I’ve been seeing a lot of Internet memes lately (like the image below) about how if a man/woman isn’t jealous for you, then he/she doesn’t actually care.
And at first,gr I laughed and thought, “So true!”
But as I continued to reflect, I thought, “Wait...no, it is not! Why do we think this way? Why are we giving such a negative emotion leniency in our relationships?”
Because the truth is, jealousy isn’t attractive. It isn’t cute if a man gets angry that someone is talking to you. It isn’t hot when your partner is upset about who your friends are and what you do with them.
Now, it is important to be able to distinguish between genuine concern and jealousy. If you’re out at a bar with your significant other, and a convicted rapist (extreme example, but stay with me) approaches you and wants to hang out, your partner is likely going to try to help you out and steer you away from the situation. That is genuine concern. But if you’re out at the bar with your friends, having drinks and laughing and having a good time, but your partner texts you asking where you are and says he hopes you aren’t with any guys and if anyone approaches you then he’ll beat them up . . . that’s jealousy. And there isn’t any actual reason for it.
It is nice when your partner wants to protect you. And even if you don’t actually need his/her protection, it is nice to know that he/she wants to do his/her best to make sure you’re safe, secure and living the life you deserve.
It is not, however, nice when your partner wants you to hang out with certain people simply because he/she does not trust your other friends. It is not comforting to know that he/she could get angry when you have a simple conversation with someone.
Talk about jealousy. Talk about the way both of you feel when it comes to other influences in your relationship. Openly communicate your own jealousy (because let’s be honest, we’ve all been there). Make sure that you both are aware of how the person feels, and make a plan that includes both of you working on such issues in the relationship.
Relationships are difficult. They really are a lot of work; that’s not just some cliché. If you or your partner is feeling jealous, there is a reason why. So ask the question and work on the answer because jealousy isn’t healthy. It will pull your relationship into the fires of Mordor if you let it. It will destroy the trust and love that was once there. But if you work together to resolve the problems and communicate insecurities and discuss ways to help each other, the little green monster will go away and your relationship with each other and within yourselves will be that much stronger.