Why do we get jealous?
We see our partner across the room, having fun with someone else doing the things we would otherwise want them to do and instead of being happy for them, we get bitter and ruin the mood by our jealousy. Especially so if the person whose company our partner seems to be enjoying that much is female.
Is it because we don’t trust our partner? Is it because we don’t trust that woman?
While the answer to either or both of those questions might sometimes be a yes, more often than not it is a no. Why would we be with someone whom we don’t trust anyway, and why would we suspect the motives of a woman who might genuinely have no questionable motives and who we, under different circumstances might actually like?
Which brings me to another question that I will leave for you to answer; is jealousy the product of a false sense of entitlement?
More often than not, jealousy doesn’t have quite as much to do with your partner as much as it has to do with you. If you have tendencies to be not just jealous, but also defensive, take a deep breath and hear me out before you close this tab proclaiming this to be utter nonsense.
I’m no psychologist or behavioral analyst, but from personal experience and from observing other people in relationships, I have concluded that the main reason for jealousy is a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy, or even the consequence of putting your partner up on a pedestal.
You see your partner as a ‘God-like’ being who is the epitome of perfection; either because they were there for you through something that bonded you very closely to them (now making you the one with more to lose if they don’t feel as attached to you as you to them) or because they possess qualities that you respect but have never been able to cultivate. Or you might even believe that their physical appearance wouldn’t normally land them with ‘a person like you’.
If you notice, even this tendency stems out of a feeling of inferiority, which is never a healthy base for any relationship. Seeing yourself as lesser and placing your partners needs above yours can never make for a fully functional, satisfying relationship, as jealousy is inevitable when you believe that your partner can
a) Do so much better than you
b) Get anyone he wants
because you see him as perfect and don’t understand why someone else wouldn’t.
In a situation where your issues aren’t being manifested through a tendency of putting your partner on a pedestal, insecurity directly manifests itself in a show of ‘over-attachment’, which is colloquial for clinginess or neediness.
You get clingy or needy because you believe that another person has a chance with your partner, because you see the other person as being better than yourself. In this case your jealousy finds socially acceptable reasons to be publicly (or even privately) manifested and more often than not, we believe those reasons to soothe our pride, which would otherwise be battered.
Unlike most issues couples have, jealousy, which if goes unchecked or becomes a chronic tendency, has the ability to wreck a relationship which otherwise would have had the potential to grow stronger and be successful.
Now that you know this, you might want to make certain changes to your method of coping with a sudden surge of emotions that you usually feel when you know you’re getting jealous; and like most issues the ‘green eyed monster’ can be overcome if you try hard enough.
1. For starters, you’ve got to understand your style of attachment with your parents or primary caregiver. Was it secure? Anxious? Avoidant? Once you’ve got that figured out you’ll know which areas you can work on and make a conscious effort to avoid falling into past patterns. It might be hard initially because it is after all an attempt to change your lifestyle, but it isn’t impossible.
2. The second thing you can do is figure out if the reason you’re getting jealous is because this situation reminds you of a situation from past experience which didn’t turn out well. If yes, then is the person you’re with reminiscent of the person you were in that situation with? If not, there’s nothing to worry about and you’re on your guard only because of a whiff of ghosts from your past. If this person is reminiscent of that person, though, rethink why you are together if they possess the same undesirable tendencies of your previous partner.
3. Once you’re certain that the reason for your jealousy has no concrete root in the outside world, look within and work on yourself. Do you think lesser of yourself? Do you underestimate your abilities? Do you mask your sense of inferiority under thundering claims of superiority over the rest of the population? If any of this is true, work on the area you believe you need to develop. Whether it’s your physical appearance, the way you speak, the amount you read, general awareness, sociability, whatever it might be. If you try to get better at something, you can, and nobody should be allowed to tell you otherwise.
4. If you believe that you need to meet people to feel more confident about yourself, go out and find something you love doing. Don’t just pretend to be doing something you love to prove a point to someone or show someone down, do what genuinely makes you happy. When you’re busy with your own life, you will have less time to overthink and hence even lesser time to burn in jealousy everytime someone likes his or her profile picture.
5. Trust your partner. They aren’t always seeking someone else or looking for an opportunity to cheat. If they’re with you, its because they appreciate you and when you understand that, you won’t find the need to be jealous even if he interacts with pretty, accomplished women all day long. Stop comparing, because you aren’t competing with anyone else for his affections.
Everything starts from within and starts with an initiative; If you must cut off toxicity from your life in the form of people, social media, apps, et al, do it without thinking twice.
When you’re less burdened by jealousy, not just your relationship, but even your life will begin to make you truly happy because you then will not be limiting either your partner or yourself from reaching your true potential.