The Green-Eyed Monster. Jealousy is a very touchy subject in today’s dating, couples, and relationships. We aspire to and pride ourselves in not getting jealous from another’s actions—especially from our date or partner.
In fact, there is almost an unwritten rule of “I should be able to do anything I want, and if I can’t, you’re being suffocating. And jealous.”
In today’s article, I want to focus on why the word jealousy is carelessly used for appropriate situations. And to unpackage the modern ideas of what jealousy is, and isn’t.
1. Jealousy & The “Just Trust Me Card”
Today, people use the “just trust me” card to excuse poor behaviors, and release themselves of accountability for their actions.
It’s so widely used as a form of control. Even manipulation.
Engaging in choices that puts a relationship at risk, or in the control of someone else who is outside of the relationship, is a poor decision. It’s being short-sighted. Or willfully oblivious.
2. You Never Know 100% What Another Person Is Thinking Or Feeling
When we put the security and trust of our relationship, to the responsibility of another person (stranger/acquaintance) to respect, we are placing a bet of odds on our relationship.
How many times have you platonically engaged with someone in the workplace/gym/etc? If you are heterosexual, in the case of a person who is the opposite sex, can you say with full certainty they do not have a sexual attraction to you? Mental attraction? How about you—your attraction?
The human mind is complex. So is yours. So is another’s.
3. Every Initial Interaction Is Based On Primal Urges & Wants
“You can spot a person a mile away, but you usually need to be face-to-face to have a conversation.”
Flip through a fashion or fitness magazine, you can usually immediately tell who is attractive and who is not. When you are swiping through dating apps, you instinctively know who to swipe left or right on. The same quick judgments and assessments are made when we initially meet someone new in person.
The new coworker. The new person in class. The new client. The new instructor. One of the first initial impressions is on a person’s attractiveness.
4. Jealousy: Can Males & Females Really Be Friends?
In some special very unique circumstances, yes. But in general no. Let me explain.
Before puberty, I think males and females can absolutely be friends. But once puberty hits and the human body begins making sex hormones, it’s silly to believe that our interactions are somehow NOT influenced by these sex hormones.
Sex hormones and human curiosity combined are powerful motivators. It’s why we seek novelty.
While I will refrain from going into the exact science of addictions and built tolerance, I will state that human beings chase “highs” & “first times”.
4. If I Say “Friends”—Where Does That Attraction Go?
I grew up with brothers. I’ve always naturally felt comfortable having guy friends growing up. I used to think nothing of it.
As an adult, I began to see how this was short-sighted. Hanging out alone consistently, or a few drinks at a bar, where some very long-term friends—whom I felt were like brothers to me—confessed their long-kept secret attraction to me.
I ask you when you express to someone “I just want to be friends”, where do you think that person’s attraction goes?
5. The Attraction Doesn’t Just Vanish
“Just Friends” creates a forbidden attraction. One person in the equation is still going to harbor feelings of attraction. While they may comply with your wishes, it’s not that their attraction instantly disappears like it never happened.
Feelings don’t just evaporate. They get bottled and suppressed, where a lot of inner wrestling with one’s self happens.
One might think this is cruel: dangling in their face what they cannot have. Because…
6. Jealousy: The One With The Forbidden Attraction Usually Tries Harder
With no surprise, the slightly-rejected-but-willing-to-be-friends may try harder. To be around more frequently. Or maybe overemphasize and show-off their best attributes.
They will be the one who wants to know who you are dating, and be the supportive one who wants to give you “the best advice”. After all, they just “want the best for you”. Usually, it’s very biased advice…one to highlight flaws, and divert the attention to themselves.
Only to point out, how much you guys just vibe so much better.
Life Rule: Anyone who offers an open ear/support/shoulder-to-cry-on during your struggles in a relationship will always appear and feel so much better than your partner you’re angry or in grievance with.
7. Most Jealousy Stems From Potential Threats To A Relationship
You naturally protect what’s important to you. We have password pins on our bank accounts; locks on our front doors; locks to our personal vehicle; banks have safes for valuable assets; etc.
Protecting what’s valuable to you is part of human nature.
The same goes for our hearts. As well the invested time and life built with a partner.
“Time is a precious commodity, you don’t get back.”
8. The Polyamory/Monogamy Spectrum
I have friends who are good and loving polyamorous couples. And I have friends who are good and loving monogamous couples.
The Polyamory/Monogamy spectrum is an important feature to know about yourself, and your future partner.
You MUST know where you are on the scale. And where your date or partner is on the scale.
Most issues stem from a lack of self-awareness of where they are on this scale. Most issues stem from a lack of compatibility on how far a partnership is from each other on the scale.
9. Jealousy: Some Desire To Love Everyone, While In A Committed Relationship
There are people that desire to constantly feel connected to many people while in a committed relationship. These individuals have an inner impulse to touch, feel connected, spend moments, be intimate with, and open to everyone they meet.
If that’s not for you, it’s important to hold true to that. Honor this requirement. And let people who would not be compatible with you, let them go. Let them free.
They simply fall on a different part of the Polyamory/Monogamy spectrum than you do.
10. Labels Are Just Labels, It’s Our Actions That Give Them Meaning (“What Do You Do To Make Someone Jealous?”)
“Boyfriend”. “Girlfriend”. “Exclusive”. These are just words. They conjure up images and assumptions, maybe even fantasies, but truly have no weight or substance on your screen right now.
Modern dating and relationships use these words, while still behaving as they did when they were single.
For example, they desire to still go out to the nightclubs, get numbers, chat with old flames, have private rendezvous with others—but still consider them “exclusive” to you.
Have a clear understanding of what these words mean and entail between you and your date/partner. Be incredibly clear. Most importantly, honest.
Honesty requires the individuals involved, to agree and uphold the meaning of that word.
11. Wanting Love, Is Not The Same As Being In A Relationship
You can’t desire the security of a loving, committed, respectful, or healthy relationship if you’re not willing to put in the work. This means having the maturity to sacrifice and compromise lovingly.
More importantly, adhere to your commitment.
It’s okay if you want to be romantic with several people at one time—but own that you are polyamorous. Do NOT serve the illusion you have the capacity to be monogamous.
This is what communication is: communicating who you really are. Accessing that relationship with your deeper self, knowing what it is you want—deserve—and expressing it outwardly.
12. Thoughts Are Okay, It’s Your Actions That Matter
Even in loving committed monogamous relationships, you will find other people attractive. It’s part of human nature and biology.
It’s your actions which matter. Are you adding that hottie on social media? Getting into their DMs and erasing the evidence of communication? Are you breaking your neck just to lock eyes with that attractive person while holding hands with your date/partner?
These are impulses of action. And you must learn how to manage the difference between thoughts and actions.
I’ve had thoughts of slapping someone in an argument, but I CHOOSE not to. You can have thoughts, and not put action to those thoughts.
Because thoughts are just fantasies or ideas, byproducts of the brain, which we attach ourselves to. We might think we are just our thoughts. But thoughts come in all varying spectrums and degrees. We even have conflicting contradicting thoughts.
Your decisions and actions are the most crucial part of a relationship. Thoughts, thinking, and over-thinking—even getting lost in your projected fantasies—can sway our behavior and actions.
When we give in to our egos, more than we give to our commitment in a relationship, we are valuing a very broken relationship with our character. And our integrity.
Everyone wants to feel valued and validated. Some believe being the center of attention is the only way to achieve this. But secretly, it’s because they have endured a large sense of lack.
The most powerful experience is to have someone completely see you as you are. Be present. Express unconditional love, and show it through action.
In this gift of an experience, that is your wake up call to learn how to love, through love.
Be Strong & Be Well,