How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex: 5 Powerful Hacks You Can Use Right Now

Featured In
by Jeff Billings in Retroactive Jealousy Blog
April 20, 2017
How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex

Are you wondering how to get over jealousy of an ex who once dated or slept with your partner?

Maybe you can’t stop thinking about your boyfriend’s ex who you feel was better looking than you?

Or your girlfriend’s sexual past which you think was too promiscuous?

Whatever your personal retroactive jealousy story, chances are these “mini-movies” of your partner’s past seem to be here to stay.

In fact, the more you try to stop thinking about your partner’s past, the more you end up thinking about your partner’s past.

By now you’ve probably been driven just a little bit crazy by these OCD-like thoughts, and have been left feeling frustrated, helpless and confused.

I know exactly where you’re coming from because I used to be in your shoes — wondering just how to get over jealousy of an ex my girlfriend stopped sleeping with two weeks before we met.

I look back on the days when I used to be consumed by jealousy of my girlfriend’s past and cringe quite a bit.

I often wonder “what the hell was I thinking?”

  • Why did I used to make myself (and my girlfriend) miserable for no reason whatsoever?
  • Why did I used to get so upset about things in the past I couldn’t do anything about?
  • Why did it take me so long to overcome retroactive jealousy?

Well, here are five retroactive jealousy hacks I wish I’d known when I was jealous of my girlfriend’s past:

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex Hack #1: Understand That You Can’t Beat Retroactive Jealousy By Thinking About It


I used to spend many, many hours researching retroactive jealousy online, Googling “stop being jealous of girlfriend’s past” “how to get over jealousy of an ex” and so on.

I also used to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my girlfriend’s past and driving myself crazy, imagining all the things she must’ve done with other guys.

After some time, though, I realized that thinking about retroactive jealousy doesn’t help at all.

After spending an hour going over every little detail of my girlfriend’s sexual history, I began to realize that I always felt 100x worse at the end of a session than I did at the beginning.

Trying to think your way out of jealousy makes the condition worse because it keeps it at the forefront of your mind.

In fact, there are quite a few activities likes this that are fueling your retrograde jealousy – asking your partner questions about their past, checking out photos from their past, arguing, etc.

Realizing this is the first step to getting over retroactive jealousy.

Here’s a great way to help stop dwelling:

Go cold turkey on it for a specific time-frame, say, three days.

Set yourself a goal to not dwell on or talk about your partner’s past for three days and then reward yourself for doing so at the end.

Having a goal and a deadline like this will help you focus and get through an allotted time-frame without engaging with your retroactive jealousy.

I know what it feels like to think you have no control over dwelling over the past. But you do.

So give yourself a breather and see how you feel at the end of the three days compared to the beginning.

I can guarantee you’ll feel much better.

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex Hack #2: Realize That Talking About Your Partner’s Ex Doesn’t Help

how to get over jealousy of an ex

Similarly, I used to be so jealous of my girlfriend’s past I used to quiz her about it constantly.

I wanted to know as much detail about what she’d done in the past and with who as possible.

This was because I imagined if I heard what I wanted to hear, I’d feel better.

But this, of course, never happened.

All that did happen was more retroactive jealousy fuel was thrown on the fire.

Constantly talking about your partner’s past not only keeps your retroactive jealousy alive, but also damages the relationship.

It’s very common for retrospective jealousy sufferers to want to make their partner’s feel bad about their past.

Making snide and sarcastic remarks is often too hard to resist, but this can often lead to arguments.

Pretty soon your partner will grow to think you don’t respect her or him enough, and may simply start looking elsewhere for someone who does.

Again, give yourself a time frame in which you vow to yourself not to discuss your partner’s past or make any passive-aggressive remarks about it.

Once the time period is up, give yourself a little treat. You deserve it.

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex Hack #3: Understand That The Problem Is Not With Your Partner’s Past, It’s With You


This is a key lesson that anyone suffering from retroactive jealousy OCD needs to learn ASAP.

I used to think when I was jealous of my girlfriend’s past that if it was different I’d be okay.

This is just plain wrong.

“If things had been slightly different in the past and my girlfriend had only had two sex-buddies instead of four I would feel differently.”

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex

However, if she hadn’t had any sex buddies at all, but four one-night-stands, I’d have probably felt the same.

When you realize that it’s not your partner’s past that’s making you miserable, it’s your reaction to it, you’ll be making headway to learning how to beat retroactive jealousy.

This becomes clear if you consider that nearly EVERYONE in a relationship has a partner with a past.

Some people are dating someone who was passionately in love with their ex until they had their heart broken, and yet they don’t suffer from retroactive jealousy.

Others are with people who’ve had over eighty partners, and yet they haven’t succumbed to retroactive jealousy.


Assuming they know as much about their partner’s past as you do, the circumstances are the same as yours (if not “worse”) and yet they’re fine because they perceive the situation differently.

They may have more confidence in themselves, or be less judgmental, but whatever it is, this proves that it’s your reaction to your partner’s past that’s the problem. Not the past itself.

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex Hack #4: Understand That Your Retroactive Jealousy Is Actually A Blessing In Disguise

how to get over jealousy of an ex

It didn’t feel like it at the time now, but the fact I was suffering from my retroactive jealousy disorder meant it was time for me to change.

To grow as a person.

It meant I was on the precipice of learning something amazing about myself.

It was only through being jealous of my girlfriend’s past though that I was able to discover who I really was.

To suffer from retroactive jealousy means there’s still some development that needs to take place in your mind.

There’s still some emotional growing up to do.

But often it’s a crisis like this that’s needed to make us realize this and do something about it.

In short, I used to be jealous of my girlfriend’s past until I took action.

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex Hack #5: Befriend Their Ex

Have you seen this video by dating guru David Wygant on how to get over jealousy of an ex?

It’s aimed at men wondering how to get over jealousy of ex-boyfriends and husbands, but is equally relevant for women too.

Watch the video first (it’s only 1.5 minutes long) then come back to read the rest of this post.

Welcome back. So, what do you think of David’s advice on how to get over jealousy of an ex?

It may seem strange to you to contemplate befriending the one person who’s causing you so much grief, but this is because you’re seeing things through the lens of your ego.

Once you shed your ego (as David has done a long time ago) it may not seem such a strange proposition.

When we’re still learning how to get over jealousy of an ex, the ego loves to position itself as the “victim” up against an imaginary adversary i.e. your partner’s ex.

In your ego’s black and white worldview, it’s “us” against “them” and so it’s only natural that you may want to avoid meeting them. Or if you do meet them, to act all weird and snipey.

Your ego delights in making you feel sorry for yourself and that’s why you feel a bit like a petulant kid who’s not allowed to stay out late when it comes to your partner’s ex.

Why does he/she want to stay in contact with them anyway?” “What’s going on here?” “I hate that guy/girl!

As you can see from some of the remarks in the comments section to David video — calling him crazy for suggesting such an outrageous idea — many people have a hard time seeing things without their ego getting in the way and distorting reality like this.

But if you really want to learn how to get over jealousy of ex partners, losing the ego is essential.

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex

Why this is a great way of learning how to get over jealousy of an ex 

Once you’ve actually met this ex, they’ll immediately go from mysterious “bogey man/bogey woman” who haunts your imagination, to a real person who you can suss out.

If your partner shows any signs at all that they’re still interested in their ex, well then you’ve opened up a discussion that may save you several months or years of being with the wrong person.

Chances are, though, that they have absolutely zero interest in getting back with their ex, otherwise they’d have already done it.

In reality, the only reason they’re staying in touch is probably out of friendship.

Sound strange? Well, you may not want to remain friends with any of your exes, but some people do.

After all, maybe they’ve known them for a large proportion of their lives and been through a great deal of things together. Do you really want to come across as so paranoid that you’re afraid of their very existence in your partner’s life?

If you really want to learn how to overcome jealousy of an ex, what better way than to befriend them?

Not only will it help you with your jealousy, but it will display to your partner a level of confidence in yourself that’ll do you the world of good.

Insecurity has to be one of the biggest turn-offs in a relationship, and so imagine their surprise if you suggest (with sincerity and not a hint of sarcasm) that it’d be great to meet their ex.

Most people are too shackled by their ego to allow its defenses to fall in this way, but that’s not you anymore. Be the better man/woman and let go of needless anxiety over problems that don’t exist.

Have you tried out David’s advice and asked your partner’s ex over out for a drink?

Let me know in the comments section below how this technique has helped you learn how to overcome jealousy of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.


In conclusion… 

While struggling to learn how to get over jealousy of an ex, I used to think I’d never make it.

My jealousy felt like an immovable object that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shift.

It wasn’t.

Retroactive jealousy only feels immovable because you haven’t yet taken the necessary steps to overcome it.

Once you put certain routines, methods and ways of thinking about things into action, though, it’ll begin to lift fairly easily.

Find out what action you can take to learn how to get over jealousy of an ex.

Check out my course, Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy 101, or book below — The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure: How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past in 12 Steps. Or drop me a line for more info.


— Jeff

How To Get Over Jealousy Of An Ex


  1. Linda Jane says:

    After being in relationship with my boyfriend for seven years, he broke up with me because I couldn’t stop asking him questions about his ex. I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises to never mention his stupid ex again but he refused.

  2. Will says:

    Wow, so glad I found this site. Thanks Jeff!

  3. Fajid says:

    My thank you to you Jeff.

  4. Lenny says:

    Nice hacks Jeff, thanks. Hadn’t thought of some of these.

  5. Heidi says:

    Love love love these. Thanks so much Jeff!! (Number 3 is a life saver xxx)

  6. Martin says:

    I love #2 and #4. Going to use them for sure!

  7. Carl says:

    Thank you for these jeff, i will put all 5 into practice today!

  8. Sanke says:

    Thanks for this!! Awesome suggestions Jeff.

  9. Rose says:

    Thanks for this. Wonderful help for me and my really bad RJ.

  10. Patrick says:

    I want to say thank you for your wonderful site. Dread to think where I’d be with my retro jealousy if I hadn’t found it.

  11. Brian says:

    Great stuff. The only caveat I have, is that for me the jealousy started BECAUSE I met the ex. I had heard stories and I didn’t worry (sexual chemistry, etc.) But once I met him and couldn’t even see her sleeping with such a person, it made me disgusted, surprised and a bit envious. I thought, how could someone who isn’t even attractive have had sexual power over her? Was the sex THAT good you just ignored the looks? It turned me off all the way, but I have been working through it.

    1. Thanks Brian – that’s a good point. Not all cases are the same of course, but the technique as outlined in the post can also help.

  12. M says:

    Meeting his ex this weekend and I have an inordinate amount of anxiety over it because they on&off again shagged up to two weeks before I met him (and were together five years before that). I’ve always knows it’s my own ego and I’m the problem. I’ll be doing my very best to stop obsessing over it for the next five days. I know it will be better once we’ve met. Crucial advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *