Every relationship comes with a dose of jealousy. Sometimes, you simply can’t resist a feeling, even though you try to run away from it.
But there’s nothing wrong with that.
All of us have felt jealous at one point in our relationship. Sometimes, it happens at the very beginning while you still don’t know each other that well. Other times, jealousy appears when you truly develop feelings for your partner.
But as time goes by, it usually disappears and doesn’t harm your relationship in any significant way.
At least that’s how a healthy amount of jealousy looks.
But what happens when you become jealous of your partner’s past? When you become so focused on all of the girls he dated before you, even though you know that it makes no sense?
If you’ve experienced this terrible sensation, then be assured that it’s an actual thing – and it’s called retroactive jealousy. It’s when you have an unhealthy interest in your partner’s past, which results in obsessive behavior and negative feelings.
If you want to be sure that you’re currently suffering from it, then keep on reading. The following signs will open your eyes and let you see the truth.
1. You’re angry about your partner’s past
The moment you start thinking about your partner’s past, you get angry. The mere thought that he had someone before you upsets you.
You know the feeling is irrational and that you shouldn’t be doing this to yourself, but you have no idea how to stop it.
You’ve felt this way from the first time the two of you had a conversation about past relationships, and since then, you haven’t found a way to stop the negative thoughts.
Over and over again, you keep asking yourself why your partner dated anyone in the past, and you feel jealous for all of the things he did with his previous partners instead of with you.
This is one of the clear signs that you’re suffering from retroactive jealousy and that it’s affecting your relationship more than you think.
2. You feel anxious when you think about his previous partners
Out of the blue, you start thinking about your partner’s previous girlfriends.
You create scenarios in your head and the story becomes so vivid and real that you feel like it’s playing right in front of you.
It’s like you turned his past into your present and you can’t get away from it.
This makes you anxious and you start questioning your partner’s feelings.
“Maybe he still loves her. Maybe he never got over her. He always tells me that she was funny, what does that even mean?”
These thoughts feed your anxiety, which keeps getting worse day by day.
Even when the two of you are joking and he mentions his ex’s name, you instantly feel your body shut down and negative thoughts overcome you.
The retroactive jealousy is taking its toll, and soon, it’ll have complete control over you.
3. You constantly feel the need to find out about his history
When you meet with his good friends, you always find a way to sneakily find out information about his past.
How many girlfriends has he had? Was he in love? Why did they break up?
The problem is that you already know all of these things but you feel the need to find out every single detail, just to be sure that he’s not hiding something from you.
You even scroll through his social media, trying to snoop around his old photos and looking for comments made by his exes.
He may have been dating her while he was in high school yet you’ll still make sure to find out every single thing about her.
Your behavior is obsessive but you don’t know how to stop it.
It feels like a magnet that’s pulling you in and pressuring you to know everything about his dating history.
4. You argue with him about his exes
Couples usually argue about present issues. If some girl hits on your boyfriend, you’ll sure be jealous.
You may not say it but you’ll feel it in your body.
But you’ve come to the point where you argue with your boyfriend about all of the girls he’s been with before.
Even though they’re in no way connected to your present, you feel the need to discuss them.
If he was talking to his ex, then it would be reason enough for you to be upset.
But since he has nothing with any of the girls from his past, the reason for your arguments is unfounded.
The worst part is that you know this, but it’s like something clicks inside you and all your negative emotions rush out into the open.
5. You make sarcastic comments about his previous relationships
There’s one more sign of retroactive jealousy and it’s making snide comments about his exes.
Say your guy teases you about something you did sloppily, so you retort with “Well, good thing your ex knew how to do it right.”
Your expression changes and you feel bad for telling him that because you know that it was uncalled for.
But no matter how hard you try to stop those words from slipping out, they always find a way.
You always make comments about how he must’ve been more romantic when he was dating one of his exes and how he should probably get back with her because he clearly doesn’t like you the way he liked her.
And all those comments will come out of the blue, with no need whatsoever.
If you found yourself saying these things, make sure to work on your issues because, at one point, your boyfriend won’t be able to take this anymore.
He’ll crack and you’ll feel sorry for all of the unnecessary things you said.
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