In today’s video, I’m going to talk about how I would handle it if my girlfriend’s past partners started disrespecting me or my girlfriend.

Read or watch below to understand how to better deal with your girlfriend’s past partners.

Zachary Stockill: How do you deal with your girlfriend’s past partners disrespecting you? Or disrespecting your girlfriend? This is a question that a surprisingly large number of guys have brought to my attention over the years. A lot of guys have asked me this question. It can be kind of a discomforting thought that some guy out there is going to act like an idiot and start disrespecting you, start disrespecting the woman you love. 

In today’s video, I’m going to talk about how I would handle this situation regarding my girlfriend’s past partners.

The first, and possibly most important thing I want to say in this video is I’ve only had this question posed to me as a hypothetical. In other words, I’ve only had guys ask me this question in terms of “What if my girlfriend’s past partners start disrespecting me disrespecting my girlfriend? What if some guy comes up to me at a bar one night and says, Hey, I used to sleep with your girlfriend…”

In other words, I’ve never had anyone say that this actually happened to them. Now, of course, this has happened at different times to different people. I’m not saying that this has never happened in the history of the world. Of course, it has. There are always going to be idiots out there. There’s just no avoiding that. But the odds of this actually happening are pretty rare. It’s never happened to me, it’s never happened to any guy I know. And it’s unlikely to happen to you.

That said, all that throat-clearing out of the way. The first thing I’d like to say is you might be repelled or repulsed by the idea of your girlfriend sleeping with some idiot, or you know, some guy she hooked up with in the past…

You look at your girlfriend’s past partners, and you think, ‘Oh my god, what was my girlfriend thinking?'”

The first thing I want to say is we are all entitled to our own bad decisions. We are all entitled to our own past mistakes, if that’s what you want to call it. Speaking personally, many of my biggest lessons, including in terms of dating and relationships, have come from my dumbest mistakes. Most of us have at least one night, or maybe one person, that we’d like to “take back.” Not so unusual in the modern age of Tinder and swiping apps and all the rest. I’m not saying it’s good or bad. I’m saying it’s simply a fact of modern life. 

So there is some chance that your girlfriend may have slept with some guy who’s a bit of an idiot, and might potentially say something to you and be like, “Hey, I did this to your girlfriend,” and all the rest. Unlikely, but it’s possible.

So if there is some guy that does this… 

Guys who treat women like trophies are pathetic and insecure to the core. 

The guys who go blabbing about women they’ve hooked up with, guys who treat women like trophies… These guys are screaming to the world that they’re incredibly insecure. I mean, who does this? What kind of man hooks up with a woman, who has sex with a woman and goes around showing people and saying, “Oh, well, know, I had sex with her, and look at me, aren’t I an alpha male?” Like, what are these guys thinking? These guys are insecure to the core. 

And I mentioned that because personally, I don’t have a lot of respect for deeply, deeply insecure and cruel men like this. I just don’t. I have had a fair amount of casual dating experiences, shall we say? And never in my life, have I gone around talking to everyone about it and showing pictures. Because why? I don’t care. I’m not interested in impressing other people with the women that I’ve been with in the past. 

And the men who I respect feel the same, they act the same. Not like all these pathetic guys do. So I don’t respect guys like that, period. And I don’t think you should, either. And that just helps you deal with them better if they were to ever come into your life…

How can you be threatened by a man you don’t respect

I understand that your girlfriend’s past partners may bother you, but how can you respect a guy like that? If you can’t respect a person, how can that person hurt you? How can that person have an impact on you?

I will also add that I think guys who do this are terrible lovers. Just terrible. I don’t think that you can be a great lover and at the same time disrespect women, treating them like trophies. So that should tell you something else right there. And I don’t respect men who aren’t good lovers; who don’t actually care, and you know, want to be a good partner to their women. These guys are not worthy of our respect.

I’ll also say, as an important reminder to men, that we don’t own a woman’s body. You don’t own your partner’s body. I don’t own my girlfriend’s body. Or her sexuality. I don’t own her past, her present, or her future. 

We are all autonomous individuals, entitled to our own mistakes, our own growth, our own choices. And we’re all going to die.

And none of this will matter. Some one night stand your girlfriend had 10 years ago almost certainly doesn’t matter right now. It’s sure as hell not going to matter in 10 years. It’s not going to matter on your deathbed or her deathbed. We’re all going to die. Let more things go, and I promise you’ll have a better life in general. 

Okay, but let’s say one of these idiots actually comes up to you in some hypothetical world and starts poking you in the chest and saying, “Hey, I was once with your girlfriend…” Again, I don’t think this is very likely. But you know, it’s a possibility.

The first and most important message for you in this situation is one of my favorite quotes, which is if you really want to frustrate and annoy your enemies, the best revenge is living well.

Have a great life. Be happy, regardless of what he tries to do to you or what he tries to say. Brush him off is what I’m trying to say. Because if you really want to get back at him, nothing will wound this deeply insecure dork to his core more than you brushing him off, and kind of just like giving him a look like “what is your problem man? Like, move on…” 

The best revenge is living well. Nothing will annoy and frustrate your girlfriend’s past partners more than this. 

girlfriend's past partners

Go on and be deliriously happy with your girlfriend. Take her home that night and make love to her like you’ve never made love to her before. Be a happy person, have goals, and be a better man than this dork. Go out and have a great life.

So picture two men in a bar. We’ll call them man A and man B. Man C, some random other guy, some dork, goes up to man A and starts insulting him and poking him and making snide remarks. Man A reacts by punching him and sweating and, and getting really bothered and getting all worked up and yelling and getting frustrated and freaking out. Okay, that’s man A’s reaction.

And Man B, same situation. Man C comes up to him and starts insulting and starts saying mean comments about his girlfriend or whatever. Our friend man B has a very different reaction. Man B kind of just shrugs and says, “what the hell’s your problem, man? Whatever…” He goes out, has a great night, doesn’t let this idiot get to him. Has great sex with his girlfriend and lives a great life for a night. Who’s “winning” in this situation? 

Is Man A or Man B being the bigger man here?

You can make up your own mind. But I think it’s man B, the guy who’s living his best life and having a great time regardless of what some idiot thinks of him, regardless of what some idiot tries to do to him. Because here’s the thing…

In this life, you are only responsible for your own choices, your own thoughts, your own perspectives, your own actions.

There will always be idiots out there. Yes, there will always be pathetic men who try to bring other men down. And there will always be insecure idiots who are living in the past and have nothing going on in the future. The world is full of idiots, I’m sorry to tell you. There will always be other people out there trying to bring you down. 

I could post a YouTube video with like cute puppy pictures or something. And there’d be some guy in some darkened basement trying to post a really mean comment and trying to bring me down. I get horrible comments posted sometimes on my YouTube channel, calling me names. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do…

If you’re making YouTube videos, there are always going to be idiots out there trying to bring you down, and you win when you don’t let them bring you down. That’s how you win. It really is as simple as that. Because if you’re interested in “getting back at them,” that’s the only way to do it…

Just be a happy person regardless of what the world, or your girlfriend’s past partners try to do you.

girlfriend's past partners

I would also say in whose opinion do you value, do you value the opinion of every man in your city? I hope not. Because chances are there are a lot of idiots in your city.

Do I value the opinion of every single person who watches my videos? Of course not. Because there are a lot of people who watch my videos who don’t want the best for me. They’re haters, and they’re insecure, or whatever. I’m not interested.

I value the opinions of certain coaching clients whose opinions I really respect and value. Students taking my online courses like “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast”, and online viewers of my YouTube channel who post constructive criticism often give me good feedback. The haters? Not so much… 

So be careful about whose opinion you value. 

Do you really value the opinion of some insecure man who’s living in the past? Who’s trying to look big by bringing other men down? Really ask yourself, do I value this guy’s opinion? Do I respect this guy? And if the answer’s no, move on with your day, and live a great life. 

Living well is the best revenge whenever you’re in a situation where someone’s trying to bring you down. Remember that.

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.