Girlfriends previous sexual partners...
Ok first of all im 24 years old. I had a girlfriend for 7 years and she left me. We lost our virginity together. Now im with a new girl and we have been dating for a year. She has had 8 partners and now its been only 2 for me. I know the science behind males etc and wanting to sew their oats but i think about this all the time. It bothers me that my number isnt higher than hers and i think about them having sex all the time in the past. Its like im powerless and i should be the one in her position. Its like my head says i lost my virginity to a virgin but now its nowhere close to that. We have talked about all of this many times and i know it gets annoying but this is something i can not shake. Its 2 or 3 guys is ok but 8 damn it sucks. I compare myself to them and try to give her the best sex ever because of it. All i think about is images of other guys having sex with her and her partying it up in the past. Im a very protective person. Im a hardcore weightlifter and i dont know its just in my blood to be that way. I dont know what to do. It is wearing me out big time. The only thing good about this is that when i think of her having sex with other guys in the gym i lift heavier. I should have been born in the 1950's. This generation makes me sick. Help me :(
This is a common hang up for guys - since, as you say, men are more notorious for sleeping with multiple partners before settling down and somehow it's more socially acceptable.
But I think
the core issue here is your own self-esteem and self-image. Those self-esteem issues would still be there for you, even if you were with a girl that had only been with one guy before you. This situation has just made you more aware of your insecurities. You're in competition with a bunch of unknown guys, many of whom may have meant very little to your girlfriend. Good sex, and a good relationship, is not about how great you can perform in bed to keep your girlfriend satisfied. I've seen absolutely terrible relationships where the couple is totally dysfunctional and miserable, but they'd both swear the sex was great. And I've seen very happy relationships where sex is not the first priority.
Your job is to learn to see your girlfriend in the present moment, and see her with your heart. That means looking at her as more than just a body. You are not just a body and neither is she. And if you get caught in the illusion that she is just a body, than you will start to feel like she is a possession or an object.
You're looking at her and imagining her past and all these guys -- and they're probably entirely dreamed up in your head. Being in the present moment with your partner is the only way to really have a satisfying relationship that lasts - both sexually and in all ways.
If you can't let go of the past and these obsessive thoughts you are having about her former partners, I'd suggest trying Meridian Tapping as a way to clear your mind. Meditation could be a great help too.
This is an issue worth working on now, or it is likely to show up for you again in your next relationship, in some other form.
I wish you the best,
Ben Schwarcz, MFTSanta Rosa Psychotherapist