First of all, I love the timing of this post because my boo Nick Jonas is now single and I will watch him singing “Jealous” with a gospel choir over and over in honor of this joyous day. Anyway, jealousy in relationships has been known to bring out the nutty in a lot of people, and unfortunately I was recently on the receiving end of some shrapnel as a result of this issue.
I have a guy friend who I met soon after I moved to Charlotte. We’re buds but we actually don’t see each other that much because I travel so much and he does too. Despite the fact that our friendship is mostly an exchange of memes and confessions about my love for Gronk, his new girlfriend was opposite of okay with our connection.
I understood the jealousy at first. New girlfriend wondering about this mysterious female friend. That’s fair. She added me on Facebook and I accepted, thinking if she saw my blog posts (most of which are about dating guys who aren’t him) she might feel more comfortable. Maybe once she understood I wasn’t building a Helga Pataki-esque shrine (if you don’t get my “Hey Arnold” reference please exit right now. Just kidding) to her boyfriend she might be able to chill a bit. In fact, the opposite was true, and the tension continued to build. The whole time I remained (and still remain) baffled by the situation. Sadly, it peaked with my guy friend and I putting our friendship on pause. It wasn’t worth the drama for either of us, and he didn’t want the relationship to suffer.
I was sad to lose a friend, but I was also sad because I pride myself on getting along well with other girls. The situation got me thinking about the notion of jealousy, particularly when it comes to opposite sex friendships. Some people think jealousy is exciting and sexy. It gets you all revved up and ready to fight for your man/woman. I’d beg to differ. Like a really potent spice, a *pinch* of jealousy is fine. Add a touch in there to show that you care and are invested in your relationship. If someone else is hanging all over your significant other at the bar, you’re not going to stand back and sip your drink. But toss in too much and things quickly spiral out of control.
For better or for worse, we’re adults now. If you want to make a relationship sustainable and actually enjoyable, you’ve got to be able to relax, let go, and trust the other person you’re with. If you can’t sleep at night because you truly believe that they’re doing shady things, you’re in the wrong relationship. Whether the issue is them or you or the way you communicate with each other, clearly something isn’t working.
The best relationships are those where jealousy is a non-factor, because it’s laughable to think that the person would ever cheat on you. They allow you to have the friends you’ve always had and to make new ones. You’re able to take comfort in the fact that at the end of the day your significant other is coming back to you, because they’d rather be with you than anyone else. If you don’t know this deep down, it’s time to exit stage left.
On the other side of things, if you’ve got a jealous partner, don’t immediately chalk it up to them being “crazy.” In some cases, maybe jealousy is unavoidable based on their personality type. But is there anything you can do to help them feel more secure in the relationship? Are you inadvertently giving them reason to feel jealous? It takes two to tango, so see what you can do to make your partner realize that you’re all in.