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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

5 Ways to Deal With Jealousy About Others’ Relationships

Whether you’re the one dealing with jealous feelings or you’re dealing with someone who’s jealous of you (though who wouldn’t be jealous of you, because you’re perf), nobody wants to be jealous.

Jealousy is something everyone has experienced at some point, unless of course you’ve finally mastered not giving a shit about literally anything or anyone. In which case, why are you even reading this article? We get it—you’re researching for a friend, right?

Even though jealousy within a relationship is a pretty common topic, jealousy about others’ relationships is kind of an unspoken area that nearly everyone has dealt with. Here are a few ways that you can help yourself beat that couple envy.

Related: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Compare Your Plans to Your Peers

1. Focus on yourself and your relationship (even if your current relationship is with Netflix)

It’s easy to be fixated on someone’s seemingly perfect couple-dom, whether a celebrity fling or even a fictitious couple.

However, you shouldn’t miss out on your own relationship because you were too busy fixating on another couple’s relationship.

You actually don’t even need to be in any form of relationship to be jealous about others’ relationships. However, you shouldn’t envy someone just because they’re in a relationship and you’re not. After all, being single is an excellent time to focus on yourself and your future.

Emily Schmidt, a sophomore at Stanford University, says, “I always deal with relationship jealousy by reminding myself that my guy is out there. I just have to be patient. Sometimes I’ll go and read cheesy quotes on Tumblr if I’m feeling especially angsty, but for the most part, focusing on myself helps a lot.” Whether you want to believe it or not, there is someone out there for you (even multiple someones), so you shouldn’t worry about being jealous of someone’s seemingly perfect bae.

2. Remember that every relationship is different

What works for the couple you’re jellin’ on might not work for you and your SO, so you shouldn’t obsess over other couples. Don’t try to be like another couple, just because that couple appears to be blissful.

Just because your bestie and her beau display an obnoxious amount of public affection, doesn’t mean you and your SO need to feel pressured into doing the same. Without sounding like a PSA against peer pressure, don’t force something that doesn’t come naturally.

Personally, I used to overtly hold hands and cuddle up on my former SOs, but I only did it because I saw so many other couples doing it. I thought it was just a natural way to show your SO that you like and appreciate them, but it just felt all sorts of awkward (mostly because I hate PDA).

So save yourself the trouble and focus on doing the things that work for you and bae.

3. Stay away from social media

First rule of the internet: nothing is true. Okay well, some things are true on the internet, but social media accounts represent the best of someone’s life. After all, who would want to document the worst (or even mundane) parts of their life or relationship?

John Remus, a senior at Iowa State University, explains, “You tend to obsess about random people on Twitter and Facebook, and it just becomes unhealthy because you’re so focused on what other people are doing in their relationship. If you stop following couple accounts or use social media less, then you can occupy yourself with your own relationship.” Seriously, someone’s social media account is not an accurate representation of themselves of their relationship.

Don’t strain your own relationship because you want to be like all the other Insta-couples.

4. Be happy for the other couple

We get it, it’s easier said than done, especially for us petty gals. However, you should try to focus your energy on admiring a decent and healthy couple.

Before you start photoshopping you and your beau’s face onto photos of your campus’ It Couple, take a second to appreciate that there’s a happy couple (even if they’re only smitten on paper Facebook). 

An anonymous alumna from Florida State University explains that she starting thinking more positively about other couples’ relationship. “I started going to student counseling when I was a student to try to get rid of my negative outlook. It was really affecting my relationship with my boyfriend and my relationships with my friends, because I was spending a lot of time becoming obsessed with relationships that I wasn’t even involved in.” There is absolutely no shame in seeking therapy to help you learn how to process your emotions more effectively, especially if it helps strengthen your relationship with your friends and SO.

Even if you don’t feel like your relationship is the best relationship at the moment, it’s always inspiring to see that there are other couples that are thriving at the moment. After all, what’s life without hope?

Related: 4 Signs Your Friend is Jealous of You

5. Ask other couples questions

If you’re jealous about another couple or pining over someone else’s “couple goals,” you should try asking them questions about what works and what doesn’t work for them.

Even if you use this interrogation interview to overthrow this poster couple’s Insta-fame, at least you’re channeling your energy toward minimizing the couple rivalry, rather than forcing your SO to take 75 photos of your couple brunch for your shared Instagram account.

After all, if you’re jealous about someone else’s relationship in the first place, then you might need to work on something in your own relationship. And there’s nothing wrong with working on something, even if it isn’t “broken.” That is how maintenance works.

Instead, try to figure out why you’re jealous of another couple, and try to replicate that in your own relationship (but, you know, edit it to fit your relationship). For example:

  • If you’re hating on another couple because they seem to spend a lot of time with each other, try spending more time with your SO. However, don’t chill with your SO just for the sake of hanging out with them—make that time meaningful so it doesn’t seem like an assignment.

  • If you’re jealous that other couples know more about their respective SO, try learning more about your other half. Just don’t interrogate them. Whether it’s a game of “Never Have I Ever” or a goofy questionnaire that you found online, make sure you both are having fun learning about each other. You wouldn’t want it to feel like those awkward ice-breaker exercises during syllabus week.

  • If you’re worried that you aren’t making your partner happy, talk to your SO. Seriously, don’t fill yourself with pseudo-doubt when you can have a conversation with your babe. It’ll be less stressful than your performance review at work, we promise.

  • If Sharon and Bree got matching tattoos, but you don’t want matching tattoos, then try to find something you and your SO can share together. Perhaps you could start off with some matching temporary tattoos or some couple bathrobes.

  • If your fav Insta-couple just went on a cruise together, but you and bae are broke AF (plus cruises are boring), do something different (but affordable) from your usual routine. Take a day trip to a state park or watch a steamy movie — you know, something low-key.

If you’re jealous about someone else, then you obviously want something that they have — or something that you think they might have. Regardless, you shouldn’t silently sulk about the dream relationship that you don’t have. Instead, gradually work on your own relationship. Your relationship is what matters, after all.

Chelsea is the Health Editor and How She Got There Editor for Her Campus. In addition to editing articles about mental health, women's health and physical health, Chelsea contributes to Her Campus as a Feature Writer, Beauty Writer, Entertainment Writer and News Writer. Some of her unofficial, albeit self-imposed, responsibilities include arguing about the Oxford comma, fangirling about other writers' articles, and pitching Her Campus's editors shamelessly nerdy content (at ambiguously late/early hours, nonetheless). When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she is probably drawing insects, painting with wine or sobbing through "Crimson Peak." Please email any hate, praise, tips, or inquiries to cjackscreate@gmail.com