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Don’t Let TikTok Normalize Jealousy In Your Relationships

One of the tropes that I see far too often is the jealous girlfriend, often deemed crazy by outsiders. This woman will jump through hoops and invent schemes that’ll prove that her boyfriend is cheating on her. If their suspicions are proven correct, they’ll more than likely fight the other woman, instead of their unfaithful partner. If they’re proven wrong, it stands that their boyfriend may dump them, and go on to refer to them as his “crazy ex-girlfriend.” The popularity of the jealous girlfriend on TikTok seems to be blowing up, video after video popping up on my FYP, and no matter the outcome it perpetuates the notion that men aren’t able to control their desires and that women are emotional wrecks. 

Misogynistic much? 

I hate that this trope suggests that men shouldn’t be held accountable for their own actions. It’s also exhausting to watch women fight for a relationship that isn’t worth the effort – something that seems obvious to me. If there isn’t trust within a relationship, then you don’t have a good relationship. 

Unfortunately, this trope absolutely infiltrates real life. I’ve watched friends set up fake accounts to see if their boyfriend would cheat on them. I’d watch them get into the same arguments over and over with their SOs because of a history of infidelity. It all seemed so exhausting to me, but because these actions feel normalized within society I thought I’d eventually understand when jealousy struck me. That never ended up being the case, and I’m so glad for it.

In between my freshman and sophomore year, I fell for a guy hard. He made me feel dizzy when I was around him, and I suddenly understood what every love song was talking about. Our relationship was intense, but seemingly perfect – until I realized that he was cheating on me. I sat on the thought for a while; he was suddenly too busy to see me, he lied about where he was, and that left me with a gut feeling. It was devastating to realize, but I never felt jealous or angry. Instead, I broke up with him even without solid proof. I realized that if we didn’t have trust in our relationship, we didn’t have anything (and a month later I found out he was engaged to a girl he was dating while in a relationship with me, proving my suspicions correct).

The problem with the normalization of the jealous girlfriend is that it reinforces toxic relationships. If I stewed in jealousy, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to move on in a healthy way. Instead, I’d have focused on a woman who might have been lied to herself. Either way, I couldn’t go down that road. My boyfriend made it so that our relationship involved three people, instead of two. Part of regaining my power in the relationship was making sure that it involved just the two of us again. It was important to make sure that I broke up with my boyfriend because of his actions – not because of another woman’s involvement.

Realizing this made me more confident within my next relationships. Partners after this incident knew that I didn’t play the jealousy game. If I didn’t trust my SO enough not to cheat on me then they weren’t a good fit for me, period. Being open about my experience and holding my SOs accountable after was freeing for me. We both knew that there was no room for mistrust or jealousy.

Love can be hard, but there’s no reason for it to be that hard. 

Destiny is currently enrolled in Columbia University's MFA Writing program. She is a national writer at Her Campus and the former editor-in-chief of Her Campus Rowan. She likes thrifting, romance novels, cooking shows, and can often be found binging documentaries.
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