Movies and television have lied to you for years.
If you watch television you’ve seen this setup:
A boy and a girl are dating, and suddenly the girl is dressing up a little more often. The boyfriend catches her changing into a dress and heels after hours, and she’s not dressing up for him, so begins to wonder… ‘Who is she seeing on the side?’. The episode is dedicated to him sneaking around and peeping in through windows with a comedic expression, and at the end of the day it turns out she’s actually taking dance lessons to impress him on their anniversary. Cue laugh track.
There’s also this overplayed scenario…
A boy and a girl are dating, and suddenly the boy is texting another girl a lot. The girlfriend gets jealous and spends the rest of the episode trying to steal a peek at his phone to figure out who she is. In the end she finds out that it’s his sister, or his aunt, or a little girl he’s been tutoring… The girlfriend feels silly and they both live happily ever after. Cue laugh track.
Do real people not understand how bizarre and unhealthy this actually is?!
I’m not saying you should never have questions about your relationship or your partners’ actions, especially when the relationship is new. You should never feel like you have to keep quiet about anything that makes you uncomfortable. But I’m going to make a wild suggestion. Do it by talking to your partner.
It’s not cute to stalk your partner, or to act up when they’re going out to spend time with someone who isn’t you.
Personally, I don’t like going out to drink and dance. Not surprisingly, I’ve had partners who enjoy these things. Rather than insist they not go out just because I don’t want to, I tell them to have a good time. You know why? Because I trust them. If they wanted to be with someone else, they would be. And if I can’t trust them to go out for an evening and have a good time, this relationship isn’t going to do well.
And sure, it’s entirely possible that this trust will be violated. But this violation isn’t on me, it’s on my partner. If they’re the kind of person who’s going to cheat on me, they’ll cheat on me whether I stalk them and get jealous or not. The only thing acting like a brat is going to gain me is higher odds that my partner decides, wisely, not to deal with my dramatic garbage.
Jealousy happens when communication fails. If you’re feeling jealous in regards to your partner, think about why. Are you worried by specific things they’re doing? Or not doing? Ask them about it. It may seem scary at first, but odds are your partner simply has a personality quirk or a quick explanation that clears the whole mess right up. If you’re feeling insecure, talk to your partner about that as well. “It’s not because of anything you’ve done, but I’ve been feeling really unloved lately,” is a much more loving way to approach your concerns than snatching their phone and demanding they explain who Mindy is and why there’s a text from her at 7:03.
And if you’re communicating and you’re still feeling jealous, consider two things: it may truly be your gut sensing you’re being lied to, or – the more likely explanation – you’re so insecure you’re letting your insecurities destroy your relationship.
In the first case you’ve done everything right and they’ve fed you lines that aren’t believable, or something just feels off. Your communication is great, and theirs is failing intentionally or otherwise. In the second scenario, you need to take some time to work on you. Do you feel like you don’t deserve a good relationship? Can you not believe that “someone this great” would be this great to you? Why?
In either case, it’s time to end the relationship, because it’s not going anywhere good.
Whatever’s causing jealousy in your relationships, iron that out fast. It’s not like on television or in films where there’s a laugh track after it’s revealed your crazy, possessive actions were all unwarranted. It’s toxic, it’s damaging, and it’ll absolutely kill your relationship.
Comment: Do you think jealousy in a relationship is healthy?