Have you ever felt jealous without understanding why? Did it ever get you into an emotional wreck over absolutely nothing? The answer is yes, it did. We’ve all been jealous at one point or another, and none of us are proud of our actions when we are. It can be most intense when in your romantic relationships.
Jealousy is one of the most difficult emotions to manage, and the anxiety it brings can be physically painful. The word for jealousy in Mandarin Chinese “chi cu” means to “ingest vinegar” which sounds pretty appropriate.
Further, jealousy can make a fool out of you, even if you’re usually a rational person. Sometimes the tiniest and most trivial things can set it off, leading you to act weird or suspicious with your boyfriend over absolutely nothing.
That’s the worst part of all: your jealousy hurts the feelings of the person you love. If you don’t trust them, it can inadvertently make them feel like they can’t have faith in you either. Trust and a feeling of security is something that needs to go both ways.
If you feel like your jealousy is bringing out the worst in you, your best bet is to find a way to accept the following truths:
If someone is going to cheat, they’re going to cheat. No matter what you do.
It’s out of your hands. So when a boyfriend is out at some party late one night, constantly texting him “what are you up to?” every ten minutes isn’t going to stop him. Jealousy often emerges when we realize our own helplessness, that feeling of strong attachment: emotionally, we’re at the other person’s will, and we can’t ultimately control their every move.
But it’s okay to feel powerless. It’s not as if you’re less likely to be cheated on because you acted suspicious all the time. There’s no need to stay awake all night worrying about it. The truth always comes with time, and the odds that your partner was absolutely innocent all along.
A wise course is action is to always treat your partner as the person you hope they are, not as some potentially lying cheater.
Why? Because excessive jealousy wears down a relationship even when your partner is totally innocent of wrongdoing. You only have something to gain by treating them with trust, and something to lose by acting suspicious (because if they deserve your suspicions, you’re not losing much in losing them.) You may not be able to control the emotions at the pit of your stomach, but you can choose your actions and your words.
If they actually are deceiving and lying, they will inevitably lose you at some point in the future when you find out. Ultimately, then, no matter what happens, you’ve been the best person you could be.
Ultimately, your partner selected you and is with you—remember that.
Look in the mirror and remember your own worth and all the things that make you a great person to be with. If you feel jealous over some flirtatious acquaintance of your boyfriend, ask yourself if that acquaintance actually possesses something you wish you had. Is there something you lack that upsets you? The root of our jealousy is often something we’re insecure about ourselves. The more secure you feel in yourself independently, the less likely you are to feel jealous in a relationship. You’re a lot less likely to fall into a jealous fit when you’re busy loving yourself, building your own life and confidence, knowing your own worth.