“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.”
We all have that little green-eyed monster inside us called jealousy. We see things that people have that we want, like a new car or phone. Or maybe it’s something less material, like good family relationships or a positive outlook on life. Regardless, everybody gets envious at some point or another in their life. It’s a natural occurrence.
But what happens when that jealous begins to seep into your relationship? I’ve seen a lot of couples where one side won’t let the other do anything, and it comes from a sense of paranoia that the person their dating will want to spend more time with others than with them. That’s a form of jealousy — and a very unhealthy one at that.
If you’re guilty of being the overly-possessive type (or you know someone who is) then I’ve got news for you:
It’s okay to spend time with other people. In fact, you should encourage it in your own relationship.
No one wants to spend 24/7 with one person. If you did, one or both of you would lose your minds. Sure, work or classes helps to reduce time spent together, but that’s not really the same thing as hanging out with friends.
So if you’re dating someone or in a marriage where you deal with jealousy in one form or another, and you find yourself getting jealous whenever your partner spends time away from you to hang out with their friends or co-workers, look to these three ways to stop feeling so jealous, and instead build trust in your relationship, and in each other.
1. Learn to trust your partner.
Jealousy comes from a lack of trust. You get worried when you see your partner with someone else because you’re afraid something will happen (in an intimate way). And why do you feel that way? Because you don’t trust your partner.
Of course that feeling can come from a myriad of reasons — but mostly insecurity. You might think that they think you’re not good enough, or you think that about yourself. Or maybe you think your partner seems more interested in him/her than you.
No matter the reason, there’s a two part solution to this problem. One, if you’re that insecure, talk to your partner about why you feel the way you do. Let them know how you feel. Your partner can’t read your mind, so tell them if you’re feeling jealous. Given the opportunity to talk about it in a low pressure sit-down conversation is a WAY better way to deal with the situation than to keep it all in and blow up later on.
The second part is after having that conversation, believe your partner. I know that’s easier said than done, but if you’ve let them know about your insecurities and they’re understanding of that, then know that you have nothing to worry about.
Trust isn’t easy, but if you’re willing enough to give your love to someone, why not your trust?
2. Make your own friends (and hang out with them away from your partner).
No mind wanders more than one unoccupied. If your boyfriend/girlfriend is the only one of you two that goes out, then it’s understandable why your concern would build. If only one person is in your life, that’ll be the only one you think about. So instead of sitting and waiting around for them to come back, it’s time to get up on go out on your own.
If you’re not really a social person, I know this can be difficult. Not only do you not like talking to people, but as a girl, you probably have to worry about being hit on too. But just because you’re going out doesn’t mean you have to go to a place with a ton of people. You can go to a store or park. Anywhere where there are at least a few people around. You can even look for event flyers posted on bulletin boards to see what social events are going on.
Even if you do have friends, they could be busy, so it doesn’t hurt to try something new.
If you go and do things while your partner is doing the same, then you won’t think about it nearly as much, especially if you’re having fun.
3. Work on yourself, and find out why your jealousy is getting the better of you.
The biggest reason people get feelings like jealousy or uncertainty is because of their insecurities. It’s natural for everyone to have those and honestly I don’t think that there’s a single person on the planet that doesn’t have at least one. But the problem becomes when these insecurities start to seep into your life in a more obvious way, like getting so jealous to the point that you try to stop your partner from going out.
Instead of letting yourself stew, take this as the perfect opportunity to work on those insecurities. Try to figure out why you feel the way you do and see what you can do to remedy those uneasy feelings. If you can get that figured out, not only will it benefit you, but it’ll benefit your relationship as well.