Am I jealous, or insecure? Does one cause the other? Is it the act itself, or the lies surrounding it? These are some of the questions my brain devolves into when I’m alone.
I have a colourful sexual history. I have been with my fair share of men and women in all kinds of different contexts. I’m no stranger to erotic exploration. In fact, for the most part, I find it to be a healthy process of understanding what you do and don’t want in a relationship (and sometimes, in life).
When I started dating my current boyfriend, of course this concept somewhat came up. He had ended a three-year relationship the year prior, and expressed that he hadn’t slept with anyone since.
On a rainy night, after we’d both been drinking, I found out this was a lie.
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He had, in fact, slept with a woman we’d run into at the bar. Except, he didn’t outright tell me that.
His story surrounding their hookup didn’t involve sex, and I had a sneaking suspicion that it did. I knew it wasn’t my business, but I was certain that him lying to me absolutely was my business, not to mention in the best interest of my own sexual health.
I pushed and pushed him to tell me the truth. When he finally did, that they had slept together once at a party, I was ready to leave him right then and there. Of course, it wasn’t that he had had a sexual partner before me. It was that he lied.
Still, those feelings of secrecy between him and another woman ignited something I sometimes experience in relationships — intense insecurity, and overwhelming jealousy.
When I feel vulnerable, and then lied to, it stirs up all kinds of otherwise dormant emotions. I started to feel insecure about everything he told me about his past.
Like the one time his good friend’s (now, not at the time) girlfriend and he made out when they were 14. That event could not be more inconsequential, yet somehow, I find myself fixated on it. I don’t even want to be in the same room as her let alone on a double date with them.
It’s hard to say whether I would feel differently had my boyfriend not lied to me in the first place. I’m very attracted to him, and in turn, feel possessive of him, but still — insecurity in a relationship always means you’re not in a healthy state of mind, or your partner is not to be trusted. Am I experiencing both? That’s been the hardest of all to decipher.