My boyfriend really likes to talk about his past relationships whenever we’re together and compare me to them. One of his favorite phrases is, “You’re not like anyone I’ve ever dated before.” I’ve asked him to stop before, but he still talks about all of the other girls. Is there anything I can do without murdering all of them?
-Not Like the Other Girls
Dear Not Like the Other Girls,
In capitalistic closeted totalitarian society like our own, it is easy to succumb to the pro-market fervor that penetrates our ears and minds daily and from birth. Like any good market, the dating market determines the value of its members relative to the values of the other members. A simple example here is that your boyfriend considers you the best value available to him (given his value) at the current time. Unfortunately for you, it seems that he’s more accepting of this horribly uncomfortable fact than you are.
Let me be clear, this value-driven paradigm is neither fun to live in nor to be aware of. Tinder is devastating because it marks you with a very specific value in the form of how many matches you’re able to draw. However, I’ve been unable to come up with a principled reason to think that there is another way to conceptualize this. But, all hope is not lost in your being able to get him to stop shut up so that you can go peacefully back to ignoring this fact. And, you don’t have to murder anyone!
Threaten to break up with him. He’s either going to do it anyway (as constantly referencing exes would imply), or he values you highly. If the latter is the case, then this should be a really easy negotiation tactic even if you’re not excited about the idea of breaking up. It’s warranted to want to avoid talking about other people that he’s slept with, and I’m sure you have other things to talk about.