I'm in love, how do I not go crazy?
June 28, 2012 5:56 PM   Subscribe

I love her and she loves me. Help me not lose my goddamn mind.

We met overseas and had an accelerated courtship. She moved from out of state back to her homecity where I live. We've been together for three very intense months.

I love this girl with all my heart but about half the time I feel so deeply insecure and worried about getting hurt or somehow messing up the relationship, at times it's all I can think about.

I'm not sure what to do with these feelings of discomfort I have about the fact that many of her friendships with guys originated from casual sexual relationships she had around the end of high-school/beginning of college (BTW she's 23, I'm 27). In fact they make me kind of crazy because I feel sometimes like the only guys she's friends with are guys she's hooked up with (not that I'm a sexual prude, I've been around but I don't tend to have many friends, if any, that I've slept with).

My own insecurities along with that stuff is kind of driving me up the wall. I need to know how to manage these feelings because I love this girl and I don't want to ruin this.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, guys who were already part of the background before you showed up are by definition people she passed over for YOU! They were right there when she chose to be dating you instead; you can't let minor history get in the way of current reality. I've had groups of friends with lots of silly intertanglings, and it was the quality of the friendships that kept the groups and relationships alive, not any ongoing involvements; nobody had any confusion when Something Real came along. Just stop thinking about who has or hasn't this or that, and enjoy the great relationship and get to know her friends as part of her current life, not any possible history.

(If you're still bothered after a year, then I guess you can talk to her about this or that friend, but maybe you'll have many of your friends in common by then instead...)
posted by acm at 6:46 PM on June 28, 2012

It's a good sign if someone is friends with their exes--it generally means they aren't nuts and don't get vindictive about breakups. It does NOT mean that they're going to fall into bed with those people at the drop of a hat.

You can manage these feelings by, sorry to be harsh, but by reminding yourself that they're sort of bullshit. What she did before you were together is none of your business, really. All you can really judge is her behavior towards you in the present. If you two are happy, then awesome.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 6:50 PM on June 28, 2012 [15 favorites]

For years, I believed my huge insecurities were rooted in being molested as a kid. While going through my divorce, I had relationships where I wasn't psychotically jealous. Also, in my marriage, I never had reason to suspect my spouse of sexual infidelity. In fact, when he frantically called me from Saudi to say "don't believe the rumors", I laughed in his face and said "I know you are not the type. They would have to provide photographic evidence."

Yet I remained insecure. Why? Because he was married to his job, treated his many hobbies like affairs, was more devoted to his friends than to me, never made me feel like I mattered more to him than his previous girlfriend, and made me feel fat and ugly.

I suspect your insecurities are rooted in being so head over heels in love when you apparently barely know her. It might help to keep a journal and try to figure out what exactly is punching your buttons. During my divorce, I had a relationship where I wasn't psychotically insecure and jealous. He was good to me. He was honest with me. He made sure I felt like I mattered to him even though he stated clearly he would never remarry.

If you can clearly identify things that are triggering this reaction, maybe you can work it out. Maybe she is still flirting with these men? Or something? If you can ID some specifics, you can try to address those things individually.
posted by Michele in California at 6:55 PM on June 28, 2012 [6 favorites]

I agree with Nibbly Fang that it would be more of a red flag (for me) if she were the kind of person to go on at length about hating her past boyfriends/hookups and they were such assholes, etc. If you can, look at this as another positive about her- she is likely not prone to inappropriate relationship behavior or putting up with it from others.

In terms of addressing the triggers for these feelings:
Try and meet these people in a friend group setting. I can't get a feel from your question if you've already done this. You might be having a case of Out of Sight = Worst Case Scenario. If you're uncomfortable with her behavior around them (or theirs toward her), address it.

ALSO- under what circumstances were these past relationships disclosed to you? There are definitely different thresholds for discussing past experiences, so it might be that you and your SO are having a disconnect. Some couples leave the conversation at "Are you clean? Yes? Good." Others play What's Your Number or whatever and get into greater detail. If she's an all out there kind of person giving information you'd rather not know, addressing the differences in your comfort levels might be a conversation to have. There's a big difference between "John and I used to have a thing" vs "We had sex on the pool table at Jamie's birthday party last year."

The best part of love is REALLY getting to know someone. Don't be afraid to (as rationally as possible) bring up the fact that you're not judging her, but you're having a hard time with this. It's not "ruining things" if you're honest, focusing on the present as much as possible, and not accusatory in your tone. Burying shit only makes it worse. Good luck to you.
posted by shes_ajar at 7:22 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

She knows what she wants. What a blessing.
posted by amtho at 9:07 PM on June 28, 2012

Go with this relationship. Ya'll love each other and that's what matters. You're feeling insecure because you still need to know each other more and as time goes on, you'll feel more comfortable in asking the right questions.

Also, on another tip, I may be in the minority here but I believe in being friends with exes in spirit. I usually like to leave my past in the past and as some people understand, my history with a particular ex was an awful experience. I don't call him names but will point out things he's done to me and how it made me feel, if I have to. Especially for women, sometimes relationships affect us that badly, when someone is abusive. I feel it's only right to disclose that to a romantic friend.
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 6:50 AM on June 29, 2012

An anecdote:

Husbunny broke up with his ex and I sort of got him on the rebound. One day he called to tell me how he spent his day off taking Ex's car in for emissions, registration and general maintenance, as she was out of the country for an extended period of time.

Who does this? Who bends over backwards for an ex? I'll tell you who, a guy who is so comfortable in his current relationship, and such a good, kind soul, that he'd help out someone when there was no one else around to do it.

Did I freak out? Hells no. I count myself lucky that he was my guy!

Nice people are nice. That's why you love her. If she's friends with her exes, that's perfectly okay. It's YOU she loves.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:01 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

I know how you feel. I met two of my guy's previous girlfriends on our third date. It was ok. He had told me clearly why they weren't right for him though he didn't hate them. I didn't become their best friends but they didn't show me any hostility.

When one of his other old GFs called our house, years later, out of the blue, I was a little squicked out since she was the one he described as "off." He didn't arrange to see her and that was the end of it.

Give yourself some time. It's ok to love her now and not worry about getting hurt until you have a good reason to do so.

It's ok to be a little jealous too, so long as you see that in yourself and know what's up.

Be happy you have her and enjoy her. Even if it doesn't work out in the long run, it sounds like she treats her partners with respect.
posted by emjaybee at 1:52 PM on June 29, 2012

Some people find it easier to make friends through dating and sex than other contexts. It becomes a habit because those friendships have some quick, easy, shared intimacy, even if it's a bit artificial.

It's not the same as someone she's still into. They are just friends now.
posted by ead at 7:06 PM on June 29, 2012

« Older It snot quite the right salt...   |   B is for Baffled Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.