How Jealousy Affects Relationships and How to Handle It

If there is one thing in the world that we can’t control, it’s our feelings. We’re all prone to the power of our innermost emotions, and the results they stir up can either leave you on cloud nine or completely crush you to the ground. While different emotions have different impact on our lives, many of them are unfortunately quite the damage-dealers. Jealousy, especially when it comes to romantic relationships, is perhaps one of the most dangerous feelings the human heart can experience. It blurs our senses, reasonability, and takes a toll on our better judgement.

It’s actually kind of amazing how quickly our views can shift when jealousy kicks in. You see your partner with someone else, they’re getting along, they appear to enjoy each other’s company, and the next thing you know… Bam. There’s suddenly this uncomfortable tension in the center of your chest, something that you can’t exactly explain despite how much you might try to rationalize with it. You keep trying to convince yourself that there’s nothing wrong here. After all, your significant other is obviously allowed to have connections with other people, so why should this be a problem? And yet the feeling doesn’t go away. It stays lodged in place, unshakeable, not willing to listen to the voice in your head that’s telling you just how silly your overreaction is.

That’s the thing about jealousy. Often times it’s not comprehendible. It goes against reason and contradicts the sensible part of your mind. It’s not logical, but then again, most feelings usually aren’t. Knowing how to handle jealousy is incredibly important for the sake of your mental health and happiness. So what exactly can tame this influential (and absurd) emotion?

First things first: be happy with yourself. In a world where we are constantly being compared to other people and media representations, self-confidence isn’t hard to lose. The human skin is a rather difficult place to live in, but being comfortable with yourself makes it less likely for you to envy others. Jealousy sprouts from insecurity, so if you can embrace who you are then you’re already halfway there. Who cares if your love interest is enjoying their time with another person? You know you’re amazing. You understand your worth. You’re not threatened by anybody else’s radiance.

Image by Idea go FreeDigitalPhotos
Image by Idea go FreeDigitalPhotos

Once you are fully committed to yourself, make sure your partner is, too. Trust is absolutely key in retaining a stable relationship, and solidifying the mutual understanding between you and your partner will give you a peace of mind. In fact, you really shouldn’t even be romantically involved with them in the first place if their loyalty is questionable. Ask yourself whether your partner is genuinely invested in the relationship. Is it clear that they truly care about you? Do they show this? Does the relationship feel like something that is being maintained with the efforts from both parties? Being aware of your partner’s devotion eases your mind and eliminates those destructive thoughts of uncertainty. No matter how tight the bond may be between your lover and another individual, trust them enough to know that they won’t just pack up their bags and leave you for someone else. Living in constant fear of betrayal is a real killer in any relationship.

The fear of abandonment can lead us to do things that we wouldn’t normally do. By living in perpetual fear of betrayal, people develop the tendency to take extra measures in order to prevent potential break-ups. Unfortunately, many people decide to go with an invalid approach that never results in fruitful outcomes. Instead of communicating openly and maturely with their significant others, those who feel jealous or insecure can actually begin to restrict their partners’ freedom. They’re threatened by their lovers’ friendly interactions with other people to the point where they might attempt to put a stop to those altogether. Bad idea. I repeat, bad idea.

Please, please, please don’t be one of those people. Allow your partner their rightful freedom and necessary breathing space. Do not try to control or manipulate every detail of their life. Remember, this is a relationship not a dictatorship. Your partner is a human being with feelings, too, and the last thing they need is to be emotionally suffocated by someone whom they deserve acceptance from.

No matter how anxious or worried you may be, try to remember that not everybody your partner comes into contact with is a threat to your relationship. Just because two individuals may be getting along well doesn’t mean that their bond is somehow more than platonic. So guess what? Chances are that the polite conversations your lover engages in don’t mean as much as you think they do. And the photos that your partner liked from someone else’s profile on Instagram probably aren’t very significant, either. Most of the “competition” you’re worried about isn’t really there, so giving your partner the opportunities to nurture connections outside of your relationship is definitely healthier than allowing your possessiveness to hurt someone you care about.

Although jumping to conclusions is rather common when you have a perception that’s warped by jealousy, it’s crucial to remember that simply throwing accusations at your partner does no good. If it really comes down to it and your suspicions are justified instead of biased, approach them with maturity and discuss the situation by explaining your concerns. A sophisticated method gives you a clearer idea of where both you and your partner stand. Jealousy does an amazing job of stirring up panic and paranoia, but reigning in these drives and viewing your partner’s habits with consideration can do wonders for the maintenance of a relationship.

Although jealousy really is an overwhelming emotion, you don’t have to watch it push your relationship downhill. With a strong combination of understanding, trust, and communication, there’s a much better chance that you’ll feel at ease without wanting to lock your partner in a dark room where they can’t make eye contact with anybody but yourself. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean making sure your lover never interacts with other people. It means that even when they do, you know they’re still just as dedicated to the relationship and to you.

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