Do you get upset when your partner gives someone else attention? Do you get the urge to sneak a peek at the screen when their phone goes off, or creep on Facebook to see who’s liking their posts? Do you call them every hour to find out where they are and who they’re with? If you answered yes to any of the above, then it sounds like you’ve got a jealous streak.
Jealousy is a part of human nature, and it’s completely normal to feel a jealous pang from time to time. However, while a little jealousy can add zest to a romantic relationship, it becomes problematic if you allow these feelings to consume every aspect of your life.
At the root of jealousy lies insecurity and the fear of loss. Most people experience feelings of jealousy in their relationship if they feel threatened by others, or if they feel like they’re not good enough for their partner. With jealousy comes anger, hatred, paranoia, and hopelessness. This pervasive emotion is instantaneous, so much so that people fail to take a step back and evaluate the situation.
If you’d like to move forward as a happier, healthier person, then here are seven ways to banish the green-eyed monster from your life and relationship.
Assess Your Relationship
To begin, take a close look at your relationship and ask yourself a few important questions: Is this relationship built on love, trust, and a mutual respect for one another? Is your partner honest with you, and you with them? Do you have any concrete reasons to believe they are untrustworthy?
It’s most likely to feel overcome with jealousy when you are in an insecure relationship, so before you focus on finding ways to become less jealous, first ask yourself if your partner inspires your trust in them. If not, why not? If your partner is inspiring and fueling your jealousy, it’s going to be tough – if not impossible – to overcome. It’s hard when you’re already emotionally connected to them, but if you blow off the signs that your partner is untrustworthy, or make excuses for them because you want to believe they are a good person when you suspect them of betrayal, you’re inevitably going to get hurt. No one deserves to be in a toxic relationship, especially if it’s causing emotional stress. So, are they the type of person you really want to be with?
Dig Deep and Find the Cause
If your relationship is secure, strong, and stable and you’re still feeling jealous, then it’s time to look at yourself and explore your own experiences. Have you been cheated on in the past? Did your parents have issues with infidelity? Have you been lied to by someone you loved? People will rarely go out of their way to make you feel jealous; rather, jealousy usually comes from personal insecurities or past experiences that implicate themselves on a new relationship. [RELATED: Subtle Things People Do that Send Their Partner Running]
When you feel a jealous pang, try to figure out what’s really at the root of it. Dig deep, and when you do find the underlying issue (your parents’ infidelities, perhaps), tell yourself that you don’t need it in your life and let go of the toxic feelings related to it. Once you have done this, take the time to calm your emotions and begin a new chapter. Remember, the past is in the past, but the future is yours to create. If you’re in a loving relationship then you owe it to the both of you to work on resolving your issues so that you can move forward happily together.
Build Your Self-Esteem
Confident people don’t get jealous because they know they have no reason to. Believe it or not, self-esteem works wonders when it comes to kicking your jealous habits. Take a bit of time each day to do things that make you feel good about yourself. This could be working out, cooking, painting, reading, the options are endless.
Practicing happiness will help you push those insecure thoughts out of your mind. Better yet, happiness boosts confidence, so all in all, this is a great way to become less jealous. If there are particular things that ignite your jealousy, then find a new positive outlet for your emotions. For example, if you get jealous any time an attractive person passes by your partner, instead of letting them heighten your insecurity, appreciate their attractive qualities and then remember your own.
Rather than looking at everything you lack, think about the things you do have in life: a good job, a loving partner, a beautiful nose… and be grateful for them! Appreciating and affirming the many ways in which you are lucky is vital to being happy.
Do things that give you a boost of self assurance and challenge you to stop thinking about all the things that make you unhappy. Remember, confidence is a huge turn on, so instead of wallowing in jealousy, show your partner just how amazing you are! The better you feel about yourself, the more worthy of love you will feel. And the more you are able to believe in your partner’s love for you, the less jealousy will arise in your relationship.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
If you’re obsessed with comparing yourself to other people in your partner’s life, then you need to snap out of it. Asking your partner if they find their friends or coworkers more attractive or interesting or fun than you screams jealousy. Don’t ask them to rank you higher than other people in their life, just be happy to be such a big part of it. As mentioned above, this type of jealousy is driven by low self-esteem. In addition to doing things that make you feel good about yourself, stop obsessing over other people in your partner’s life, and don’t overthink the little things. This kind of behaviour will not annoy your partner, it’s also a big turn off.
Just because your partner sees something in you that you can’t see in yourself doesn’t mean it’s not there. Stop trying to work out how or why they could possibly want to be with you of all people, and instead work hard to be the person they love and admire each day. Be happy that you’re together and do the work to keep it that way.
Believe Your Partner
Trust is the backbone of every relationship, so believe what your partner tells you. It’s very insulting for a partner to feel their companion is always doubting their word or behaviour, and it can quickly become exhausting and intolerable. Think about how you would feel if you were questioned or second guessed every time you went out or did something independently. [RELATED: 5 Common Bad Habits that Ruin Relationships]
Learning to trust your partner and abandon feelings of jealousy can be tough, and for the first while you may still distrust them out of sheer habit. But you must find the strength to start acting as if you believe them. Over time your actions will become your beliefs and you will find it easier to take your partner at their word. Remember, if they lie to you they are only making a fool of themselves. More importantly, life is too short to be paranoid and jealous.
Separate Fact from Fiction
Like other psychological problems, jealousy is driven by the destructive forces of the imagination. The ability to create scenarios in your mind can be a great and powerful tool if used for your own benefit. On the other hand, if you’re using your imagination to develop elaborate situations that will make you jealous, angry, and paranoid, it’s dangerous and emotionally damaging. Oftentimes the imagination is the sole source for jealous feelings, and it’s easy to let your thoughts run wild if you have issues with jealousy. It’s important to distance yourself from the stories you create in your head, and realize that just because you imagined something doesn’t mean it’s real or going to happen. You imagined it.
Let’s say your partner is coming home later than usual tonight. You begin to assume it’s because they’ve gone for an intimate drink with their attractive coworker. This storyline will only make you upset and angry, even though you have no evidence that what you imagine is real. When your partner does come home, you’re going to act standoffish and be cold towards them in response to the fabricated scenario you’ve created in your mind. In turn, they will become defensive and also get angry. All these negative emotions come to light simply because you assumed the worst. When you stop getting emotional from something you’ve imagined, you’ll take a big step towards regaining control and defeating jealousy.
Give Your Partner Space
One of the biggest relationship killers is possessiveness. If you’re the jealous type, you may not want your partner to spend time with other people because you’re afraid that they may lie about where they’re going or who they’re meeting. To avoid this from happening you might come up with excuses to be around them all the time, or call and check in every twenty minutes.
Not allowing your partner space because you have jealous tendencies is extremely unhealthy for your relationship. In fact, keeping your partner on a short leash because you’re worried about what could happen if they ran free not only spotlights your insecurities, but it can also give your partner the desire to want to escape your possessive clutches.
Rather than be a control freak, it’s important that you give your partner time and space to do their own thing. In return, their respect for you will grow, and they may even want to spend more quality time with you. Moving forward in this new direction may be tough, but getting over your jealousy and learning to trust your partner is key to a strong, healthy, and happy relationship. After all, why ruin a loving bond with negative thoughts and comments? Instead, build your self-esteem, learn to trust your partner, and let yourself be happy!