As I point out in my audio program “20 Laws of Successful Relationships”, being jealous of your partners’ ex and comparing yourself to an ex is pointless and even harmful to your own self-esteem and your present relationship. Wondering if that person who was in your partner’s past was better than you, more attractive than you and had a better romantic time and emotional connection with your current partner than you do is unhealthy for many reasons. This kind of jealousy and comparison would make you come across as insecure and thus unattractive and also as plainly annoying to your partner. Further, it is likely to make you very unhappy. Instead of focusing on the present and enjoying your own dating situation and your relationship, being hung up on what your dating partner did before he/she even met you will literally drive you crazy and prevent you from making the most out of your own relationship. Luckily, there are several, simple and proven to be effective ways you can overcome this issue and liberate yourself from being jealous of our partner’s ex(-es):
1. Realize that there is always someone “better” out there, so being jealous of exes is pointless.
This is just the nature of life. There is always someone out there who is more educated, more professionally accomplished, more physically attractive and more otherwise attractive than you are, no matter who you are. There is nothing wrong with it, and this is just life. But this shouldn’t make any difference to your own life and your own sense of self-worth. After all, we all have our own path in life, our own unique set of circumstances, talents, abilities and opportunities. Your mission should be not being the best out there at any costs but making the most out of what you have, and being the best person that you can be considering all the circumstances of your life, and all your great qualities as well as limitations. Nobody can take the opportunity to do just that from you. If you are too short, or if you have some physical disability or if no matter how hard you try, you can’t get that GMAT score to get you to the best school, you might not be able to do much about those natural limitations. But there is a lot you can do to improve other aspects of who you are – your style, your manner of communication, your sense of humor, and your level of fitness among other things. And as long as you do what’s in your power to improve yourself, you should feel good about yourself.
2. Remember: your partner is with you and not with his/her ex for a reason.
There has to be a reason why your partner is with you and not with his ex or with someone else out there or alone. It’s because he/she wants to be with you and not with that other person that he/she used to be with before meeting you. There must be something about you that he likes and appreciates that makes you more desirable than others. You might not even see or know what it is that is so special about you that your partner finds attractive and interesting in you, but that doesn’t really matter. You might think that you have to compete with your partner’s ex, but unless you have a reason to believe that it’s not really over between them, you really shouldn’t worry about any such competition. Leave your partner’s past where it belongs – in the past.
3. Accept your partner’s dating past.
Your partner’s love life before he met you is part of his/her life and of who he/she. It is something that actually makes him/her a better and a more experienced partner and lover. You are well aware of the fact that your partner is not a virgin. He has his own history of ups and downs in dating and relationships. The past love life of your partner must have taught him a few valuable lessons about himself and the opposite sex. It’s very likely that his past romantic experience allows him to be a more competent partner now who is less likely to make the same mistakes he did in the past.
Jealousy is a powerful emotion. You should not expect your jealousy to disappear after talking to a friend or an expert once or twice, or reading one article or one self-help book. It takes time to truly overcome and liberate yourself from being jealous. But as you remind yourself of the above points periodically, among doing other things, it will surely help you deal with your jealousy and work toward focusing on your current partner – the person you love and on all of the good things you have together now – and not on his past life and his past dating experiences.