In today’s video I’m going to respond to a viewer who tells me “my girlfriend’s ex is better than me.”

If you’ve ever told yourself “my girlfriend’s ex is better than me,” you are not alone.

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: All right. Ben writes:

What if my girlfriend’s ex is better than me? What if your partner confirms that her ex partner, in certain aspects, was indeed better than you? Things you shouldn’t worry about, but you still do…

Okay Ben. So your partner actually told you that their ex was better than you in some ways.

I don’t have a lot of details to go on right now, but the number one question I would ask is, better in what sense? And is this truly important to your partner?

So for example, if I was dating someone and they told me “My ex was way better in bed than you,” I would struggle with that. That would be tough.

Because an incredible sexual connection with my partner is something that’s very important to me, and if I felt like my partner didn’t feel the same about me, that would probably be enough for me to move on and for me to know that I’m in the wrong relationship, because my partner is yearning for their ex in bed.

For me, that would be tough to deal with.

Now, if I was dating a woman and she told me, “My partner was a better dancer than you,” okay. There are lots of people who are way better dancers than me.

So context is really important here.

And the first question I would ask is, how important are these traits, characteristics to your partner? How much do they think that this thing that their ex was better at, how important did they see that?

All of this really comes down to one question, and the question that you really need to get clarity about, if you are struggling with this particular issue, if you have some degree of evidence that your partner’s exes we’re better than you in some ways, the main question you need to focus on and get clarity about is:

What do I bring to my partner’s life that no one else can?

What is the combination of talents, skills, personal characteristics that make me me, and that make me valuable?

And the more clarity you can get on this question, all of the things that make you you, not just one or two aspects of your personality or your body or whatever, the whole package of you:

What is valuable about this package? What do you bring to your partner’s life that no one else can or has?

Because your partner is with you for a reason.

I believe that most people, certainly not all, but most people upgrade in relationships.

And I don’t mean that looking at every human being as a hierarchy, and this is better, and this is better.

I mean people find relationships, generally speaking, as they age, which are better for them.

Not that they’re with better people necessarily, but people who are better for them.

Hopefully, that’s what we all want. Hopefully if we endure a breakup or a divorce or anything else, we want our next partner to be better for us than our previous partner.

We’ve probably learned a lot of hard won lessons from our past relationships. And thus, hopefully we’re making better choices for ourselves as we move forward in relationships.

So that alone, I think, should give you at least some degree of comfort.

The odds that your partner is pining for their ex are probably pretty low.

And if they are, if you have valid evidence that your partner believes their ex is better than you in all kinds of areas of life, which are really important to them, if they need to have an amazing top tango dancer or whatever it is, and you’re not that, then let them go.

You should never have to convince someone to be with you.

You should never have to go out of your way to really sell yourself to someone.

Because if you get to know someone you’re together for a long time and you know each other well, and you decide, “you know what, I just need different things,” that’s not about you if your partner comes to this decision. That’s about them.

That’s about things that they need. And there’d be another person who would give their right arm to be with you and to buy whatever it is that you’re selling. Would be willing to and excited about bringing into their life the package that makes you you. Bringing into their life, all the amazing traits, qualities, personal characteristics that make you valuable and that make you unique.

In addition, as I always say, focus on what you can actually change.

Focus on what is within your sphere of influence and disregard everything else.

There are a lot of ways to improve your appearance, whether you’re male, female, old, young, there’s lots of ways to go about that.

But don’t knock yourself out and don’t waste all kinds of energy stewing about things that you really have no power over.

Instead, focus on what is within your sphere of influence, focus on what is within your sphere of control, and focus on improving yourself in ways that make you like you more.

Not ways that make your partner or anyone else like you more, but really double down on improving yourself in ways that improve your perception of yourself rather than improving yourself with the attempt, or in the attempt, to improve other people.

Hope this helps, Ben.

Are you struggling with thoughts like “my girlfriend’s ex is better than me?”

Click here to learn about my just-released new collection of guided meditations for retroactive jealousy sufferers.

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.