Like most emotions, jealousy has an evolutionary benefit and it’s normal to feel that way sometimes. However, it becomes ugly when you get carried by it or it creeps into your relationships too often even when there’s no real reason to feel that way. Here are some of the reasons why you’re experiencing this uncomfortable feeling and how to make it go away.
A lot of the time, feelings of jealousy stems from an insecurity you’re holding on to knowingly or subconsciously. If you tend to feel like you’re not good enough or deserving of being loved, it makes you deeply suspicious of any love and happiness that comes your way. You need to work through the reasons for your insecurity and come up with healthier responses like choosing to trust your partner. Constantly remind yourself that you are loved, treasured, and safe.
You have a fear of abandonment.
When you’re afraid that a loved one could leave you or replace you with someone else, it can lead to jealousy. You start to feel threatened by everyone they form a connection with other than you. Talk it out with them so they can help you put your mind at ease. Focus on enjoying the moments you have with them instead of worrying about something that might never happen.
There’s a history of betrayal or loss in your life.
Maybe your previous partners have cheated on you or you got betrayed by someone who swore they’d never hurt you. Holding transgressions committed by other people against your current partner isn’t fair to them or you. Let go of the resentment, hurt, and all the other garbage you’re holding on to. Give yourself to each new experience like it’s the first time.
You have an anxious emotional attachment style.
You’re often stressed about your relationships and require constant reassurance and show of affection from your partners. You tend to be overly-emotional, irrational, and full of complaints about your needs not being met. Lucky for you, it’s possible to move to a more secure attachment style by working to build up yourself and your self-image. Create healthy boundaries. Find other passions to devote yourself to instead of making your relationships front and center of your life.
Unrealistic expectations of relationships.
When you build up this idea of perfect romance that is free from conflicts, jealous feelings will develop when your partners fail to live up to your fantasy. Instead of wallowing in dreamland, focus on the great aspects of your relationship. Live in the moments and appreciate the big and little things that make your partner pretty special.
Obsessive worrying and overthinking.
If your brain is always working extra hard to find hidden meanings in every little thing, it’d be difficult to not worry yourself into being jealous over nothing. If you find it difficult to stop yourself from generating new worries and anxieties about your relationship, you should consider enlisting the help of a therapist. Your mental and emotional health will thank you for it.
Unresolved issues from the past.
A friend of mine has a hard time trusting his romantic partners because his parents brazenly cheated on each other for years. Figure out the root cause of your jealousy and consider seeking professional help to move past it. Just because something happened once before doesn’t mean it’ll happen again.
You have a hard time accepting change.
You might be feeling jealous because you sense that something is changing in your relationship and you don’t know how to deal with that. Sometimes passions stop being as intense as they were in the beginning or they fade totally. No amount of suspicions and accusations will change that. Try talking it out with your partner before things get out of hand and accept whatever comes gracefully.
It’s a way of protecting yourself.
Maybe you think that monitoring your partner’s behavior will help you keep them in line and prevent something bad from happening. Healthy relationships don’t work that way. Remember that jealousy encourages cheating rather than preventing it. It’s okay to let your guard down.
You have feelings of neglect and uncertainty.
Jealousy might be your mind’s way of telling you that you feel neglected or are uncertain about certain situations. Maybe you feel like you’re giving more to the relationship or you both seem to have different expectations of loyalty and appropriate behavior. Sit your partner down and air your concerns rather than plucking answers from thin air.
You believe your partner belongs to you.
People are not objects that you can possess or own. Your partner has the free will to do whatever they want and it’s up to them to decide not to hurt you. Policing their every move or interaction because you think that love gives you that right is only going to create a world of pain for you both. Stop trying to suffocate their freedoms.
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