Real Talk: Jealously

               Soooo…you’re feeling jealous. And because of what society and the media has told you, you probably feel “crazy” or “paranoid” and maybe even a little ashamed. I’m writing this today to tell you that what you’re feeling is 100% totally okay and chances are, you’re going to experience jealousy in a relationship at some point in your life.

               I’ve been jealous before and talked to friends dealing with their own jealousy, and a question that always comes up is, “Is it healthy for there to be jealousy in a relationship?” Honestly, I don’t think there is a single textbook answer to this question; however, I do think that some jealousy in a relationship is completely normal. This doesn’t always mean that it will be easy to deal with, though.

               The first question to ask yourself when you find yourself feeling jealous of another person spending time with your partner is: why am I jealous? Often times, expressing jealousy to your partner will make them fear you don’t trust them, which in most cases is not true. Maybe you’ve been cheated on before, or have seen another person go through it. Or maybe you fear that the person your partner is spending time with has qualities you feel you lack. Once you’ve recognized why you’re experiencing jealousy, the best thing you can do is talk with your partner.

               You might think I’m crazy for suggesting this, but a healthy relationship means one with honesty and open communication. Having the “I’m jealous” talk will seem scary, and sometimes it’s difficult to know where to even begin. It’s an important talk to have though, as bottling up such feelings will likely cause more harm than good in the long run. As cliché as it sounds, stick to “I” statements; avoid using accusatory language that will make your partner feel attacked. A great way to start this conversation might be: “I want to be honest with you about how I’m feeling, because lately I’ve noticed myself feeling jealous of….” Your partner might be shocked at first, especially if this is the first time the topic has been brought up. In the end, though, they should appreciate your honesty and listen to you with understanding.

               So you’ve had the talk, now what? If you’re jealous of one of your partner’s friends, my advice to you is to get to know them. If they’re friends with the person you love, chances are you’ll get along with them too. At the end of the day, my best advice is to think about the fact that your partner is with you. Jealousy is a terrible feeling, and often it may seem impossible to shake. Next time you feel jealousy creeping its way into your head, just remind yourself that you are freaking awesome.