In today’s video, I want to address a viewer’s question about “keeping things casual,” and beating retroactive jealousy.

Read or watch below to learn more about whether you should avoid relationships because of retroactive jealousy.

Zachary Stockill: So, as you may or may not know, I’ve been putting out content on the topic of retroactive jealousy for almost 10 years now. And a common question I get from people, mainly the guys, is “is the only way to beat retroactive jealousy to keep your relationships simple? Don’t get into anything too serious, keep your relationships casual, because maybe that’s how you can beat retroactive jealousy..?”

So in today’s video, I want to address this very important question about “keeping things casual” and beating retroactive jealousy. 

avoid relationships because of retroactive jealousy

This is a comment I’ve heard from a lot of guys over the years who struggled with retroactive jealousy intensely in their relationship, they break up, and they just want to be single for a while. 

By the way, if it’s your first time on my channel, the term retroactive jealousy refers to painful, unwanted intrusive thoughts about your partner’s past, and what I call “mental movies” relating to your partner’s past dating experiences or past relationship history.

And this is by no means something that just impacts, for example, heterosexual men. I’ve had many students and clients who are either gay men or straight women or lesbians, transgender, I mean, you name it. This is not an issue that only impacts straight guys. 

But anyway, coming back to the theme of today’s video…

First off, I think it’s important for a certain type of person to have some time when they can be single, and simply enjoy themselves and maybe pursue more casual relationships. If you feel like that’s what you need at a certain juncture in your life, you should pursue that. 

My policy is just honesty, above all else. Don’t lead anyone on, don’t go breaking hearts, don’t be disrespecting people…

And lying and cheating and all that stuff.

But if you want to keep things casual for a while, and that’s truly important to you, I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with that.

I’ve had several periods of my life, particularly in my 20s, when I wanted to be single for a while. And it wasn’t because I was going out every night and getting drunk and going on Tinder and swiping furiously and all the rest…

I simply wanted some time to be single, to keep my relationships relatively light, and to figure myself out a little more. I feel like I needed that time in order to feel truly comfortable committing to someone long-term. I needed to figure out my wants, my needs, my desires, and all the rest.

But my motivation for doing this was not to avoid retroactive jealousy. Personally, I think that’s a lousy motivation because you’re selling yourself short. If this is your motivation, I think you’re telling yourself “I am definitely guaranteed to struggle with retroactive jealousy in my next relationship, so I will avoid relationships all together. I’m scared to death of that. So I’m just going to keep things simple, keep things casual…” But maybe it’s not what you really want. 

You can’t heal from the disorder of retroactive jealousy by making the choice to avoid relationships because of retroactive jealousy. 

avoid relationships because of retroactive jealousy

You can’t avoid struggling with retroactive jealousy by simply avoiding long-term relationships. And if you’re flirting with that idea, if you’re considering living the rest of your life just being single and keeping things casual, just because you don’t want to struggle with retroactive jealousy, I think that’s going to make for a pretty sad, pretty lonely, pretty depressing future. 

Again, I want to make it clear that I am not judging anyone’s choices. 

I believe people have the freedom to do whatever they want, as long as they’re not hurting other people, and as long as they’re not lying. 

And if you genuinely want to stay single or a bachelor or whatever for the rest of your life, because it’s in line with your deepest core needs, then, by all means, live true to that, if that’s what you want. 

But if you’re resigning yourself to never experiencing the bliss, and the comfort, and the intimacy of long-term relationships just because you want to avoid retroactive jealousy… To my mind, that’s a pretty depressing idea. 

That’s a long and lonely road you’re going to be walking, if you avoid relationships because of retroactive jealousy. 

Overcoming retroactive jealousy is 100% possible. If you don’t believe me, you can watch, listen, and read literally dozens of testimonials on my website from ordinary, everyday people who got a handle on this issue for good.

And these were not people who said “okay, I’m going to avoid loving anyone because I don’t want to struggle with retroactive jealousy.” These were people who attacked retroactive jealousy head-on in their current relationship, at least for the most part.

avoid relationships because of retroactive jealousy

And by the way, I’ve been doing this work since 2013. And, I’ve kept in touch with a lot of these retroactive jealousy survivors over the years.

Most of them are either former coaching clients, students in my flagship online course… I’ve exchanged emails with some of these people, sometimes 5, 6, 7, even 8 years later, and guess what? They’re still doing really well. I’m still doing really well. 

I was once a retroactive jealousy sufferer at the extreme end of the spectrum. When I wrote my first book, Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, my then-girlfriend’s past represented the first thought I had when I woke up in the morning… And the last thought I had when I went to bed at night.

That was my life. It was pure hell. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. 

But guess what? That’s in my rearview mirror. That’s a part of my history. And I am not the only one. Again, there are hundreds, if not thousands of us around the world who feel the same. 

So if you’re feeling despair, hopeless, or just giving up on any thought of the future long-term relationship: There is hope! 

You can beat retroactive jealousy whenever you want, either when you’re single or in your current relationship. It’s simply up to you to take the steps. 

On that note, this month, I’m celebrating the release of my newest project. It’s called “The Path to Peace.”

It’s an all-new video masterclass for retroactive jealousy sufferers who have questions about their partner’s past values, questions about their compatibility with their partner.

Not every retroactive jealousy sufferer wonders if their partner’s past is actually potentially a dealbreaker. Not every retroactive jealousy sufferer wonders whether their partner’s past matters. This class “The Path to Peace” is for those retroactive jealousy sufferers who have those questions. Those retroactive jealousy sufferers who wonder if maybe their partner’s past is actually a problem. 

“The Path to Peace” is based on 10 years of one on one coaching with hundreds of retroactive jealousy sufferers around the world.

If you want quick clarity and peace of mind regarding whether your partner’s past truly “matters,” click here to learn all the details about my newest video masterclass, “The Path to Peace”.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.