Jealous about Her Sexuality

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Original Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
My girlfriend spent the year and a half before we started dating sleeping around. By around I mean just about everywhere. This was a small point of tension for me in the begining of the relationship but it has become a huge problem for me. Although I have had partners in the past my experiences they pale in comparison. I feel like Ben Affleck in "chasing amy." Whose character I hated before this relationship.

There are constant reminders of her past life and each one litteraly makes me ill. I love her, and she's convinced me she feels the same way but I can't bring myself to move on. We have talked about this several times but each time, the conversation becomes more pointless. She knows I hate her past and I know there is nothing she can do about it. What can "I" do to make this better.

User Submitted Advice from a 21-30 year old Female
You both have pasts

I don’t know what society the advisor grew up in, but the one I was raised in did not promote or validate promiscuity, either male or female. But times have certainly changed, to the detriment of commitment-minded individuals like yourself. If anything, popular culture champions sleeping around by both genders. Just because men supposedly sleep around a lot (I certainly don’t) does not mean such behavior is “ok”, and women who make the argument that they’re just doing what the boys are doing seem to be seeking some kind of validation or approval of their own behavior. If anything, popular culture in all its forms champions sleeping around by both genders. The advisor’s claim of sexism on the part society as a whole doesn’t ring true to me. From my own experiences, women are often the harsher judges of each other when it comes to sexual behavior.

It is a disservice to tell you to “get over it” because such advice totally misses the point of your post. You do not need therapy for something that is perfectly normal human behavior. Insecurity is not a bad thing per se, it all depends upon the situation. Jealousy is not your problem at all, you merely feel resentful for her past behavior. Everyone seeking a committed relationship would like to feel special, and her promiscuous past makes you feel significantly less special. That is ok. In seeking a partner, it is best to look for someone who has similar values and positions, especially in regards to sex and relationships.

To me, and many other men who have not slept around, promiscuity is not an attractive quality in a potential mate, especially if you want settle down and eventually have children. The fact that she slept around a lot prior to meeting you is a good indicator of how much she values monogamy and sexual relations. Just because she slept around in the past does not make her a better person today. You may find that she has her own emotional problems relating to intimacy and fidelity.

You are not obligated to accept everything this woman has done in the past. I would reevaluate what it is that would make you happy in a relationship. If she does not meet your standards, and it is important to have standards of some kind, then you should seriously consider discontinuing the relationship. To be judgmental when it comes to the kind of person you want to be with is very understandable. Be open-minded to what she has done and who she is now, but do not compromise your own principles. You have a healthy ego, and you should not be with someone who cannot empathize with your feelings. It is your right to want a partner whom you can totally love and accept, and that includes her character today as well as her past behavior.

But I will agree with the advisor on one point – you both have pasts, and if you have slept around yourself, you really don’t have much to feel resentful about or criticize her for. Hypocrisy is another quality that is not attractive, and it certainly won’t contribute to a healthy relationship.

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