Although, in theory, we all know what qualities to look for in a partner to have a strong and stable relationship—a healthy environment, mutual respect, and trust, for example—covering those bases is a lot more difficult in practice.
In fact, according to EFE Salud, being obsessed with your significant other's previous partners, and the resulting jealousy, can negatively affect your self-esteem and stunt the progress of the relationship you're trying to build.
What is Rebecca Syndrome?
Online magazine psychologiaymente.com posted an article about what people are calling Rebecca Syndrome:
A pathological condition or situation where one person in the relationship is extremely jealous of their current partner or spouse's previous romantic and/or sexual partners.
And, according to the experts, although it is quite common and normal to be a little jealous of your partner's past lovers, it becomes pathological, or a sickness, when it's a recurring pattern and veers on an obsession that starts to affect the health of the couple's relationship.
Sometimes, Rebecca Syndrome can lead to aggression towards the ex-partner or regular attempts to control all of one's partner's social interactions, which can cause a lot of conflict or unhealthy power dynamics in the current relationship.
Although at first, it might seem harmless to most of us, the fact of the matter is that, when such behaviour reaches an extreme, the best course of action would be to reach out to a mental health or relationship expert for help breaking the pattern.
Careful! Being stuck in the past can ruin your relationship in a heartbeat.