She keeps comparing herself to my ex

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,
I've been dating this woman for about six months, but she keeps comparing herself to my ex. I'm over my ex and she knows it, but does not want to believe that fact. I am tired of repeating that I have no interest in my ex and that I want to be with her, but she just doesn't get it. She said that her last boyfriend ditched her for her friend and so it's a mental thing. What can I do?

Once bitten twice shy is probably where your girlfriend is right now, and so she's very cautious about going into a new relationship. She obviously suffered great stress coming out of the former relationship and doesn't want a repeat of that episode, so her reaction is quite understandable given the circumstances.

You will need to be quite patient and considerate, reassuring her everyday that you are committed to the relationship. It would require extraordinary effort on your part to keep her emotionally secure as she is in a very a vulnerable place — giving her heart to someone else and not knowing if the same fate will befall her.

As much as you feel somewhat frustrated with her inability to trust the process, it is to your benefit to go at her pace and entertain the conversation when she wants to go there. It is important that you don't shut her down and tell her to get over it and move on. That would further complicate matters and put a wedge in the relationship.

Avoid any reference to your ex-girlfriend in discussions with your lady, and if you must reach out to your ex for any reason, be transparent and open with your current partner. Don't let her find any incriminating material in your possession, like pictures on your phone that could suggest any dealings with your ex-girlfriend. That's the extent of the self-scrutiny you will have to maintain in this exceptional situation.

Hopefully, with time, your lady will be assured that she is safe in the relationship and will allow herself to be vulnerable again and give you and the relationship the opportunity to grow organically. She must appreciate though that if she continues the present trajectory, she will eventually sabotage the relationship.

So take it slow and continue to give her the assurance that your attention is focused on her and the future of the relationship.

All the best, and take care.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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