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05 Jan 2005

Concerned about previous relationship
Dear Doc,

I've been in a relationship with the same girl now for 3.5 years. I've always known that she had a serious relationshaip (At a fairly young age) before me and lost her virginity to the guy. This never bothered me as I believe she has very good values.

Recently our relationship had a huge upliftment, but shortly after that, I started worrying about the fact that I was not 'First'. This is becomming a problem for me. She is very open with me and answer any questions I have regarding the nature of her previous relationship and the facts surrounding their sexual acts. The worst of all is when I look at her, I imagine/visualize things I rather not want to and therefore looking at her sometimes is more painfull than pleasing.

I love her very much and there's no doubt in my mind that we will have a wonderfull life together.

My questions therefore are:
1. Is it normal to think like this? I try not to ease myself with the normal clichés like "It was before she met you", "Only love matters" etc.

2. Should I seek further help?

Thanks
Answer 408 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hello Q,
It's not abnormal, but it's really unhelpful, isn't it ? It makes sense to be concerned with what one's gf/bf does while in a relationship to you, but it is a bit excessive ( and not just a cliche ) to insist on being concerned about whatever may have happened before they met you. It's a curiosity that some of us feel so concerned abo0ut being The First. You're not the first person to visit the mall, but that doesn't mean there's no point in visiting. There is a limit to the prosepct for sailing out into the ocean and planting your flag only in territory where no man has ever set foot before.
And it's not wholesome or useful to be too curious about prior relationships, and to climb into all the gory details, any more than it is wise to ignore the dinner you are sharing with her, to insist on details of what she had for breakfast last week. It's another example of wasting one's time living in the past while ignoring the present and, the area you can influence even more, the future. Maybe, as BT says, there's an element of you feeling concerned about allowing this ( or any ) relationship to go much deeper, and in a sense searching for reasons to be more cautious and maybe even to backpeddle a bit. A counsellor can help you to unpack some of that emotional baggage that could be weighing you down.
As such reactions are often related to a lack of confidence in oneself, a concern that one is somehow less impressive than He who Went Before, counselling, helping to achieve greater self-esteem, can help a lot.
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