Retroactive Jealousy Issues: The Different Forms Retroactive Jealousy Takes

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by Jeff Billings in Retroactive Jealousy Blog
November 25, 2015
Retroactive Jealousy Issues

Just what is retroactive jealousy? I’ve addressed this question in a previous post, but in this one I thought I’d break down the condition into the various forms of retroactive jealousy issues that can affect people.

To suffer from retroactive jealousy in a general sense means being hung up on thoughts about your partner’s sexual past, but this can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at each of these relationship problems and jealousy issues about the past in turn:

#1. Retroactive jealousy issues about casual sex

Famous last words
“You had five f**k buddies in six months?!”

This form of retroactive jealousy tends to affect men more than women and is a morbid fixation on a partner’s past casual sex life. Note: the word “casual” is key here.

The sufferer is unable to get repetitive thoughts and images out of their head of their partner enjoying casual sex with random, multiple partners.

While they may not give a hoot about who their partner dated for ten years, they’re obsessed with f**k buddies, one-night-stands, and any form of casual hook-up the mind can conjure up.

It’s the carefree “sex for the sake of sex” nature of these encounters that really bothers the sufferer, and overall they cause a host of jealousy and trust issues.

The fact that their partner was once so overcome by passion for someone else that they had a one-night stand, or that they had a “secret little arrangement” with a f**k buddy in which they used and were used by someone else purely for sex, is really at the heart of these jealousy problems.

Usually the less casual sex their partner had with someone the better. So one night stands are preferable to two-night stands, and two-night stands are preferable to f**k buddies. And, of course, the shorter the timescale this all went on for, the better.

#2. Retroactive jealousy issues about “big” numbers

Famous last words
“You’ve slept with seventy-three girls since you were sixteen?!”

With this form of retroactive jealousy it’s not the random, casual quality of the sex that matters so much, but the quantity.

If a partner has engaged in two one-night stands before they met, everything would be fine — but twenty?

Often, the gory details about who their partner once had a one-night stand with, or had a f**k buddy relationship with, is missing. But that doesn’t matter. It’s all about the numbers.

So when that number’s found out, either accidentally or through probing, that’s enough to send the sufferer spinning off into retroactive jealousy hell.

Just how many people is “too many” to have had sex with is purely subjective. I’ve had emails from people complaining about their partner having had sex with sixty people and others complaining about three. It all depends on the moral mind-set of the sufferer.

Nevertheless, for some reason anything under twenty seems to be the “acceptable” norm for women, and anything under forty for men.


#3. Retroactive jealousy issues about amazing sex

Famous last words
“And they were both professional basketball players, you say?”

Finding out that your partner once had a threesome with two pro basketball players (or with anyone for that matter) maybe best sums up this category — anxiety caused by past hot sex.

Hearing tales of amazing sex with athletes, kinky sex, threesomes, orgies, bondage etc. can conjure images in the mind that are especially hard to get rid of.

This can be particularly true if the partner no longer has any desire to repeat the performance with the sufferer, leading to the feeling that they maybe don’t find them as attractive, and had better sex in the past than in the present.

Past repetitions of the act are not required to cause immense mental turmoil. Just the one occurrence of a threesome or particularly hot sex encounter will do, and usually enough to send the sufferer’s mind into a wormhole of confusion and self-doubt.

#4. Retroactive jealousy issues about a past relationship

Famous last words
“Tell me more about his start-up company helping refugees.”

This form of retroactive jealousy tends to affect women more than men and manifests itself as an unhealthy fascination with a partner’s ex.

Jealousy problems surrounding a partner’s ex are less about superficial sex and more about intimacy.

In a complete mirror image of issue #1, the sufferer can hear stories about one-night stands, f**k buddies and hot threesomes and hardly bat an eyelid.

Tell the same person a story about how their partner enjoyed an amazing weekend in Rome in 2006 with an ex-boyfriend and their bottom lip starts trembling.

It’s the notion that a partner once had strong feelings or was in love with someone else that’s so threatening to the sufferer.

All retroactive jealousy stems to some extent from comparing yourself with someone else from the past, but with this issue it becomes even more heightened. Therefore, the hotter the ex the worse the pain.

Of course, many sufferers of these retroactive jealousy issues combine elements from each of the above depending on the situation. Some people find out that their partner had five f**k buddies (#1) in six months (#2) and a threesome (#3) involving their ex-boyfriend (#4).

Retroactive jealousy is never a straight forward matter and the mind just loves to get hung up on as many issues as it can. The more problems there are to work out, the more of a sense of “them” against “me” it can conjure up, the better.

Check out my book “The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure: How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past in 12 Steps“, or if you’ve already done so, click the button below to purchase it and get started learning how relatively simple getting over girlfriend’s past lovers can actually be.


All the best,



Are you confused about what retroactive jealousy issues you’re suffering from? What camp do you fall in? How are you getting on with overcoming your jealousy and trust issues? Let me know in the comments section below!

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