Your Call: How Do You Deal with Jealousy?

Dear Em & Lo,

Jealously is the most perplexing emotion that I have ever felt! My boyfriend and I have been dating seriously for six months. He is the one who brought up the idea of moving in together and marriage and kids. All ideas that caught me off guard, but it tells me that he is really committed to me and cares about me. And it makes me smile. However, even in our secure relationship, I get so jealous when he hangs out with one of our mutual girl friends! I KNOW he will not cheat on me, and I KNOW he is not going to do anything hokey with her, so why do I get jealous when we hang out and he talks to her more? Ack! Is there something wrong with me?!?

— Green Eyed Monster

How should G.E.M. deal with her jealousy issues? Let her know in the comments below.

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12 Comments on "Your Call: How Do You Deal with Jealousy?"

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5 years 8 months ago

I think this comment section is starting to bear some similarity to the “can married people have opposite sex friends?” question, which addressed issues of jealousy. While I think it’s possible to work on extreme jealous reactions, which, as Johnny describes, really only hurt you, and aren’t productive or based in fact in any way (being angry with someone you’ve never met, like a new BF), sometimes, let’s admit, your significant other is simply being insensitive/ a dick. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but it does happen, and once you are part of a committed couple, I think it’s important to not do things that will cause your S.O. a lot of pain, and that may mean not spending one-on-one time with an opposite sex friend. To me, it really boils down to what’s respectful to your partner, and also getting to know them well enough that you are familiar with their behaviour (like in ML’s case, where she knows her husband likes to chat with attractive women, but it’s not done to play mind games with ML, nor is it done repeatedly with one woman in particular). So, while it would be unreasonable to say GEM’s BF should never talk to his female friends, at some point I think he needs to address the fact that a person’s behaviour does need to change in certain ways once they are in a committed relationship. (This opinion was met with a fair amount of disagreement in the “married people” comment section, though!)

5 years 8 months ago

Great advice, JenParis. That’s probably what I would do too.

5 years 8 months ago

@Dave W
Oh, I don’t actually freak out at people (I more get too passive!) so that wasn’t what I meant. I meant use the jealousy as a sign to examine your relationship and feelings and see if it’s indicative of something more.

5 years 8 months ago

Really good points, JenParis! Totally agree about never using her as a confidant…I did that once, was whining about a problem, and the response was an eager “Really?!” Ugh…

5 years 8 months ago

I’d recommend attempting to hang around with the female friend a bit more. Ask her to do stuff, invite her to go to the movies, have a spa day, etc. Face what is threatening you.

If she spends all of the time you are together asking about your partner, bringing him up constantly, etc…then you will know that you have every reason to be on guard. Does she mention a guy she likes? Well, when, she may just want his male perspective on how she should read the cute guy’s signals or actions.

When you are all ou together, does she try to outdo you or criticize you in a passive aggressive way? Does she try to start arguments or take his side when she sees you aren’t getting along? Or does she, instead, try to get both of you to just smooth things over and be happy?

The answers to those questions should calm your fears. The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is ever bringing your relationship problems up with her, seeing as she hangs out with him alone.

That could be disastrous as he may not know if this means you are looking to ‘steal her away’ or get her on your side or if you are hinting on leaving. Which, unfortunately, could cause him to BEGIN to look towards her as the runner up if things between the two of you do not work out.

Now,if either of them hedges whenever you invite her to hang out with you alone, then that might also raise a few red flags.

Good luck!