Imagine This , You are in the future, on a double date with some of your friends; another couple. Your partner is telling a funny story at the dinner table. All is going well, until… BAM. Your partner brings up a person from one of their past relationships. Awkward! Now, before you get too upset, I want you to remember what you have read here today.
Here are 5 reasons why your partner might have brought up a past relationship:
1. They Are Insecure
Your partner could very well just be insecure. If you are “too good” for them in their eyes, this can be very disconcerting. One involuntary response to feeling inferior to someone else is to try to build yourself up. This may be easier to picture if you think of someone in your family. Maybe a sibling. When they were young and becoming embarrassed about something they had done, they rapidly began to try to justify why they did what they did.
This can just as well be applied to someone trying to explain why they are the way that they are. It makes sense if you think about it. If someone feels that they are not worthy of another person, they will try to make themselves appear good enough, or somehow validate themselves to others. Some people do this by talking about past relationships.
Surely, if other people have been interested in a relationship with you, you are worthy of your current partner’s attention also. Right? This reason for bringing up past relationships is generally not malicious.
2. They Are Controlling
Your partner may be controlling. While this may/may not be intentional, it is certainly detrimental to any relationship. Whether or not they are being this way on purpose, someone who is controlling will frequently remind their partner of their flaws and inequities in order to exert a certain amount of control over them. How does this work? It’s simple. Say you have a partner who is not doing things the way that you want them to, or perhaps not behaving properly in your eyes.
A controlling person will see this and decide to “bring their partner into line” by threatening them, in a sense. To control someone, you simply remind them that you have been with other people and you very well could be again, if they don’t do what you say. All it takes is bringing up people from your past, and they have now put just enough fear into their partner that they are now working harder to please them. As messed up as this sounds, it is very real and it happens a lot more than you may think.
3. They Are Angry
Your partner could simply be angry. They could have some amount of passive resentment, or they may be having a sudden outburst of anger towards you. Sadly enough, we have probably all done this in some capacity before. You are in the moment and you are so upset, you lose control of your tongue.
While you may not be thinking, “I want to emotionally damage my partner as badly as possible”, you could very well be thinking, “I’ve had enough of this. I’ll show them!”. Regardless of how we get there, the destination is the same. You suddenly burst out with, “Well, Kenny would never have treated me that way!” or “I miss being with Clarissa because she would go square dancing with me!”. Well, now you’ve done it. You have hurt the other person’s feelings, intentionally. You should apologize for this.
4. They Are Regretful
Your partner may regret that they are in a relationship with you. This will strike many people as being rather shallow, but let’s say your partner is genuinely wondering how they ended up with you. Not in a good way, either. They feel they are 110% too good for you and you are lucky to have them. This could inadvertently lead to them thinking wistfully about missed opportunities and all of the “could’ve/should’ve” in the dating world. It’s a depressing thought, but not something to be ignored.
In this instance, your partner is talking about people from past relationships because they feel like they are a better measure of their dating prowess than you, yourself are. This may be completely innocent but, obviously, that does not make it any less hurtful.
5. They Are Reminiscing
Your partner may simply be reminiscing! The conversation may have just run its course and reminded your partner of particular stories or events where their past lovers were involved. There is no reason to get upset over this whatsoever, as it is completely natural and not meant to offend you in any way.
You have absolutely nothing to worry about in this instance, my friend. Your partner is so secure and happy in their relationship with you that they trust you to understand the value of remembering old times.
The Big Picture:
Remember, there are many reasons which may cause your partner to bring up a past relationship. Not all of them are good. Not all of them are bad. Not all of them are intentional. What is important to keep in mind is that all of them deserve the benefit of the doubt.