Few qualities are more unattractive in a person and are unhealthy to a romantic relationship or even casual dating than jealousy. Jealousy leads to insecurity, anger, unfounded and unnecessary fights in relationships and painful break-ups for no good reason. Thus, learning how to overcome and abandon jealousy can be critical to having a good dating life and romantic relationships that last.
I remember asking one of my female classmates to go out dancing. We have been talking and studying together once in a while. She had a boyfriend and she knew I had a girlfriend. My behavior around her was not flirtatious or suggestive in any way and I was definitely not interested in her sexually. Also, we were going with a group of classmates so it wouldn’t just be me and her. In other words, there was no reason to suspect that I was romantically interested in her or that she will be in any kind of “bad” situation. Despite that, her response to my invitation to go dancing was very surprising to me. She told me that she couldn’t go because her boyfriend wouldn’t allow her to go to a club with anyone, unless he was coming as well, and he didn’t want to go. It wasn’t that I was the problem for her boyfriend. She couldn’t go out without him at all, even with her girlfriends. I was kind of shocked to hear that the guy was expecting that from his girlfriend and that she was actually ok with that. There was so much I wanted to tell her about this, but I didn’t know where to start.
Jealousy is one of the worst poisons to any relationship. The devastating effects of jealousy are twofold: first, jealousy ruins good communication between people, causing a multitude of unfounded arguments and fights; secondly, jealousy conveys some of the most unattractive qualities in a jealous person such as lack of confidence and insecurity which are some of the biggest turn offs for both men and women.
Jealousy and irrational suspicion of your dating partner loyalty indicate insecurity in a person’s self-worth and lack of confidence in his ability to attract and keep a partner interested. A lover who suspects his partner of unfaithfulness without having real evidence of that will literally “terrorize” him by questioning and constantly treating him as a suspect of the crime of cheating. This is one of the reasons that overcoming jealousy is critical to both maintaining a good relationship and saving the one that’s one the brink of break up because of jealousy.
Ironically, we are more likely be jealous and let it adversely affect our behavior, if the relationship is otherwise great, and if we are particularly happy with our partner and know that the relationship we are in is great and isn’t easy to find or replace. Our jealousy and possessiveness is thus a side effect of our desire not to lose something that is special and very precious to us. And the more precious our partner is to us, the more carefully we guard him / her by being jealous. That concern and fear of loss of someone great and special leads us to over-protecting it. Being suspicious, showing lack of trust, and questioning your partner way too much about his whereabouts in an investigating manner cause unnecessary arguments and fights are all consequences of jealousy. Don’t let this happen to you – don’t let your jealousy sabotage a good relationship.
If you believe that you subject your partner to jealousy for no rational reason, start working on overcoming it immediately. Eliminating jealousy is not a quick process. Jealousy is a trait of character, a frame of mind and an emotion. As such – getting rid of it is a gradual process that requires work, self-reflection, patience, and persistence. The good news is that the rewards of dealing with and overcoming jealousy will likely keep you free of jealousy for the rest of your life and will make your future relationships much more successful and much less likely to fall apart because of your possessiveness and tendency to be too controlling.
So, what are the steps that you can take to deal with and overcome jealousy and possessiveness?
The first and the most important step in dealing with jealousy is, like with many other issues is recognizing that you have a problem and admitting it to yourself and to your partner. Most people who have jealousy issues are in denial and refuse to admit that their behavior and perception are irrational and their lack of trust is unsubstantiated by any real facts. Recognizing that you have a problem is essential to your motivation to work on it and to your success in overcoming jealousy. Once you have passed this crucial first step and have recognized that you are jealous, I suggest that you adopt the following, proven-to-be-effective beliefs. These beliefs will gradually eliminate your jealousy and all of its manifestations:
Become aware and accept the fact that whether you trust the person you are with or not, whether you question his actions or not, and whether you “spy” on him has no positive effect on his behavior and faithfulness. If a man or a woman wants to cheat, he / she will find a way to cheat, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. So, stop it! Stop assuming the worst about him. Stop wondering where he is and what he is doing at any given moment! Learn how to stop being needy and clingy with your partner. It will not do any good to either you or him. Assume the best about your partner and his faithfulness to you until and unless you have real reasons to believe otherwise, because there are simply no better options.
Keep in mind that the only reason, the only thing that keeps your partner around you is his desire to be with you. Nothing else keeps either of you near each other, and certainly not your jealousy. And his desire to be with you comes not from your pressure to be together, not from your being jealous or your attempts to convince him to be faithful to you, but from your other qualities that make you attractive and desirable to your partner. Your efforts to keep your partner have no positive effect on your relationship. If anything, it might put excess pressure on that person – something that no one enjoys and tolerates for very long. Remember that the best “leash” is the loose one or even better – a total absence thereof.
To remove your mind from jealous thoughts, become a little more selfish. Spend more of your time and your emotional and intellectual resources on building yourself as an individual rather than perceiving yourself as part of the relationship. Work on your career and your other goals. Take a class in a field that you have an interest in, learn a new language, engage in a form of creative art, take a dance class, and do anything else that you have or might have an interest in, so that there is more to your life than just that relationship, and so that your life does not revolve around any given person and his faithfulness to you. Pursuing other objectives of your life will prevent you from obsessing over your partner and will keep you in a much healthier emotional state, free of jealousy.
By getting rid of jealousy, you will exhibit some of the most attractive qualities in you. You will show your confidence in yourself and in your ability to attract the other person and maintain his exclusive romantic interest in you without doing it with force. You will affirm your value as a wise person. Don’t miss out on such an easy way to demonstrate those great qualities by rising above jealousy.
Remember, there is no insurance policy for maintaining any relationship. Any relationship can fall apart at any time, however stable and long lasting it has been so far. Just look around – 20-year and longer marriages fall apart every day for all kinds of reasons. I don’t mean to say this to be negative or cynical about life or to make you even more skeptical about love and loyalty. And, this doesn’t mean that you have to expect the worst, but it does mean that you have to recognize that to a large extent, any relationship is inherently unpredictable. Whether you are casually dating someone or are married, whether you have been together for one month or twenty years, it’s possible that your relationship will end at any time for a hundred possible reasons.And jealousy certainly won’t help make any relationship more stable.
What does this mean to you?
This means that you should enjoy and appreciate your relationships as long as they last. At the same time you should accept and embrace the possibility that any such relationship might be over one day. And if it is, it will be tough to deal with, especially if you really, really like someone, but you will always get over it with time. It will not be the end of the world for you. Your duty is being the best you can be in a relationship that you want to have. The rest is not up to you. The rest depends on your partner and you have no control over it. And, whatever you have no control over, should not concern you or be a cause of your anxieties.
As you are successfully fighting and overcoming jealousy, you will start experiencing tremendous freedom. This is the kind of freedom where you enjoy your love life without the taxing pain of constant jealousy and insecurity and the pleasure of giving your partner a better, wiser, stronger, and happier you! Once your partner feels more free and less restricted by your jealousy, he will likely find you more attractive. No one really enjoys being on a tight leash.
Despite all the negative things that can be said about jealousy, it seems that this emotion is part of human nature. For hundreds or even thousands of years jealousy and desire for revenge lead to murders, wars, and other smaller-scale conflicts. Perhaps accepting that we are all prone to jealousy to some extent is an important step toward knowing how to handle it and how to not let it negatively affect your personal, professional and romantic life. After all, being jealous of a co-worker who was promoted over you is just as bad as being jealous of your dating partner or that other person who managed to attract the one you wanted to be with.
Once you free yourself of jealousy, you will come across as a far more confident person who is much more fun to be around. It’s possible that your partner might be used to seeing more jealousy in general or from you specifically, and he might mistake your non-jealous ways for not caring. If that’s the case, you should remind your partner that the reason you are not jealous is because you do care but you also have trust in him, and you realize that jealousy doesn’t do any good. After all, it cannot prevent any problems if they are otherwise bound to happened.