In today’s video, I want to share five reasons why retroactive jealousy is no longer an issue in my life.

Read or watch below to hear why I no longer struggle with retroactive jealousy.

Zachary Stockill: I don’t often talk about my personal life on this channel. But it seems to me that many of you are interested in this. Many of you have left comments or sent me emails asking more about my personal experience of retroactive jealousy.

This year marks over 10 years that I’ve considered myself a retroactive jealousy survivor. 

Today, retroactive jealousy is a thing of the past for me; it’s not an issue in my life anymore. And in today’s video, I want to share five reasons, or at least five potential reasons why. 

Five reasons why I no longer struggle with retroactive jealousy…

Number one is a commitment to my own personal mission.

Now you may be thinking, What the hell does that have to do with retroactive jealousy? I think for many retroactive jealousy sufferers, particularly men, I would say…

Retroactive jealousy is at least partially a byproduct of not being busy enough. Or, at the very least, not having enough meaningful goals, and big ambitions.

Not having a sense of mission or purpose as a man, beyond your relationship.

When you make your woman your world, you will suffer. I think any man watching this would do well to incorporate that lesson into their psyche: you cannot make your woman your world. 

And I think in my earlier years, I was guilty of this, especially in my very early 20s. This was a huge problem for me. I’m a natural romantic, I love dating. I love women. I’m a very romantic soul, and I give my relationships a lot of precedence in my life. 

But you can’t do that too much to the exclusion of other areas of life, or to the exclusion of investing in other relationships, or investing in professional projects, like what I’m doing right now. 

When you make your woman your world, you suffer. And your odds of struggling with retroactive jealousy increase

This has not been a problem for me for many years now. I have a clear and meaningful and energizing personal mission as a man that involves my family life, creative goals, the work that I’m doing right now… many areas of my life.

Frankly, I don’t think I have the time, and I certainly have zero interest in struggling with retroactive jealousy. And I think this is one of the reasons why it’s no longer an issue for me at all, in my personal life. 

Reason number two is realism over idealism.

I think in my earlier years, I was somewhat idealistic, maybe even a little naive, about love, about relationships, about women, about sex and dating. And I think I had somewhat of an idealistic view of relationships. I thought that things had to be perfect in my partner’s past… And I was struggling with this very naive idealism, this perfectionism that got me nowhere in my relationships, and that absolutely contributed to retroactive jealousy. 

Some people tried to replace their idealism with cynicism or pessimism. They go from being totally idealistic to totally pessimistic. And I think that’s equally stupid. I think that’s equally ludicrous. I choose realism.

And my version of realism when it comes to sex, dating, and relationships is that everyone is imperfect. There is no such thing as a “perfect woman” for me out there.

Everyone is gloriously imperfect, myself included. There’s no such thing as a perfect partner for anyone. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. 

Needless to say, perfection does not exist. And as I often say, you will drive yourself and others absolutely crazy if you go looking for perfection. It doesn’t exist, and I am a lot happier since I embraced that philosophy. And my relationships have been so much better since I let go of my idealism and embraced realism instead. 

Reason number three why I don’t struggle with retroactive jealousy: I reject any kind of victim mentality.

I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the past 10 years, to eliminate self-pity, or any inclination toward a victim mentality. I find self-pity in myself and others absolutely repellent. I abhor self-pity.

And I believe self-pity is the least useful human emotion. It serves no purpose other than to keep people stuck

And over the past decade, I’ve worked very hard to exorcise my own inclination towards self-pity. I don’t have a victim mentality.

Of course, I have moments of feeling unmotivated, or occasionally complaining. But I’ve worked very hard in trying to limit that as much as possible. I choose to embrace the perspective that… 

Everything in my life is my fault. Everything. I’m a free human being, I make choices, and I’m not a victim. 

So I think that not having any semblance of a victim mentality has been a big part of why I no longer struggle with retroactive jealousy.

Reason number four may sound kind of strange, but it’s true. I think I have a new perspective and a deeper perspective on death, and what’s really important in life.

I’m not going to go into the whole story. But there was about a one-year period where I lost the three closest women in my life. I lost one of my best friends in the whole world, I lost my mother, and I lost my grandmother. And I’m not putting that out there to gain any kind of pity. I mean, we all have to deal with loss at some point. 

But that experience truly did change my life. I mean, it sounds clichéd and corny. But it’s absolutely true. 

That experience changed who I am as a man, and my perspective on death. 

I no longer struggle with retroactive jealousy

That experience changed my perspective on what’s important in life, and how much time I may or may not have left. And it forced me to ask: How do I want to spend the rest of my time? Because now I know, on a deeper level, that my time will end. 

What is important? What do I want to spend my time doing? And working toward and thinking about? What do I want to eliminate from my life? What kind of drama, or maybe people, or habits should I start letting go of? 

That one-year period where I experienced a lot of loss changed my relationship with myself, the world, and other people. And I think after going through that experience and having that perspective, I don’t think it’s likely that I would ever let something like retroactive jealousy take over again. 

Finally, this is a big one. Reason number five why I no longer struggle with retroactive jealousy is crystal clarity on my personal values, my relationship goals, and red flags and dealbreakers.

In other words, as I often tell people on this channel: 

Sometimes retroactive jealousy is 100%, about clashing values. Sometimes, there are absolutely red flags in someone’s past that need to be addressed.

And in my 20s I spent a lot of time being single and dating casually and learning about myself and what I wanted, and what to avoid; what I’m okay with, and what I’m absolutely not okay with. And getting a real sense of my own moral compass as a man. Getting real clarity on my values, what’s important to me in a life partner, what’s important to me in a relationship. So there’s no more gray area for me. I know what I’m okay with, and I know I’m not okay with.

And if I was single again, and I met a woman, and…

If we didn’t share the same relationship values, we didn’t share the same goals–I’d move on very quickly.

I no longer struggle with retroactive jealousy

And thus, the odds of me having any kind of rational retroactive jealousy go down to pretty much zero. Because I would never get in one of those relationships in the first place. I know how to approach it. I know how to discover my values in an ongoing process. 

And thus, the fact that I have clarity on who I am as a man, what’s okay with me and what’s not, brings my odds of ever potentially struggling with retroactive jealousy way down. And it makes it much, much less likely that I would ever struggle with this in the future. 

But if you are struggling with retroactive jealousy, and you’re having questions about your partner’s values, about their boundaries in the past…

If you think there may be genuine red flags in your partner’s past, I’d encourage you to look into my new video masterclass. It’s called The Path to Peace. 

I designed this masterclass for any retroactive jealousy sufferer who has questions about values when it comes to their evaluation of their partner’s past. 

Not every case of retroactive jealousy is about boundaries and values. Many retroactive jealousy sufferers know that just because they can’t stop thinking about their partner’s past, it does not mean their partner’s past is a dealbreaker.

The Path to Peace is for any retroactive jealousy sufferer, male or female, who has concerns about their partner’s morals, values, and their partner’s past.

If you want to get clarity on your partner’s past, I hope you’ll take a moment to look up my all-new video masterclass “The Path to Peace.” Click here for all the details.

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.