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Can’t Get Over My Girlfriend’s Past

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I’m 21 years old, and my girlfriend is 20 and this is our tenth time dating. I was her first, when she was 16 and I broke up with her eight months after it happened, and between us dating she dated two other people, and slept with them both. I have slept with about 20 people, so I shouldn’t get upset with her measly 2 other people, but I get really bothered. She’s asked me numerous questions about my ex’s and my past and she says it doesn’t bother her because it’s my past. I don’t ask about her past because I don’t want to know. But somehow it keeps popping up. I am in love with this girl, but I feel like this is driving a wedge between up. I can feel it eating away at me, and I want it to stop. How can I get over this, so we can focus on us?

Can’t Get Over My Girlfriend’s Past

Answered by on -


It is often the case that someone we fall in love with has had prior relationships, even marriages, and while the pain of knowing they have been intimate with others may be uncomfortable, it is part of being human that we are built to adapt. When one partnership doesn’t work out, another one can flourish.

I recommend that you try to view her past as leading to your current and future relationship. Had either of those other two (or 20 of yours) been satisfactory the two of you would not be together now. Our past moves us to our present and the dissolution of those relationships allowed for the two of you to be together. You could work on honoring this truth rather than staying stuck in an unchangeable past. If you do talk about the past talk about it as a learning experience that both of you can grow from, rather than something that can harm you.

Whatever went wrong in those relationships gives you a road map of what not to repeat in this one. My guess is that had the two of you tried to stay together when you were 16 it may have fizzled. Try to understand that experimenting with other relationships was necessary for you to turn your attention back to each other.

I would give this 30 days of trying to change. If by then it hasn’t you may want to check the “find help” tab at the top of this page for therapists in your area.

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

Can’t Get Over My Girlfriend’s Past

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Can’t Get Over My Girlfriend’s Past. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 2 Nov 2012)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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