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I feel like my boyfriend's past relationship is haunting me

The guy I'm currently dating is my very first boyfriend while I am his 3rd girlfriend. About a year into our relationship I started to get annoyed after still finding reminders of his exes all over the place: pictures of them in his room, pictures on his computer of them in his bed, wearing underwear, old notes he'd saved from them that were lying around, songs or poems he'd written for them in random notebooks... I swear I didn't start looking for this stuff. But after confronting my boyfriend about this and having him tell me it was no big deal and he'd just forgotten this stuff was around, I started to get paranoid and I did actually look at his yearbook. I will admit that this was a really stupid thing to do. It had all these prom pictures of him and his girlfriend, a dedication from him to her and a personal message that he paid for, and a really long note from his ex inside the front cover. I know it might sound dumb but reading that stuff made me feel really jealous. Especially since there were allusions to them having sex and she was his first (and he was mine).
Anyway, after awhile my boyfriend said he'd gotten rid of everything. But it's been 2 years since this all happened and I am still finding pictures of her saved on the computer, letters to her, and just now when I was playing music I found a huge file of songs labeled "Our Songs" thinking it was for me and him, I got all excited but then I realized it was for his ex and contained songs and sound bites from movies about love and whatnot. Again, I am NOT looking for this stuff. I don't want to see it and I don't want to know about it. I'm really upset right now, partially because I am sick of finding this stuff and partially because when I do, I feel like my boyfriend doesn't care as much about me. He's never done cute little things for me like he seemed to do for his ex. Honestly, the only thing I can think of is that he once bought me a little stuffed "imp plushie" that I liked. And we've been going out for 4 years now! He only went out with this other girl for a year and a half. I just feel kind of sick over the whole thing but I also think I'm maybe overreacting. I don't know. I just don't know how to handle this! I try really hard to please my boyfriend and I guess it bothers me that he doesn't seem to try as much with me. I talked about this with him before (when he forgot my first birthday with him) and he claims it's just because he's "not like that", yet then I find that he DID do all this really sweet stuff previously.
I don't know what to do or what to think. Am I just being crazy? Or am I right to be a little peeved? Any advice for the future?

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3 years 26 weeks
This thing of being still friend's with ex's are really crazy. Why be friend's with someone you dropped in the first place and at that time doesn't want to know anything about the other one anymore - wasn't that the reason you made out anyway? Being friends with an ex just hurt new relationships, be honest from the start about it from the beginning of a new relationship and get it over with. But it seems that some guys and girls doesn't really cares about the other's feelings - and looking at this on a few sites - it seems mostly being the guys who does not care a damn about a girls feelings. My friend also still have contact with his ex he made out with a year before I met him and him told me about her after 3 months of dating. I honestly dont' know what to do as she's always around when having a bbq with some of his old yearly friends, saying hello and goodbye with a hug and kiss???, but for the while I will leave it like that just for the reason we are not marry yet, so both of us are still free to date who and when we wanted to. Not that I'm that type and wanted to as I believe in a one longterm relationship. But if this thing is going to be pushed too far I'll just end the relationship and rather be on my own than with someone who cannot leave the past.
3 years 32 weeks
I am in the EXACT same situation. I hat it. It makes me feel like he will never love me the way he once did. Why does maturity+ less lovey cutesy stuff? that is bull crap. I am NOT an insecure person. I treat my boyfriend WAY better than he ever was treated by her ( she cheated on him) and yet- we dot have a song, we dont have inside jokes, he doesn write me poems, he doesnt drop everything to be with me. When he dated her- it was all her. With me its like 75%. I literally can not do anymore to make him want to treat me like he treated her. Sad thing is- he will never understand how I feel. He'll only think of me as being insecure and jealous. :(
4 years 8 weeks
Hi, I agree with everyone's comment. I really appreciate all the comments. They help me a lot. I am actually in the same situation as the person who first posted her question. When I first met my boyfriend, we talked about different things including ex-relationship. I told him about my ex and he did the same thing. At the time, his ex did not bother me until recently. What happened is after 4-5 months together, when my boyfriend saw something or anything that reminds him of his ex, he would bring it up. I felt hurt so bad and very jealous with his ex. I tried to let it go but it continues to bother me. So I confronted him and he said he is over his ex but still hurt very badly by his ex because his ex did something terribly to him and also when they broke up, it was his fault. He blamed him for the mistake. Therefore, he felt guilty and hurt since that time. He said he would not never come back to his ex. Again, I am jealous so I decided to break up with him because I feel like I cannot compete with his ex. Then he kept asking to come back and when we came back together this time, he did not mention about his ex- anymore. He showed his care and respect for me. I can see he is trying very hard to treat me and my family right. He also is trying hard to move forward. But because I am still haunted by his ex, I become very sensitive with anything to do with his ex. Anyway...I was just upset at him recently because while we were talking about some topic, I asked him a question and he happened to mention his ex (although he mentions his ex, he never said his ex name because he knows I don't like it). This really threw me off so I could not take it and decided to break up again. We have been breaking for about 4 weeks but we still talk as friend and he still asks me to come back to him. He still shows care for me and my family. He still respects me. The only problem is he is very slowly moving on from the past. He is a very good guy and I don't want to loose him but how can I handle this situation? He said he is over his ex but still hurt by her daily. He also said he is trying very hard to move on. I really don't know what to believe and to do. Pls help.
Allytta Allytta 4 years 26 weeks
i agree with what people said except for our songs part. wouldn't you get rid of that? it's not like you can keep it till you're 80, computers will have different data sources by then. or maybe he's just too sloppy to clean things up and erase stuff
4 years 26 weeks
Like people above have said, we all keep things because of nostalgia. I have a box full of pictures, corsages, concert tickets, etc. That I never even think about until I have to look in the back of my closet, but when I do I get a kick out of seeing all those old things. The fact that he has them just lying around is rather odd to me, but hey, he's a guy, maybe he just never thought to redecorate. Now when you mention things like him forgetting your birthday I get a little more concerned. Still, it was the first year you were together and now you have been dating for four. If it wasn't a big enough deal for you to break up with him then, it certainly isn't now, and if you've been with him that long I'm assuming he's a decent enough boyfriend, right? Stop worrying about the past and focus on the now. If you really feel that you are settling (based on the relationship that YOU have now, not the one you think he used to have before) then move on. But if not, then don't poison something good. Remember that they broke up for a reason, and you've lasted way longer than she did.
lickety-split lickety-split 4 years 26 weeks
Some people never move on from their first love. Sounds like you are second best. Is that enough?
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 4 years 26 weeks
I am one of those people that never throws things out. It's doesn't mean I'm still pining for everything in my past, it's just more of a nostalgia thing. I love looking at old stuff my parents or grandparents kept around and I know that when I'm 80, I'll enjoy sitting in my rocking chair looking at silly love notes, old pictures of friends, etc. It doesn't mean I still have deep, unresolved affection for all things past. I'm just kind of a hoarder to anything. I really enjoy documenting my life by hanging on to things from different stages of it. You've been with him for four years, so I'm betting he's pretty into you. I agree with Pistil that you cannot expect him to throw away keepsakes from high school. Yearbooks, prom photos, and notes are not something to start getting jealous over. He's saving them for the same reason a lot of us do... so that when we're older, we can look at those photos and laugh at our stupid hairstyles. I think most of us can say we look back at high school and kind of giggle, we don't take it seriously unless we're actually in it. If he was sixteen and with his first girlfriend, of course he's going to be more cutesy wootsey. Take a deep breath and remember that he's with you now. Is he good to you? Does he love you? Do you love him? If yes, then don't sweat the teenage love notes.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 4 years 26 weeks
You have to respect that he has a past, those women were part of his past and you need to respect that and understand that. Most men you will be with will have had other [important] women in their past. Don't compare your relationship with his previous one, as stated above, maybe he was in one of those stages ( I know that when I was younger I was more romantic and corny that I'm now). If he makes you happy and he treats you well, then don't sweet the small stuffs, enjoy your relationship.
notinthemood notinthemood 4 years 26 weeks
Look at the relationship in its current state. If he's a good man and really loves you, it doesn't matter what he was like with his high school girlfriend. (I'm a little worried about him forgetting your birthday, and if he's not really acting like he's into the relationship.) Honestly though, I would have expected that he would have hidden those items away somewhere. I keep things, but I keep them hidden. If you're finding without looking, I'd think he's been pulling them out to look at them. I don't want to make you paranoid though... talk to him about where he sees your relationship going in the next 2 years. See what he feels about the future, marriage, etc... if he's not totally into you (as I think you suspect) you'll know by his reaction. Don't drag the ex into it though... she's completely irrelevant, unless they've been talking now. Good luck!
Pistil Pistil 4 years 26 weeks
I can understand feeling a little jealous. I mean, no one likes to be reminded that they weren't the one and only ever. Remember you're the one and only now. You can't expect him to toss his yearbook, or any of the high school memorabilia he might have, or to thoroughly wipe his hard drive. Your first serious girlfriend/boyfriend is a big deal. I think it's quite normal to be really 'cutesy' about relationships when you're in high school, and to kind of out grow that stuff as Nevaeh suggested. My boyfriend has notes and pictures put away from his high school sweetheart. I can't let it bother me. I know past relationships end for a reason. Since you've been with this guy for four years, he must be a decent guy. He may not be showering you with useless trinkets, but I bet if you think about it he's probably shown you a lot of kind gestures over the years (and remember romance should be a two way street).
kurniakasih kurniakasih 4 years 26 weeks
Stop it with the exes thing. Seriously. If he were like me--since I'm that type of don't throw things out, ha, and I have stumbled into old love notes/poems from my ex by accident then I was all 'awww, but what a stupid girl I was being involved with that a-hole' then put it back in a box and forgot all about it until now--he's probably telling the truth that he doesn't care much about crap like that. As for the cutesy wutesy craps. I'll be honest, I used to do that crap too for 2 exes when I was younger, but no more now that I'm more in a mature state of mind and perhaps I just get bored with doing those stuffs. But it never means that my love for my hub is stale, if anything, I can say that he's the only guy I romantically love and will never be unfaithful to and yes, I may not be a 'romantic' anymore, but I treat him really well and my hub said that I'm his 'last' one, he may not be a romantic, but he said that because he said he wouldn't be able to be with someone else if something bad should happen to me or something. I digress. Your problem is this, stop comparing with the ex and look into your relationship NOW. Take out the cutesy wutesy stuff. Has he been treating you right? He may not be all 'cutesy,' but has he reciprocated your sweetness by other action albeit more practical ones. For example, he makes sure your vehicle is well-tuned, wash it and fills it with gas (yes, it's practical things, but it's action that shows he cares about your well-being/property). Does he check in with you (without being annoying or nagging), to make sure you arrive home ok? Does he show caring attitude if you get sick? Et etc. If he's not treated you well, you need to take that into consideration, that, he may be taking you for granted and isn't very appreciative of you. And he's just plain selfish. Because the cutesy wutesy stuffs can be pretty superficial (not always, but can be) esp. when a guy is in that infatuation mode. Well, good luck.
Raynne413 Raynne413 4 years 26 weeks
How old was he when they first dated? To be honest, a lot of men do the more cutesy, romantic things when they are younger and still in the first stages of infatuation. It could honestly be that he forgot about them. I mean, he's been with you for four years. However, I can definitely understand how it would bother you. I'd feel the same. In this instance, I'd be more concerned with how he acts. If he acts like he loves you, cares for you, and respects you, and shows it in his every day life, then I would try not to worry too much about his not making you mix tapes. :)