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What to Do When You Can't Stop Obsessing Over Your Partner's Ex

Stop torturing yourself

Pretending your boyfriend never dated anyone before you (and is just naturally gifted at sex and being a good boyfriend) is no easy feat. It’s totally normal to be curious about who he loved before he met you and realised that you are the best person on earth. It’s also totally normal to feel jealous, bummed out and make fun of her, but these feelings aren’t productive or positive.

Firstly, remind yourself that your man is your man and if you have a happy relationship built on trust and a mutual love for the same TV series, then you have nothing to worry about. Stressing over their ex is a waste of your time and energy, and only leaves you feeling drained and negative. Take these steps towards achieving total Zen and perfecting the art of not caring about the ghost of your lover’s past:

Remember that you can’t change the past
It isn’t nice to think about your partner having been with someone else, but would you rather the opposite? No shade to people who haven’t dated or done much hooking up, but truthfully, the more your guy has dated and the more sexual experiences he’s had the better he is going to be at these things. Instead of hating on the person who came before you, thank them for helping to shape your guy into the person you love (only thank them silently in your head, don’t make this weird). They broke up for a reason and now you get to date him. It’s as simple as that – don’t ruin the present because of the past.

Focus on you
A truly happy and confident person wouldn’t need to tear someone else down in their head to make themselves feel good. Instead of using your energy to obsess over her/figure out how to watch her Instastory without her knowing, rather focus on your life. Every time you find yourself thinking about them, stop and do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Building up your confidence isn’t a quick job, but practice self-love every day and eventually you won’t feel the need to compare yourself to anyone else.

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Read: 5 Ways to Insert Some Self-Love into Your Morning Routine

Don’t quiz your partner
Unless his ex had HPV, there isn’t much you *need* to know about her. Avoid asking your partner questions about them because ignorance really is bliss. Unless it’s a productive conversation (like both of you exchanging lessons learnt from previous relationships), try not to talk about his ex until you are out of the jealousy stage and into the Zen stage. Hearing that she had a traumatic childhood or is a really talented pianist or can orgasm just from penetration alone (i.e., she’s a witch) isn’t going to make you feel any better.

Stop checking on their social media
This is a tough one, but it’s the biggest step you can take towards forgetting about their ex (provided you don’t have to run into them IRL). By stalking them online, you are either going to feel bad about yourself as you compare your life to theirs, or you’re going to pick apart every element of their life until you feel better about yours (both of these are bad, BTW). Plus, if you look at their Instagram too often their name just, like, permanently appears in your search tab no matter how many times you clear your recent searches and it’s embarrassing.

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Also remember that everything online is fake AF. People are only posting to make it look like they’re living their best life, so don’t compare your real life to someone’s online presence. Everyone has those days when they cry because their old high school somehow got their e-mail address and sent them a newsletter with a list of everyone from their year who has a PhD and now they feel like they haven’t achieved anything in their life, they just don’t post about it online.

Read: How Stalker-ish Are You?

Don’t bitch about them together
Seeing a couple cackle over the misfortune of one of their exes is not cute. Hearing your partner trash-talk their ex gives you a guilty pleasure at first, but at the root of it you’re both being mean and kinda pathetic, TBH. Resist forwarding your bae a screenshot of that cringe-worthy ‘So this just happened’ pic his ex just posted on Instagram (also, we’re not looking at her profile any more, remember?) or gossiping about them in general.

Don’t beat yourself up for feeling anxious or worried about his ex. It happens to everyone, it’s just a case of using your time and energy for positive thoughts and kind actions towards yourself (and your partner).

Read more about relationships.

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