are part of her life and part of who she is right now, so that’s why I feel like not knowing anything of what happened is worse for me, because I do want to know. I don’t want to ask invasive questions despite wanting to know about her past, but I still feel like I wouldn’t be okay always wondering about things – and she doesn’t give many details. It sucks to think that she’s keeping the private details of things she's done with him between them because she still cherishes them and think they belong only to them. And rationally, I know they do. But for us to work too, I don’t think we can have true intimacy if I don’t know these things by sweeping them under the rug. I want to know and understand her completely, I want that level of intimacy for us.

And it’s not that I blame her for having had a serious relationship or for having had sex with another guy for so long. I just feel crushed that she shared so much of herself, her life and intimacy with someone like that. And on a real relationship, when we’re just long distance at least for now. Imagining her being intimate with someone else… it’s crushing. I think it’s more about the level of intimacy for me. I can’t get these thoughts to stop and they suffocate me sometimes. I don’t want to destroy my relationship with her and I don’t know what to do to help me not have these thoughts/feelings. I’m doing my best to not let them affect me so much, to deal with them on my own. I feel like I’m judging her for a past she has no fault about, and I don’t want to be someone like that. Thanks to anyone who got this far.

Edited by a LoveShack.org Moderator
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To clarify, you have never met her in person? 

Kindly, this isn't really about her having had a boyfriend before. It's abouot your own deep insecurities. Knowing every detail about her past relationship is not going to help you, nor is it approrpiate. She is entitled to her privacy, and this is going to be an important lesson in boundaries for you. You need to worry less about what she did with him, and more about why you feel so inferior as a cosequence. 

3 hours ago, Raven96 said:

I can’t keep thinking what else she’s done with him that she’s doing with me?

To be very blunt, yes, probably - and a lot more. She was with him for years and it was not an online relationship, so you can safely assume they explored all avenues of intimacy . That's what couples do, Raven. You are going to have to find constructive ways to cope with this (that do not involve digging into her past) if you hope to have a healthy relationship, but it starts with your own self-worth. 

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I'm sorry you're going through this right now.   What you are feeling is called Retractive Jealousy and Dr Google says it's got it's roots in OCD.   You're in a bad place where not knowing what they did is causing you distress, but conversely, finding out what they did will also cause you distress.   

I could ramble on about your thoughts being illogical, but you already know that. And it's GOOD that you know it.   Rather than trying to deal with this on your own, I suggest you find a psychologist who has experience in OCD or compulsive thoughts to help you get through it.  After all, even if things don't work out with this woman, it will still be an issue with the next one.

I can't help but wonder if the fact that this is long distance is making it worse.  Thing is, you can't be creating your own new memories if you're not doing fun stuff together.  Is she close enough that you can see each other on a semi regular basis, spending long weekends with each other?   And if wall works out well, what are the longer term plans for the two of you to be together?

Edited by basil67
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I've had that feeling from time to time about various girlfriends, when they mention something about a prior boyfriend. I can get a little tweaked knowing that he was um "in there" before me, and I might ponder some special moments they had together and feel like they're sort of competition. My new girlfriend of 3 months was with her second husband 14 years, she still speaks fondly of him, and while I'm happy for her that things ended well, and he set her up well financially and still gives her good advice about investments, it does make me a bit uneasy at times when she talks about him, but perhaps that's more of a present day thing than the past to which you're referring.

Anyway I get past it because I realize that hey, I have her NOW, and she's really into me and loves ME, and our feelings grow stronger every day while her feelings for this guy gradually fade. He lives in another country now but he was in this country recently, she met him for a brief lunch- she told me he had gotten older and is not in great shape, the 10 year age difference really started to show and it reminded her of why they grew apart in the first place. It was good to hear..

But anyway I get your point. You've got a few more hurdles. I've had 2 long relationships, a 10 year live together and an 18 year marriage plus a half a dozen 1-2 year runs. So I've got my own history to sort of bolster me whereas you have none.

The biggest hurdle is the distance between you, so you've got very little control over the situation. I'd be more concerned that she'd meet a guy locally who would have a lot more effect on her than you ever could.

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I say your feelings are normal because that's what happens when we fall in love...we get jealous, insecure, etc, especially when it's long distance. You have to learn to dismiss these feelings and learn to have some empathy for her. All through your post it's me me me me, me this, me that, me hurt, etc. Let it go. Feel sorry for her. What she has gone through must have been so terrible. Her heart ache, her being rejected, how it will forever alter her life, all the plans she had are all gone. She's getting past that or at least is working on it to go forward. Focus on being that person that will make her happy...is that too much to ask? Oh and stop stalking her social media, that's just plan wrong. Give the lady a break.

Edited by smackie9
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