I can't trust my girlfriend. I haven't been able to trust past girlfriends. Help? (snowflake details ahead)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have been dating my current girlfriend for 4 months, although we were very flirty for 5 months before that. She really likes me; she's told me that that there was always a "but" with other guys she's dated (as in "Well, I like him, BUT...". With me, there are no such caveats). However, I am very hesitant about my relationship with her. I really do like her: I enjoy spending time with her, we have similar senses of humour, have good talks and get along great, but I have become a distrustful as our relationship has gone on.
In the past few days, I have been getting more and more paranoid of her activities (only to find out in retrospect that I had nothing to worry about). However, tonight, I had a brief moment of panic as she sent me a text were she was lying about her whereabouts (turns out it was just a misunderstanding). So I made the very stupid mistake of checking her Facebook messages. A huge invasion of her privacy, and one that I won't try to justify with a reason. Anyway, I found a message from a couple months before we started dating (but a time when she was crushing on me) about how she had "picked up a random hot guy from the bar and had sex". This isn't something that is new to me (she has alluded that had a one-night stand after we knew each other, but before we started dating), but it still hit me like a ton of bricks. Now all these mixed feelings are surfacing, and I just need some outside perspective. Stewing in my own thoughts will do nothing but make it worse.
Another little details is I will also be moving out of the country in 2 weeks. We will be a 7 hour flight apart (across an ocean), but she will be moving to the same country in 2 months. However, we will still be 2-3 hours apart at that point. We haven't talked about what we are going to do, and we will wait until the last possible minute to do so, partly to enjoy the time we have left, and partly because I think we both know it may be ending.
I am somewhat inexperienced in relationships. I am 27 (girlfriend is 26) and I recently went 5 years without having any relationship contact (kissing, cuddling, sex) with women at all, which I blame on social awkwardness and a 2 year, depression-filled stint in grad-school. I am also very naive: I have no idea when I am being hit on, and frequently miss out on romantic cues; almost every relationship I've been in has been because the woman initiated. Previously, I would get fixated on a single crush, and be oblivious to any other advances, something I've recently started to change. In the past year, I have had a bit of experience with dating and casual sex, but I am very inexperienced with that sort of thing, and when I hear a story about anyone else's exploits, I get a huge pang of...something. Regret? Disappointment? Jealousy?
I told my girlfriend that I didn't want to hear anything about her sexual past (advice from previous AskMe threads, which can be summed up by this scene from Chasing Amy), and that has worked so far. But whenever I get the faintest hint about her sexual past (or her views on such things), I remember them forever and interpret them to death, well past the point of gaining useful information from them.
I know I have a pretty unhealthy view on these matters, but I really don't know how to change. Part of me thinks the solution is to go out and do these things, because then I can't be a big hypocrite. For example, I should go out and have one night-stands, sleep with random people, date a lot of people, just so I can't be a hypocrite about it. Before my girlfriend and I were exclusive, I was casually dating a few different women, including one who was a FWB. If I found out my girlfriend had a FWB at the time, it would bother me, but I feel like it would be dampened because I was doing it too, and that would be pretty hypocritical of me to be judgey, so I would get over it. In theory.
Anyway, I guess I'm just looking for an outside perspective. I am looking for advice specific to this relationship, but I think general advice will serve me better, because I'd like to carry that advice over to future relationships as well (if things don't work out in my current relationship). I just can't get over my jealousy/trust issues. I feel like I have a very immature view of relationships. I hear all the time that I shouldn't care what people do in the past, it's what they do now that matters. But the past still bothers me. Should I just start to have casual relationships and not commit to anything until I get over these jealousy/trust issues? Is there any way for me to get over them other than time, experience and maturity?
(I've looked at past AskMe threads about this, but many of them have the advice to "Just get over it!". But I don't really know how. My girlfriend and I talk about our issues, and I will be bringing these feelings up. But I don't know if that will do it...)