My girlfriend is crazy jealous and it’s killing me! We’ve been together for over a year, and I’d say we have a pretty healthy relationship. We practically never fight; we’re that nauseatingly cute couple that everyone can’t stand. But as soon as she sees me talking closely with another girl at a party, or I mention I talked to an ex online or something like that, she flips out. She either cries and makes me feel like a horrible boyfriend, or she yells at me and makes wild accusations. I’ve never cheated on her and never plan on it. I constantly tell her how much I love her and want to marry her, and it’s just not enough. It’s rare we get into these fights, but when we do they totally bring me down. I just don’t understand why she’s so jealous, and why she doesn’t believe me when I tell her she’s the only one. Any help would be great.
Dear Confused Guy,
First off, jealousy sucks. Secondly, it is completely natural and unavoidable – in moderation. It is understandable to feel that little pit in the back of your stomach when you see the person you love seemingly flirting with someone else, or talking incessantly about an old flame in a positive light.
It’s easy to get jealous when you care a lot about someone and want them all to yourself. But that is no excuse to be a crazy person! Letting your emotions (whether it be jealousy, anger or anything else) get the best of you and tear apart your relationship is unhealthy.
When your girlfriend displays distrust, she is only weakening the relationship that she fears is being ruined by your supposed infidelity.
When she starts the wild accusations, take her to a more secluded place where you can try to talk calmly about the situation. Ask her what made her angry, listen attentively and let her finish before you start talking.
If you keep interrupting her, what you say will look more like guilty excuses than honest explanations. Validate her feelings and try to make her see it was harmless.
Okay, don’t get defensive as I continue with this part, but . you should try and think about the things you do that make her jealous. You definitely do not deserve to be cursed out in public or made a fool of, but in order to fix this problem both of you have to work at it.
You told me you want to marry this girl, and that you tell her that when she’s acting irrational. That’s all good and fine, but actions speak louder than words, my friend.
If you are telling her those things, but are constantly flirting with other girls in her presence, it would be kinda hard for her to believe it. So, here’s some advice for the people whose partners are constantly jealous:
Don’t put yourself into compromising situations. If you know your partner is right in the other room, don’t walk up to your ex and start talking about the weather or more intimate things. This may cause a whirlwind of emotions.
Avoid gushing over other people. “Jane used to do this awesome thing with her tongue.” or “Did you see John? He lost so much weight! He’s such a ladies man.” or “This one time, David took me into the city and we went on a horse and buggy ride, it was so romantic.” Statements like this make it seem like you’re not over this person, or that your present partner just isn’t cutting it.
Another important thing to remember is that people who you consider buddies or pals may be seen as threats by your partner. Although this assumption may seem totally off the wall to you, I need to reference the best scene in one of my favorite movies, “When Harry Met Sally:”
Harry: What I’m saying is that men and women can’t be friends, because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry: You only think you do.
Sally: You’re saying I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all want to have sex with you.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail them too.
What can you do? Introduce your partner as your girlfriend/boyfriend to your friends, so your partner at least knows who you’re hanging out with and isn’t left in the dark.
Be honest about things – if a current friend is an old hookup or an ex, admit it but spare the details (that’s just painful). When you’re hanging out separately one night, let her know your plans and call when you get in so she’s not left wondering where the night took you.
Lastly and very importantly, pay attention to red flags. No matter how long you’ve been together, if your girlfriend is being possessive, this could be foreshadowing violence or abuse further down the line.
Intense jealousy does not prove that you really love someone, and anyone who says it does is in an unhealthy relationship.
If the jealousy reaches abusive levels, or violence or stalking is involved, get help! (Like at the office of Anti-Violence Initiatives in Campus Wellness – you can find information on the College’s Web site.)
You may really love this woman, but you should take care of yourself and your safety first. Be safe and I hope you work things out!
Here’s Kayy’s quickie quiz to determine if you are dating an overly jealous person:
When you spend the day at a family party, your partner:
1. Calls over and over again until the call is returned, and then calls back five minutes later asking if you could leave early
2. Maybe sends a text message to say “Hi” and asks to call later when you’re free
3. Hangs out with her/his friends and doesn’t make an attempt to contact you
When you mention that you saw an ex-hookup or former girlfriend/boyfriend on campus, your partner:
1. Gets angry and accuses you of creeping behind her/his back
2. Asks what you talked about and asked if she/he is seeing anybody new
3. Nods her/his head and continues to listen to her/his iPod
You’re at a bar/party/social event and while your partner is in the bathroom, somebody starts chatting you up. Your partner’s reaction:
1. Makes a scene, insults you and/or the person you’re talking to, and storms away
2. Walks up, joins the conversation and politely makes it clear that you’re together
3. Goes and finds somebody else to talk to so that you have to track her/him down hours later
Count up the points. Between 1 and 3 suggests a highly jealous person who may or may not be an abusive partner in an unhealthy relationship. A score between 4 and 6 suggests your partner manages her/his emotions in a healthy manner. And if your score is higher than a 7 . she/he is just not that into you.