In today’s Q & A video, I’m answering an email from Nicholas. He writes, “Can I overcome retroactive jealousy when I know too much about my girlfriend’s past?”

“Or is it only possible to overcome retroactive jealousy if I get a new partner and learn not to dig into her past?” As you’ve probably heard me say before, I’ve been running my website,, since 2013. I’ve received thousands of emails from guys who say they “know too much about girlfriend’s past.” I’ve heard the craziest stories you can imagine in terms of retroactive jealousy.

Zachary Stockill: I’ve heard a lot of different stories from a lot of different people, and I’m more convinced every day that there are certain bedrock principles, ideas, practices. Bedrock exercises that will help just about anyone overcome retroactive jealousy.

You can learn a lot about them on this channel, my blog, Obviously, my guidebook, Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, my online course. I believe in what I put out there on this channel. I stand behind it. These ideas, practices, principles will help just about anyone overcome retroactive jealousy, given that there aren’t major conflicts in values, especially if you know too much about girlfriend’s past.

know too much about girlfriend's past

Sometimes retroactive jealousy is absolutely an indication that you’re better off in another relationship. I’ve covered that a lot in my blog, as well as on this channel.

Overcoming retroactive jealousy is absolutely possible. I’ve got tons of proof, aside from my own personal story. And yes, if they have the right mindset, the right perspective, and the right tools.

Now I want to get into the second part of your question. “Should I just break up with my current partner, find someone new and I’m just never going to talk about the past?”

So I want you to take a moment to really play that scenario out. Try to imagine this, where you meet a new woman, and you know in the back of your head that you have this history of retroactive jealousy.

This has been an issue for you that you’ve never fully conquered and never fully addressed it. You’ve never fully put in the work to really beat it and put it to bed.

Know too much about girlfriend’s past? So what are you going to do for the rest of your life with this woman? Are you just going to tiptoe around her past all the time? Like living with this sense of anxiety that if anything about her past comes up, it could trigger everything all over again?

To my mind, that seems like a pretty lousy way to go about living.

You’re never really going to be able to just kind of relax and sink into the bliss of loving someone and really enjoying your relationship if you’re constantly worrying about whether or not they’re going to bring up their past.

Think about it. We all have a past, we all have history. We all have life experiences, and past lessons, and stories from our past that are fun to talk about. Things about our past that are going to come up at some point, whether it’s a parent bringing it up, or an old school friend, or someone at work, or whatever. There’s always going to be that risk of someone bringing up something about your partner’s past that maybe you don’t want to hear.

It’s virtually impossible to avoid to know too much about girlfriend’s past if you’re going to be with someone for any length of time.

This is why I’m so passionate about helping people overcome retroactive jealousy because it’s just no way to live. And you’re your own man, you can make your own choices.

know too much about girlfriend's past

I have many emails from people who suffer from retroactive jealousy in consecutive relationships until they put in the work to overcome it. Many of these people attempted the same strategy as mentioned in the email, where they broke up with someone as a result of retroactive jealousy and they said to themselves, “I’m never going to dig into my next partner’s past at all.”

And then, of course, something from their new partner’s past comes up, because it’s natural, right? In the course of living, conversations, in the course of everyday life. Of course, something about their past is going to come up. So, these people went right back to square one, sending me emails saying, “Hey, I didn’t really overcome retroactive jealousy the first time. Can you help me now?”

So for anyone struggling with this, I’ve provided a ton of resources on this topic, either on my YouTube channel or on my blog, I also offer a guidebook and an online course and a private community, which thousands of people have found very helpful.

There are all kinds of resources for you if you’re interested. Please have a look at

Thanks for your email, appreciate it.

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.