How do I let go of my significant other’s exes?
Dealing with your significant other’s past can be tricky, awkward, and uncomfortable.
I could dive into all the ways that you could pretend that your partner’s exes never existed. But, instead, I’m going to go a little bit deeper.
First, I’ll tell you how I discovered the secret to letting go:
How I Figured It Out
When my boyfriend, Adam, and I first started dating in high school, I had a lot of deep-rooted insecurities.
I was constantly paranoid about our relationship. At night I would lay awake wondering if he was talking to other girls or if I somehow wasn’t meeting his expectations. I also hated hearing anything about other girlfriends he had before me. The few times that I would listen, I’d spend so much time comparing myself and questioning my worth as his current girlfriend.
Am I as fun as she was? Is she prettier than me? Does he like me more than he liked her?
Needless to say, I had an endless fountain of worries.
As you can imagine, this was incredibly damaging to our relationship. Adam has always valued, appreciated, and accepted me as his one-and-only girlfriend. But, he was not the issue. None of the negative thoughts that saturated my mind were accurate.
That’s why insecurities are so powerful: they blind you from reality and make you see things through a distorted lens.
Of course, Adam did what any good guy would do and continuously consoled me and reassured my role as his girlfriend. But, it was never enough for me. I always wanted more ego boosts and reminders that I was the one who made him the happiest.
One day, after feeling exhausted from being so paranoid all the time, I thought to myself, “What if all of this has nothing to do with Adam?”
How Insecurity Affects Relationships
When I look back, I can see how much my insecurities affected the way I perceived things in my relationship.
My persistent worrying and anxiety about other girls was only a reflection of my own inability to understand my worth.
Often, we look to our partners to fill the holes that our insecurities create. But, here’s the issue: our partners are not capable of fulfilling the holes that our self-doubts create.
Once I realized this, I began to take steps to find my worth outside of my relationship. The most beneficial part of this journey was developing a stronger relationship with Jesus. As I began to let go of the tight, suffocating grip I had on my relationship with Adam, I clung to my relationship with God instead. This dynamic works because God is completely capable of carrying the weight of our insecurities. Human beings are not.
Discovering Your Worth
Letting go of your significant other’s past has little to do with their exes or how they interact with them. It has everything to do with your relationship with yourself.
So, I encourage you to ask yourself: what could your struggle to let go of your significant other’s exes be connected to?
Having a strong sense of who you are will make it easy to let go of any worries or discomfort that is associated with your significant other’s past relationships.
Many of us approach relationships the wrong way: we look to feel secure in a relationship so we can feel secure in ourselves. However, that leads to self-destruction. First, you need to find stability in yourself, and then offer that stability to your relationship.
You let go of your significant other’s exes by building your value outside of your relationship. Once you establish that foundation, you no longer have to rely on that relationship to provide your worth.
Here are some ideas for how you can jumpstart that journey:
- Have monthly lunch/coffee dates with your friends
- Spend more one-on-one time with family members
- Start writing in a journal to help you discover yourself and process any anxieties or worries
- Engage in regular self-care (you can start by doing this 15-day self-care challenge!)
I hope this helps. It’s easy to give into the temptation to pick apart what your partner could be doing wrong. However, in most situations, you can make a lot of progress by looking at what you can do differently.
What have you done to let go of your significant other’s exes? Let me know in the comments below!