I sometimes think I’m missing something.

Maybe it’s the way my parents raised me. Maybe it’s the Catholic education I endured. Maybe it’s the torment I suffered in grade school. Maybe it’s a chemical imbalance. I don’t know.

I focus on things that other people don’t seem to focus on.

I seem to have great trouble dealing with things that the rest of the world accepts pretty naturally. I am simply flabbergasted at the way most people seem to approach relationships. I know several people who can (and do) discuss at great length specific situations with previous partners while sitting next to their current partner (or spouse!). That boggles my mind.

When I’m dating someone, I don’t even want to hear a funny anecdote involving a previous boyfriend. I get physically uncomfortable if the discussion strays to what I consider taboo subjects. A girl I’m dating could tell me the funniest story in the world, and I’ll still experience a sickening reaction at the fact that it involved a previous boyfriend.

Is this normal? It’s such an aversion for me - it’s almost like I’d prefer to live in complete denial of the past … her past, at least.

I’ve been this way for about as long as I can remember - including my very first girlfriend 10 years ago. Who knows, maybe it was a result of that first girlfriend, and the way our relationship fell apart due to an ex-boyfriend. As I get older (and hopefully more mature), I find that I’m able to discuss the issues a little more honestly. I don’t have any reason to hide this character flaw. It’s a part of me. And before you ask - yes, I try my best to walk the walk and not just talk the talk: I try my absolute best not to discuss ex-girlfriends ever. About the only time I’ll discuss it is if I’m cornered and forced to discuss something.

My last relationship ended (among other reasons) as a result of this weakness of mine. She was quite comfortable discussing her ex-boyfriends, and did so quite a bit initially. I tried my best (and failed beautifully) to articulate my reservations. But we approached the situation from such radically different points of view that we couldn’t meet in the middle.

It makes me wonder what the future holds. It certainly doesn’t bode well for me, I don’t think.

I guess in the long run it boils down to insecurity. I’m not very secure, and I’ve yet to date a girl that I feel very secure in dating. Logically I know I have no reason not to be secure, and that I’m projecting my own insecurities forward. But that logic doesn’t help mitigate the sickening feeling in my stomach when ex-boyfriends come up.

Insecure and jealous, and afraid of being hurt, and selfish and weak.

It’s not entirely that I feel like there’s an unspoken competition between me and the guy(s) before. It’s not entirely that for years I’ve had an abysmal self-image. It’s a terrible combination of a great many things. And it’s a tremendous impediment.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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