There’s nothing uglier than jealousy (even bacne.) Besides being a stomach-wrenching, blood-boiling internal poison, jealousy is a great way to ruin an otherwise healthy relationship. So how does the Average Male feel about the green-eyed monster? We squared off for a good old-fashioned he-says, she says with Tim, a writer, humorist and kickball legend.
While I’d like to say that I’m the same mature, trusting boyfriend throughout all my relationships, it would be utterly untrue. I’m like the jealousy chameleon.
Relationship #1: Scarface-and-his-sister-type jealousy
My first girlfriend was insanely jealous. You can’t talk to Ashley. She touches your arm too much. Stay away from Sarah. You two rode the same bus in 5th grade. How did I deal with that? Adam’s got a crush on you. He always watches you after practice. And quit flirting with Brian. It was terrible and, as literally all of my friends warned me, ended with her cheating on me.
Relationship #2: Skypin’ my heart out
After that disaster, I thought I’d try long-distance. To London. Since we were so far apart for 99% of our relationship, we had this sort of don’t-ask-don’t-tell thing going on. That worked pretty well until we both realized that whatever we had felt that magical summer in North Carolina (we kissed on the gazebo from Dirty Dancing) had more or less stayed there.
Relationship #3: The Baby Bear, juuuust right kind of jealousy
One of the best friends I’ve made in the last two years is my current girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. The dude’s awesome, but it doesn’t hurt that he’s married. My girlfriend also helped me set up my roommate with one of my college¦uh¦late night study partners¦but I was up front about how I knew her. What I’m saying is that when you’re with someone you care about, and you know they care about you, you can’t worry about his flirty bus buddy or what he’s doing in Europe.
As a wise woman I know once said, sometimes you just have to fall face first with your hands in your pockets like that one time in the subway station. The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them, and it’s the only way either of you are going to be able to keep a relationship together.
As much as I like to pretend that I’m a calm, cool, tall drink of water, I’m actually a tempestuous sea of deep, churning emotions (who is also tall.) This makes me exceptionally fun to date and not at all frustrating. Here’s what I’ve learned about jealousy from my short, beautiful time on this earth:
It’s the grossest feeling ever:
Seriously, it’s worse than waking up with the taste of old tequila in your mouth. It’s worse than picking up dog poop through a plastic bag. It’s worse than an hour and a half of hot yoga. It’s worse than getting your thumb stuck in a bowling ball. It’s also a useful feeling. Because¦
It’s a sign that something just ain’t right:
Either with you, with him, or with the relationship. In some cases, jealousy can sprout from a seed of insecurity planted long, long ago by a boy who has long since faded from your life. Write that jealousy in your journal to see how crazy it looks.
In other cases, jealousy is your gut telling you that yeah, it’s really weird for your boyfriend to have a close friend who happens to be a pretty female whom you never meet in person but whom he visits in another state on a secret trip. Trust that jealousy. Sometimes, jealousy is nature’s way of telling you that this relationship is DOA. If everything in his being tells him that you aren’t as into him as you say you are, the facts don’t even matter: it’s never going to work out.
There is one cure, and one cure only:
You need to talk about your feelings before they shift from jealousy to lunacy, like TPing a girl’s house in the middle of the night because she went on a date with your boyfriend WHILE YOU WERE BROKEN UP. Now, talking about it doesn’t mean having two glasses of Riesling and mentioning that his friend is kind of a tramp and seems to text a lot late at night or waiting until he’s ready to punch a stranger for flirting with you at a pizzeria. Talking about it means a calm, collected conversation where you thoughtfully explain your feelings and work together to find a solution that doesn’t involve you throwing away all of his muscle shirts.
What are your thoughts on jealousy?