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Problem with SO’s Past

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I’ll try to be as brief as possible. I recently started a new relationship with this girl. Before we started our relationship, she spent a year living the single life – hooking up on tinder, partying, and having a generally good time.

I spent, on the other hand, my previous years as a single without ever hooking up, having one night stands and not even partying that much because of different reasons, probably because I felt insecure about myself and also because of setting-related problem (I come from a small town where this is just not the culture).
She’s gone past all of that – she’s now settling down while I am more than ready to start all of this.
My past GF didn’t like partying, drinking and so on, while my current (when I met her) seemed to be all for it. Now, it’s quite the opposite. Feels like I’m back with my ex, not able to have that kind of fun with my girlfriend. So not only I can’t have this life that she had, but I don’t even have to share it with her. On top of that, and I must say, the hardest part, is that I find myself incredibly uncomfortable now when she talks about her hookups and past partying experiences – I feel jealous because I’ve never experienced this “transgressive” life, and the image of her hooking up randomly with people really disturbs me to a point where these thoughts have become an obsession.

I can’t fall asleep at night because I see her next to me and all I think about is her having intercourse with all of these people. Why do I feel this way? Why does it disturb me so much? I can’t look at her without immediately having images in my head…These thoughts are creating big problems in my daily life with her. I can’t be serene around her. Why am I feeling this way? What can I do?

Thanks (From Germany)

Problem with SO’s Past

Answered by on -


It sounds like the two of you are out of sync. She was winding down and settling in as you were gearing up and branching out. It seems like you met on an overlap. Like two trains going in opposite directions stopping at the same train station on their way.

If you can’t find a way to accept her past and curtail your desires to get in sync with her, this may not be the relationship for you.

As far as her past goes the best lens to view it through is that her past led her to you now. She got that out of her system and is looking to focus her attention on you and evolving the relationship. If this isn’t right for you, you have invested that much time, you’ve learned a lot, and going your separate ways in search of more suitable partners might be warranted. Sometimes the timing between couples aren’t right.

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

Problem with SO’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. (2019). Problem with SO’s Past. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 May 2019 (Originally: 29 May 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 May 2019
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