The problem with jealousy is that we sometimes confuse it for love. ‘Oh, he loves me so much, he won’t let me go near another man.’ Or, ‘She slapped some other girl for talking to me – it’s her way of showing she cares about me.’
But the fact is that jealousy is destructive. If you’re experiencing jealousy – either from your partner, or you know you’re expressing it yourself – here are three ways it could spell trouble for your relationship.
It shows a lack of confidence
Why do you feel the need to keep your partner close all the time? Is it because you’re convinced that everyone they meet is more attractive, smarter and funnier than you? If you’ve convinced your partner is going to go off with someone else, then keeping them close might seem like the perfect solution.
But, by keeping your partner on a short leash you may well be pushing them further away. The real solution is to look to yourself. Why do you think that everyone else is a better option for your partner than you? They chose you in the first place, and by becoming a more confident version of you, you’ll becoming even more desirable in their eyes.
It shows a lack of trust
Bit of a no-brainer this one. If you’re taking against every member of the opposite sex that approaches your partner, they’re bound to start feeling like you don’t trust them. They probably have absolutely no interest in that person other than to chat to them, but your mind goes into over-drive.
This may not entirely be your fault. Everyone has emotional baggage after a certain age, and if you’ve been betrayed by a past partner, then your suspicion is probably rooted in that. But you can’t assume that every person you go out with will be like that ex – otherwise, you’ll never end up letting anyone get close. Instead of presuming your partner is guilty until they prove themselves innocent, try things the other way round. You’ll find you get a much better response.
It shows a need for control
When we think about a jealous lover, we think about them stopping their partner perhaps talking to a member of the opposite sex. In extreme situations, we might envision a dramatic fight to prove their love. But jealousy is really much more mundane and widespread than that. A jealous partner will try to control many aspects of their partner’s life, such as time spent with friends, or on their hobbies.
Do you feel the need to check your partner’s Facebook account? Or ask them lots of questions about a night out they’re getting ready for? If so, you seem to have forgotten one of the most important aspects of a relationship – freedom. Freedom for you both to grow into the people you want to be, together and apart. Jealousy stifles this freedom – don’t be the one to suffocate your relationship.