Jealous of First Love
First Love Anxiety: How To Handle Your Jealousy Over Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend's Past Relationships
Dear April Masini,
My boyfriend recently told me that he has been thinking about his ex-girlfriend who was his first love. He says that he truly loves me and the only reason that he even thought about her was because she sent him a card on his birthday. He said that he'll be getting help, but is there any point in putting myself through this? I love him, too, and he's my first love and I don’t want to lose him."
First Love Anxiety
April Masini's Advice :
Dear First Love Anxiety:
First love is always bittersweet because it is full of joy and new feelings and emotions – and it is rarely the last love any of us have. Sometimes – once in a while – your first love is your lifetime love. But most times, your first love is not the man you marry. That’s the big picture. The day to day picture is that you should enjoy the love you have with this boyfriend, and not be afraid that there is going to be a break up unless you have good reason to fear a break up. Just because she sent him a birthday card does not mean that he wants to get back together with her. She may want to get back together with him, and so she’s trying to get his attention by sending him a card – or she may just be in a happy place in her life and be thinking fondly of him, and wants to wish him well. Those things are less important than his reaction.
If he’s just thinking about her, that’s okay. Some men won’t tell you that they’re thinking about an old girlfriend – and while that saves you a lot of heartache and worry, you’ll never really know what they’re thinking. Your boyfriend has an intimate relationship with you and that’s why he shared the information with you. He didn’t tell you he wants to see her or that he’s going to start dating her. He just told you that she sent him a card and he’s been thinking about her because you are the person he shares those intimate thoughts with.
Your first love is important, but many people think that their great love is more important than their first love. For all you know, she may be his first love, but you may be his great love. In a healthy relationship, you have to understand that your boyfriend has come to the table with some experience. That’s who he is – for better and for worse. For him to be callous and have no feelings for anyone who was in his life before you would be dishonest or dysfunctional.
You sound like you’re feeling insecure in your relationship, and I wonder if you are insecure in other areas as well. It may do you well to focus on yourself and try to build your own self-esteem. You can still be in your relationship with your boyfriend, but you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. If you’re in school, focus on your school work. If you have a job, focus on that. If you’d rather, try a new sport, or get in shape in a way you never have before. Work on your grooming – have your eyebrows re-shaped. Get a great new haircut or highlights. Re-do your wardrobe and your look. Do charity work – or if you don’t have a job, get one. Make sure you spend time with your girlfriends and your family in addition to your boyfriend. Men like women who have their own lives and aren’t completely dependent on them.
You’ll feel better about yourself and your relationship if you spend more of your energy focusing on what’s productive, positive and fun in your life, and stop worrying about problems that don’t exist. Adjust your attitude and watch the happiness follow. Also, you should work on accepting other people’s pasts because the older you get, the more you will find yourself dating people who have dated more than you have, or even, have been married and divorced when you haven’t. Rather than seeing other people’s experiences as threats to your well being, see them as facets of their personality.
And rather than focus on your boyfriend’s first love, the two of you should take a look at my book Romantic Date Ideas, so you can start having some adventures of your own and focus on the love the two of you have now!