In today’s reader Q and A, I address the question of “how to get over my girlfriend’s past” when people are judging her (and you.)

It’s absolutely possible to get over a girlfriend’s past in this situation. Watch or read below to learn more:

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: Okay, let’s get into it. Today’s question is from Jack. Jack writes,

“My question is while I deal with retroactive jealousy, one of my main problems is other people judging my girlfriend’s past sexual history. I’ve Googled enough to know that some people have strong views on sexual history and I hate the thought of her being judged by others. This makes me question whether it’s something that has a right to be judged. Is this a normal part of retroactive jealousy and will curing my retroactive jealousy likely rid me of this thought as well? How to get over my girlfriend’s past in this situation?”

Thanks for your question, Jack. I completely understand where it’s coming from.

I think this is an issue that becomes less and less important, less significant the older you get and the more perspective on sex and dating and relationships you get. What I mean is, you didn’t tell me how old you are, but I would imagine you’re probably a young man probably in late teens, early twenties kind of thing. Because I can only speak for myself. I’m in my early thirties now. And I feel like every year that I get older, just the less and less I care about what other people think. That’s not to say that I don’t care at all about what people think. That would be a lie. Maybe a better way to put it is every year I get older, I get more and more and more selective with regard to whose opinions I really value.

In other words, I have real mentors and real role models and close friends and certain family members whose opinion I really value and whose perspective on my life I value.

They’re a good sounding board for me and they’re willing to point out when I’m possibly going to make a mistake or I’ve got a blind spot or something like that. There are certain men and women whose opinions I really value and trust–and then there’s everyone else.

So if you’re getting your life perspective from, say, random YouTube commenters (no offense, random YouTube commenters) but I mean anyone who’s spent time in a YouTube comment section can know how that can mess with your head. Or even just idiots at school or guys at the back of the bus or random commenters on internet forums when you look up anything related to female sexuality.

If you Google anything related to women and sexual history and you’ll just find the most amount of toxicity and really vicious slut-shaming

You’ll find a lot of really negative stuff.

And when I was your age, I would probably let that stuff influence me too. I’d let those feelings and those sentiments and those toxic opinions and those really kind of warped perspectives, I would let that to some extent shape my own perspective.

But every year I get older, the more I can tune that stuff out. And for you, I’m not exactly sure who these guys are, who you’re worried about, in terms of them judging you or your girlfriend. But if you’re worried about them really judging you, and if they’re going to say nasty things and they’re going to make fun of you or make fun of her or they’re going to do the whole posturing, “I’m an alpha male and I’m better than you.” And that kind of thing, then I can almost guarantee they’re not worthy of your trust or your respect.

And I know this is easier said than done, but my biggest piece of advice would be to really sit down and consider, do I really value these people’s opinions?

Do I really value their perspectives? Are these men I truly respect? Now you need to arrive at your own answer to this question. Now, maybe you do respect them. Maybe, you do value their opinions. And if so, maybe take what they’re saying into consideration. But more often than not, in my view, these guys are just acting from a place of insecurity of completely false male bravado and their opinions and their perspectives are not really worth valuing in my view.

NOTE: I got a little carried away with the bigger picture in this video, but to answer the question directly, yes, this is a totally normal aspect of retroactive jealousy, and yes, overcoming retroactive jealousy absolutely will help you make peace with this. The further along the path you are, the easier this becomes.

Click here to read my exhaustive, 7-step guide for how to get over your girlfriend’s past.


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 RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.