How to deal with your new relationship having had a past you have trouble accepting

PERFECTION asks: My girlfriend and I somehow shared some things about our past relationships and the sort of things she and I did before we got to meet each other. I was a little bit carried out by those facts that I’ve learned. Can you help me clear my mind about it, and to not think of it anymore? I don’t want to be distracted by something that has happened years ago.


I’m going to stick with what I said to you before.  The problem isn’t what she’s done in the past, it’s your feeling not-good-enough about yourself, and probably imagining that some guy in her past was “better” than you in some regard.

And here’s the bad news: each one was.

Before me, Handsome had five dogs.  Each of them was absolutely wonderful in their way.  He would never have traded any of them for anything.  One was tougher than me, one sweeter, one prettier… and he loves me so much his heart almost can’t take it.  I actually hope there’s an afterlife where I’ll get to meet them all.  We’ll play, we’ll fight over who’s best, and of course we’ll make lots of fun of Handsome, and what a goof he is.  And when he gets there to meet us… oh man will he go NUTS!  Because he loves us all so much!

But each of us will have been from a different time in his life.  And so the he that loves me more than anything will be a bit different from the part that idolized Wolfgang, or depended on Ygor’s heart to get through his tough teen years.  

So can I get jealous?  Sure.  But it’s a waste of time.  It’s far better for me to focus on my gratitude – how much I love having the relationship I have with him right now.  And letting that gratitude overwhelm me.   As his does him.

Can you do that?  Can you, instead of focusing on some jerk she dated some time ago, who either dumped her or she him, let yourself just swoon in the thrill that she’s interested in you now?!  And that she’s the best thing you’ve ever found?!  

Yeah, one of those guys was a better athlete.  One was just crazy-good-looking.  One sang like John Legend.  

But none of them were you.  And she’s not talking with any of them today.  Or if she is, it’s as friends, which is maybe even better!  YOU are the one that matters.

And that, my friend, is not just the key to beating past silly jealousies; it’s pretty much the key to enjoying life altogether.

At least that’s how I enjoy mine.  That and getting letters from you of course!



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