I’ve been in a relationship for a few months now and everything is going great besides the factor of my girlfriend’s sexual past. It really bothers me the fact that she has had a larger number of encounters than me. I’ve only been in one long term relationship and that has been my only sexual encounter. We’re both 24 and I feel like I’m on the short end of the stick when it comes to this. I realize that these feelings are selfish and immature cause in the end of the day, it boils down to the present and I know she’s committed cause she had the tendency to choose her sexual partners on the basis of their emotional unavailability or ones that were leaving meaning that she had a serious commitment issue before me. My question is how do I discern myself from her past? I know that it has nothing to do with sexuality between us because she tells me that between us, it’s been the best, maybe due to the fact that I’ve been in a long term relationship and she’s never.
Your thoughtful question includes good insights and understanding. You have obviously thought through these dynamics and your rational mind sees the situation clearly. But the emotional part is ruminating about her past.
I have written about this process elsewhere and encourage you to read parts one and two for some deeper understanding.
The long and the short of it is that her past – specifically the unsatisfying nature of it – is exactly what has drawn her to you. The men in her past were incomplete partners because of their emotional unavailability. This dissatisfaction has caused her to make a more evolved choice — you. Your history is what is attractive to her. She wants someone who has consistency and dependability and can show up. On your side of the coin the chances are you wanted someone with more life experience because your approach to partnership was equally dissatisfying. You have each found the other because of the evolution from past life experiences. What I am trying to say is that both of your paths have led you to find each other. Celebrate this trajectory. When couples evolve together they heal the past together. My guess is this is what is happening here.
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: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Girlfriend’s Past. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/19/girlfriends-past/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 19 Feb 2013) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.