In today’s video, I’d like to talk about a dangerous mental pitfall that a lot of retroactive jealousy sufferers fall into.

We’re going to discuss why idealizing your girlfriend is so dangerous.

Anyone who’s taken my premium online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, or for those who have my Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy guidebook, is probably familiar with me talking about pedestals. ie. Not putting your partner on the pedestal, not elevating them to some kind of godlike status.

And then, being disappointed when they don’t live up to this glorified, idealized image that you might be painting of them, because the truth is people don’t want to be put on a pedestal.

Zachary Stockill: People don’t want to be glorified and be idealized because when they slip up, it becomes more distressing, upsetting, and disorienting when all of a sudden our idealized image of this person is shattered.

It’s best to enter every relationship with the expectation, even anticipation, that this person is going to mess up.

Idealizing your girlfriend isn’t good for you, or her.

Idealizing Your Girlfriend

At some point, this person is going to have characteristics that will really tick me off. This person is going to make mistakes and hurt me once in a while.

Obviously, we’re all flawed. If you’re a human being you’re flawed and your partner’s flawed as well.

I talk a lot about why it’s important to take your partner off the pedestal that you might be putting them on.

Speaking personally, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. There are plenty of things I wish I could take back. There are moments when I was not at my best. And, there were times when I was really mean, ungentlemanly, and not the kind of man that I aspire to be.

I’m human. I was young, I messed up, I made mistakes.

And if you go through your own personal history, you’ll probably find some mistakes as well. Many retroactive jealousy sufferers are aware of the fact that they’re harboring double standards. They maybe have unrealistic expectations of their partner and their past.

However, what I am suggesting in this video is the next time you start idealizing your girlfriend about their past, or you feel the urge to ask them more questions about their past, pause and think a little about your own past.

Think about those nights that maybe you wish you could do over, those mistakes that you wish you could take back.

Idealizing Your Girlfriend

Now, keeping this in mind is not going to solve your retroactive jealousy. This is not going to solve your problem overnight. There’s a lot going on when it comes to this issue. However, it’ll be a big help when you keep this idea in mind of not putting yourself on the pedestal. Keeping that perspective that “wait a minute, I’m pretty messed up too…”

“I have my own episodes from the past that I’m not so proud of…” Remembering this takes a bit of the pressure off of our partner, helps us enjoy our relationship a bit more.

And hopefully over time, keeping this perspective in mind will lessen our anxiety around our partner’s past and will help us realize that our partners made mistakes.

You’re a human being, you’re making mistakes and that’s okay…

[Watch the video at the top for the full explanation]

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.