Broken Up By My Past Sexual Relationships

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

A year ago a met the love of my life. I had been in a few failed relationships before him that all came down to immaturity from the male’s end and the fact that they weren’t ready to settle down like I was. I had been sexually active with these people, we were exclusive with each other. When I met my latest boyfriend I had honestly given up on guys, I am 23 but have always been very mature for my age and have never been the type of person to date someone just to pass the time. I’m in it for the long haul.

He was the answer to every single one of my prayers and then some that I had ever dreamed of in a man. Chivalrous, career driven, handsome inside and out, family oriented, didn’t like to waste his time in the bars, works in the medical field,…just everything he was, I had been looking for.

We went out on our first date and I actually felt able to be myself 100 percent for the first time. It felt amazing! He accepted me for me and we started dating officially about two weeks later. We fell in love with each other and couldn’t wait to say it to one another. This relationship was perfect! We spent as much time as we could together, always finding tome for one another. I am a full time student so I go to school and work during the day and he works the pm shift so we could only see each other every other weekend and once a week in between. It was okay though, we made it work.

The first time we were sexual I asked him if he was sure because I didn’t want it to ruin what we had going. He said yes. It didn’t affect out relationship other than in a positive way. We spent holidays together, our families loved each other. He brought up marriage, children, etc. I agreed to it all, I had found my soulmate! Then, after 8 months of dating, he asked me out of no where how many people I had been sexually active with before him. I, naturally, got nervous because I had not expected this question. It was uncomfortable for me, not because I am ashamed of my past, but because I wasn’t prepared to talk about that with him. The past is the past for a reason. I was not concerned with his past because it had nothing to do with me, it was before me. I judged and made my opinion of him from the day I met him and so on.

I gave him my answer and he seemed like everything was okay. He promised me it wouldn’t change our relationship. Then, a week later all help broke loose. He was so upset, thinking that I withheld information from him, lied about my number, he wanted to know who they were. I tried easing his mind as much as I could with being honest bit it didn’t seem to work. He couldn’t understand why I gave something so special to someone that I didn’t love. The big thing is, I didn’t know love before him. I thought I had but he showed me what real love was!

Things seemed fine after that, but he ended up breaking up with me. A month went by and we got back together, he said that there were too many positive thing about us and that he loved me too much to let this one thing ruin our relationship. Then again, another month later he broke up with me. He said he just didn’t feel the same about me, the spark wasn’t there, he had to force himself to be lovey, it didn’t come naturally anymore. I did everything I possibly could to prove to him that I love him, that I’d do anything to help our relationship that he showed me what love really was. He just doesn’t seem to care.

Through our relationship he told me about his past girlfriend, his first was for 5 years and they had both intended to stay abstinent until marriage, they ended up having sex. His second girlfriend, they broke up because she told him she loved him, but he couldn’t say it back. He also was sexually active with her. So he broke two strong beliefs that he had. Yet it’s okay that he did those things but it’s not okay that I did? He kept saying that he wanted to be with someone who was as proud of their past as he is of his. Am I wrong? Is he wrong? Everyone has a past that they learn from. Why am I being chastised for something that everyone has, including him?! Please help!

A: if you look at the pattern of his past relationships it seems clear that once the relationship becomes more intimate something happens to break it off. The fact that he is using the past to trip over his future is interesting.

His past tells the tale. I wouldn’t over-invest in trying to convince him to change his mind. This is not your issue, it is his. It may be helpful for you to go together as a couple for an initial therapy meeting, but I think in the long run his fear of intimacy is something he’ll have to confront.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Mar 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Broken Up By My Past Sexual Relationships. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/07/broken-up-by-my-past-relationships/