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How to Deal with Jealousy/How to Make One Jealous/Do I need to know about my boyfriend's past?


I've been in a relationship with a really amazing guy for the last three months.  I'm 33 and he's 36, and it's become very serious very quickly - we've already said we love each other, talked about him moving into my house when his lease on his rented place ends in six months' time, and we're making plans to meet each other's families.  I'm really happy and think I've found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

The only problem is that for some reason I can't understand, I'm having a real difficulty dealing with his past.  He's hardly told me anything about his previous relationships, except that his previous sexual partners are a mixture of relationships and one night stands, that he's lived with women in the past, that his longest relationship was five years and that he was once in a "friends with benefits" relationship for two years.  Even knowing those things makes me feel physically sick - I just can't bear the thought of him having relationships before me even though I know that's irrational and unrealistic.  Every time he mentions the name of an ex, I immediately start looking through his Facebook friends to see if I can identify them and then keep looking through their photos and for any references to their relationship - and I hate the fact that I feel like this and behave like this.  I've literally been on Facebook at 3am checking every girl on his friends list for any clue he's dated them, and I hate myself for doing it and would be ashamed if he knew.  

I've now stopped asking him questions about his exes because every bit of new information makes me feel ill and sends me back to online stalking, and I don't want to be like that.  Similarly, my boyfriend is very uncomfortable with talking about my past relationships and went into a sulk the other night when he realised a male friend of mine is someone I actually briefly dated years ago.  We decided there and then that we wouldn't discuss exes anymore, would leave the past in the past and would focus on our present and future together.

I do feel that for me, ignorance is bliss, because I hate how I behave when I hear something about one of his exes.  But it worries me slightly that in my mind, there are gaps in his relationship history - so for example I know he's lived with a girlfriend but I don't know who she was, when that was or how long they were together.  My question is - do I need to know these things?  I've known the entire relationship history of all of my previous boyfriends and it feels strange not knowing these things about the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, but I think it would be painful to know whereas in previous relationships it's never bothered me.  I've asked my boyfriend if there's anything I need to know - like has he ever been engaged or got a girl pregnant etc, and whether he's ever cheated on anyone (he says he hasn't) and also whether there are any exes of his I may ever have to meet.  He assures me I know all the important things and there are no exes he is in contact with or ever sees anymore although some are Facebook friends, and I do believe him and trust him.  Is this enough for a healthy relationship or should I know more even if it hurts me?

Thanks in advance :)

Hello, Annie.

I can't see how having full details about your guy's previous girlfriends would be of benefit to you or even relevant to your relationship with him, unless his past suggests any kind of danger to your safety or well being.
Many people don't like discussing their past relationships. They don't like digging into their own past and think about it, and it's only fair for that to be respected.
Discussing past dating life can be an interesting and bonding experience, but only if both people want it. If not, ignorance is indeed a bliss.



How to Deal with Jealousy/How to Make One Jealous

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I can answer questions regarding how to deal with one's own jealousy and how to deal with the jealosy of the partner / lover and how you can liberate yourself from this destructive emotion. Learn more about me and my work at


I overcome serious jealousy issues with conscious work and effort, and that was a very liberating experience. I also helped several people to abandon their jealous behavior and line of thinking.

M.A. in Philosophy

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