I want to begin by first clearing up a misconception… it does not show that you care. More often than not, it shows that you are either crazy, irrational, controlling, or all of the above. For example, because your ex-girlfriend cheated on you, you won’t “allow” your current girlfriend to have male platonic friends (not the ‘platonic’ friends you just met five days ago, the lifelong friends). Or you walk by a stranger on the street and say hello with a smile. Your girlfriend assumes that you are flirting and chastises you about being too friendly with everyone you meet. With care comes trust. You can’t always assume the worst, because if it’s that deep, then you shouldn’t be together. If you have to check phones (or phone records), go through pockets, check draws, etc. then, not only are you crazy, it is unhealthy, irrational, and they’ve gotta go to bring you some peace of mind (and I’m sure they want peace too). However, if you exhibit this type of behavior with everybody you date, then you need to seek professional help before you drag another person into your web of craziness.
So, where does jealousy come from? Well, I tend to think that jealousy stems from three main themes:
- People doing their own dirt
- Just not a trusting person
First and foremost, there are no perfect people and there are no perfect relationships. In a previous article, I talked about sacrificing something in order to get the person that you want. Everybody and every relationship is lacking something to make them not exactly perfect, but wonderful enough to be with. For example, you maybe be looking for someone who is six foot seven and is rich and packin’. Instead, you end up with a six foot two man, who lives within his means with an average-sized tool. Cool. But here’s the tricky part. You know that your woman was looking for someone hung like a horse and taller, so you get uptight every time you go to a basketball game, and her going to strip clubs is simply out of the question. Insecurity is what drives people to do crazy things. You don’t feel that you measure up so you have to assert your dominance by checking your girl every time she comes home. You’re so jealous that you’re not even thinking straight. You’re so focused on what could’ve happened instead of being in the present or reality. Tsk tsk tsk.
In regards to dirt… my mother gave me some helpful advice years ago and I find this to be true in many situations. If you constantly accuse or question somebody about them being with another person, you are the one who’s doing it. That is the type of person who is on edge and lashes out when they feel that you are close to catching them. They feel guilty about what they’re doing, so instead of fixing the problem by getting rid of their side piece, they think that you are doing the same thing and want to make you feel the pain. Does this make sense? It doesn’t to me, but there’s truth to it. Think about it. If you have that nagging feeling in the back of your head that your partner is cheating AND you’re repeatedly getting accused of doing the cheating? You might want to trust your gut and move on.
And lastly, people use the excuse all the time about being hurt in the past. Who hasn’t over the age of sixteen experienced heartbreak? We all have been hurt, but there’s no excuse of bringing old baggage into the next relationship. If your last boyfriend cheated, don’t automatically assume that the next boyfriend and the one after will cheat too. Who wants to be punished before they commit the crime? “Last time, my girlfriend cheated on me with her running partner, so I won’t my new woman join a gym.” This is just dumb. You will drive someone to do the very thing you don’t want them to do with this attitude.
All in all, jealousy is a controlling and extremely unattractive behavior that is sometimes learned, but widely practiced. It is normal to have a slight twinge of jealousy every now and then, in friendships and relationships, but when it gets to people not wanting to be themselves around you or nobody can stand to be around you for extended periods of time, you should seriously get professional help.