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Dear Breakup Girl,
I have this wonderful, wonderful boyfriend. We've been living together for
over a year now, and I couldn't be happier. We are best friends, and I
genuinely enjoy spending time with him. The problem is, he had a girlfriend
before me. Now, keep in mind that he no longer speaks to this girl (not to
mention the fact that this girl is supposedly getting married, or maybe already
got married) and says he doesn't like her at all, and didn't like who he was
when he was with her. However, despite all the logical attempts I have made to
overcome this, I have a raging jealousy of her. She was his first everything --
girlfriend, kiss, sexual partner. They only dated for a month. Now, I realize
1. I am the one he comes home to now, the one that he shares things with and
chooses to be with.
2. I am being incredibly petty about this.
But, this continues to bother me. Why? He doesn't even talk to her! (How do
people whose SO's are friends with their exes ever deal...?) What can I do, BG?
I'm going nuts here! I wish I didn't know anything about her, but silly me, I
insisted that he tell me stuff. (Warning to readers if you print this: DON'T
ASK, you don't want to know!)
I've talked to him about this, and not surprisingly, he doesn't have many
suggestions for me other than to just forget about it. That's what my friends
all tell me, too: that it's kinda silly and I'll get over it, don't worry. But
it's been a long time, and I haven't gotten over it. What can I do? PLEASE
Thanks ever so much. I'm a huge fan of the page... read it every Monday.
Second hand, second-rate, second class, second fiddle.
"Second" does get a bad rap, doesn't it? And when it comes to love,
our firsts are in a magical mystery class by themselves. So it's totally normal
to get a little pouty about the one who went before -- especially when
she's the First Lady.
A little pouty, yes. But write-to-Breakup-Girl
jealous, no. So what's your deal? I'm not sure.Two possibilities come to mind:
(1) that maybe, when the first twinge twanged, you actually didn't realize it
was perfectly normal. Instead of pausing to notice it and then shrugging it
off, you gave it credence, let it grow. Decided it was a problem. Et voila: it
is. Or (2) there is something missing for you in this relationship: a sense of
security, clearly, and a sense of worth and entitlement. Are you saying "I
love you" and whispering under your breath "How will I measure
up?" "How will I make this relationship, if not the first, the
Either way -- and it's probably some of both -- I
think your focus is off. Instead of Trying Not To Be Jealous, or Forgetting
About Her -- which is about as effective as Not Thinking of a Pink Elephant --
how about noticing what already is great about this relationship? Not as an
antidote to the jealousy, just as a celebratory end in itself. How come you
guys rock as a couple -- and what about each of your pasts and histories and
mistakes and memories actually enriches what you have now? Also, quit talking
to him about it -- there's really nothing he can, like, do. And quit looking to
him for "proof" that he's all yours. You say that he comes home to
you, opens up to you, chooses to be with you; yes, he does, yes, he should be
doing all those things, and yes, that's an excellent point. But how about
knowing that you're worth it just 'cause you are, not 'cause of what he does? I
don't know how to tell you to actually go about doing that, but I do have a
feeling that for you, it might be a first.
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