Jealousy, the green-eyed vindictive little monster lurking within everyone, is surely a killer. What’s even truer than this is that jealousy is specifically, a relationship killer. Nowadays especially, with the ability to lurk, creep or even viciously stalk (in nastier cases), every one of your significant others exes or past flings through Facebook or social media, jealousy has become more easily accessible than ever. While jealousy can make idiots out of all of us, there are simple and effective ways to avoid it, or even get over it and on with a healthy relationship. With advice from a psychologist from Toronto, here are some sure-fire ways to beat jealousy before it dampers your relationship.
Love yourself as a unique individual and stop the cycle of comparing yourself to others. While this may sound too simple, it is a process that does actually take time and effort and can even be a struggle for some. When you begin to compare yourself to others, it is never-ending. Your mind will be so focused on the comparison that you will even undermine your own successes and self-worth. To put it bluntly, by comparing, you will always find someone more successful, good-looking or who has more money than you. If you keep comparing, you will lose sight of your true personal value, your uniqueness and forget about nurturing the things that you have to offer, while being so caught up in trying to outshine others. Instead, understand that no one person is better than another. We are all different. When you discover that and start focusing on loving yourself for who you are, you become more comfortable with yourself and less prone to insecurities or jealousy.
Ask yourself if the person you’re jealous of is really threatening your relationship or if you are just acting out due to your own insecurities? To do this you must realize what makes you jealous. Is it your spouse or significant other talking to others or spending time with others? Once you identify the root, you can nip it in the bud. Instead of acting out in a jealous rage, identify what you’re jealous about, realize that your emotions now will most likely settle down later, and react calmly. Remember that no one wants a jealousy ridden, distrusting partner, and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Also remember not to make accusations or get angered over what you think but really don’t know. If you react this way, your partner may get defensive, which will only lead you to further believe something is wrong, when really that may not be the case at all. Communicate calmly and don’t act out on in-the-moment jealousy. You may even need to give yourself some time to cool down. Also remember that some jealousy in a relationship is perfectly normal and can even be healthy for a relationship as long as it doesn’t overshadow or consume it. A healthy amount of jealousy however, can make a partner more considerate and even more helpful. So instead of storming up a temper tantrum and becoming incited with rage at the thought of your significant other with someone else, use your natural human emotions for good and start being more attentive to your partner!
Find something that you enjoy that can occupy your time and doesn’t involve your partner. Focus on your interests and maybe even meeting new friends or engaging with others. Romantic relationships can become overbearing if one partner is too clingy or even if you don’t get any time apart. Spending time focusing on other interests can help you realize your life outside your relationship and help you truly see the pettiness of your jealousy, once you have been removed from it into other, every-day activities. Not to mention, doing so will also help you feel empowered, independent and more self-confident.
Remember trust is important in a relationship but so is forgiveness. If you’ve decided to forgive your partner for losing your trust in the past you must really make the effort to forgive and to give them another chance. If you’ve had your trust broken in past relationships, don’t take it out on your current partner either. Put the past behind you and focus on the present, that’s the best way to achieve a better, healthier and more positive relationship that will last well into the future.
Written by Alissa Mohammed. Originally posted March 2014. Updated July 2016.