Stuck in partner’s past sex life
Q: When I first started seeing my girlfriend we did a very stupid thing, we talked about past relationships and number of partners. We were not planning on anything serious but it developed into the best relationship I’ve had and I want to stay with her for life. We have been dating for a little over a year but a few things bother me about her past that I’m having trouble getting over.
One thing is that she’s had considerably more partners than I have had and her attitude about it bothers me. For her it is just a matter of, “I wanted sex so I went and got some.” While I was always more of a keep the numbers low and try and see if there can be a relationship as opposed to lay and leave attitude. For me sex wasn’t some sacred sacrament, but at the same time I didn’t see the point in having a new person every month. My former girlfriend had a similar situation but she said that she wished she hadn’t done it because she realized it was a self esteem issue as to why she slept around, but my new girlfriend just says, “What’s the big deal.” When we talk about sex issues–not necessarily us personally but society’s views–she gets slightly upset sometimes and says she doesn’t want to talk about it and tells me to be quiet.
How can I get over this?
Stuck in Partner’s Past Sex Life
A: You need to be asking yourself why her past sex life bother’s you, like specifically why. For instance, are you concerned that her value system is too different from yours and will affect your relationship? Do you worry that she will be unfaithful to you? Or, that your sex life is not special? Whatever your concerns are, you need to get in touch with them, so you can address it specifically with her. Otherwise, it might just feel like, to her, that you are judging her, or accusing her of something. So, why would she want to discuss it?
When you do understand your concern, like say, that she’s not going to be faithful because she’s been with so many women, then you can talk about “faithfulness” in a relationship, not how many women she has been with. Or maybe, you are worried that sex life isn’t special with her, so you could ask about YOUR sex life with her, and is she happy about it, not how many times and how many people she’s had sex with. In other words, get in touch with your underlying fear and deal with that. If this is hard for you to get in touch with, I would recommend your finding a therapist to help you.
Breakup causes frustration with friends
Q: Jody, my friends are driving me nuts. The problem is I recently broke up with my boyfriend. My now ex-boyfriend and I were together for ten years, and we hung out primarily with other couples, both lesbian and gay. So, the group is a group of couples. I inherited the group, my ex moved out of town. The problem is that they–the group–is always trying to fix me up with someone. I appreciate their caring about me, but I’m not ready for a relationship, yet. I tell them this, but they don’t take me seriously. I continue to do things with the group as a single, I’m wondering if that is a problem for them or do they just not believe me that I’m okay for now?
A: It could be either or both. Couples–or one person in a couple– can feel threaten by having a single person around them, especially if they are having problems. And for some, it could just be that they don’t believe you about needing time before another relationship or that you can live without one. And then, there are the born match makers who have found a cause–YOU.