In today’s video, I respond to a viewer who wonders what to do about an imbalance of experience in his relationship.

Read or watch below to hear my response to the question of “I’m not her first… and she’s mine.”

Zachary Stockill: What do you do if you’re struggling with painful, unwanted, intrusive thoughts about your partner’s past?

Or if you feel like your partner has experienced all kinds of things in their dating life that maybe you haven’t? What do you do if there’s an imbalance and experience between you and your partner? In today’s video, I’m responding to a viewer on this channel who is wondering exactly that.

I received an interesting question recently from a viewer on this channel. C asks:

Hey, my partner has a long past various relationships, whereas I don’t. They’ve been married, gotten kids bought a house everything. Whereas I’m a blank slate in terms of relationships. I feel sad that I’m never going to have the first time experience together when doing things with my partner. They’ve already done everything with previous partners. How do I get over the sadness of never being able to experience those life milestones with my partner?

Thanks for writing, C, whoever you are. This is a question that I’ve received many times before…

Some retroactive jealousy sufferers are disappointed, angry, or saddened by the fact that maybe they don’t have a ton of dating experience or relationship experience, and their partner does.

As I say endlessly on this channel and elsewhere: you have zero degree of influence or control over anything that has happened in the past. But the good news is: you have 100% control over your perspective on the past, over your perspective on any event in the past. 

In other words, you get to choose what you believe; you get to define your beliefs. You get to tell yourself a new story about the past. And you can choose new perspectives, which is very good news, obviously, for anyone struggling with retroactive jealousy.

So I’m going to offer a few perspectives, take them or leave them, that’s fine. This is simply food for thought. I’m not trying to say you necessarily have to believe everything that I’m saying. I’m just presenting some food for thought on this whole question about not experiencing certain first times with your partner…

On one level, I can understand being bummed out because you feel “I’m not her first… but she’s mine.” But on another level, I don’t entirely relate to this kind of sentiment. Because the way I see it, you are doing things for the first time with your partner together. Because your partner is experiencing certain things for the first time with you. And you are unique.

I’m not just trying to placate your ego here. I’m saying that literally…

Your partner is experiencing things for the first time with your company. And that’s a big deal. 

I'm not her first

Retroactive jealousy sufferers rarely give themselves the credit they deserve. They think that other times or with other people were so incredible, and “now my partner is bored to be doing that with me because I’m not her first love…” When most of the time that’s absolute nonsense.

I’m going to use some strange analogies in this video. So please bear with me… 

Let’s say I went to a certain restaurant 25 years ago. Am I done with restaurants for the rest of my life? If I went to a restaurant in London, and I’m in Paris, would I reject the invitation to go out to another restaurant? Wili I say “No, no, no, I don’t need to go to a restaurant in Paris because I was in a restaurant in London 25 years ago. So I get restaurants. I’m good.”

That’s insane. That’s ridiculous. I think most of the people watching this would agree: that’s insane. 

Why is it any different in relationships? Because each and every person, each and every time in a period of life, each and every situation is so incredibly unique. 

So just because your partner has done X before, they haven’t done X before with you, and you’re unique.

You can apply this to just about anything. So let’s say, okay, I saw one movie. “I never need to see another movie. You know, I saw “Citizen Kane.” That’s it. I never need to see another film. For the rest of my life, I’m good.”

“I already listened to music once. I listened to Elvis. It was great. And that’s it. I never need to hear any music again. I just need Elvis. That’s it. I’m good. There’s nothing new out there for me…”

“I saw one painting. I’m good. No new paintings for the rest of my life. Art galleries are now boring because I saw one painting…”

I could go on and on and on. But hopefully, you get the idea.

And I can speak a little bit personally about this issue. So New York City, is a big, exciting city, one of the best cities in the world. I have visited New York City, at this point in my life, a few times, and I’ve gone there at different points in my life with different girlfriends.

Guess what? It’s been a new city every time I’ve visited.

Because every time I’ve visited I’ve been in different phases of my life. I’ve been in a different state of mind, and I’ve been with different people. 

I'm not her first

So the city is completely new to me, in many ways. Every time I go there, it’s different phase of life, different energy, different experiences.

I think it’s interesting that in many parts of the world we glorify “the first time,” you know. The first time getting married, and the first time having sex, and your first kiss, and your first vacation…

And it’s interesting, because often, the first time is nowhere near the best time, the most fun time, or the best experience. 

Just because something or someone technically came “first” does not necessarily mean that experience was superior. 

First does not necessarily equal best. And I think buying into that notion is ludicrous. 

So these are just examples of some new perspectives you can take on that are hopefully going to help you work through this issue.

And again, I understand it, at least in part, but the fact that you’re asking the question, the fact that you’re open to speaking about this issue publicly, says to me that you’re probably ripe for some new perspective, some new ways of thinking, and hopefully you found some of this at least somewhat thought-provoking.

If you need more help to get clarity and insight to get to an answer, then you can check out my new masterclass “The Path to Peace, or consider applying for one-on-one coaching with me.

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.