Love is a mythical force that has quite the hold over so many of us. I was fortunate to fall in love my husband when I met him at the tender age of eighteen years old. In fact, the first time I met him I was instantly drawn to him and knew I needed to have him in my life.
So what comes after you fall in love? LIFE. When it comes to having a life with someone, it takes much more than just the love you have in your heart for the person.
Is this someone you can have a home with?
Would they be a good parent (if you want kids)?
Do you share common beliefs and principles?
Do you share similar ambitious or values?
The questions go on and on. In fact, I have spent the last 12 years with my boo asking question after question. You’ll never have all the answers in the beginning, and it takes time and sharing a life together to come to the answers jointly sometimes.
One question I find very common for couples is, how can my partner or I be less jealous?
From my own personal journey with this overwhelming emotion, I have found that when I do the following 5 things every time I feel jealous, it makes a world of difference.
- Identify the source – When you feel the jealous rage rising on the inside, it is a helpful exercise to identify its source. For me, feelings of jealousy arise from my own insecurities related to self esteem, lack of confidence, and constantly comparing myself to others. There is no need for that angst and anxiety in life. This relates directly to how confident you feel or trust your partner. If you’re insecure about your own self worth, then it’s easy to believe that your partner will be led astray by someone better than you.
- Have uncomfortable conversations – When I hear couples say, “My partner is my best friend,” but then tell that they secretly track each other’s every move or need to “investigate” each other’s phones and belongings on a constant basis – it makes me question what is really going on. Trust needs to more than a theoretical concept applied to monogamous relationships. It is simple, if your partner goes out, do you trust them not to disrespect you or your relationship? If the answer is no, you need to deal with it. Are there incidents in the past to make you feel this way? Are you not comfortable with how your partner socializes? Whatever the triggers are, tackle them on directly so you can really begin to build trust with your partner. The alternative is always feeling on edge, expecting the worst of your best friend.
- Reflect on yourself – We have to own who we are. As a step to overcoming addiction, people start by first identifying themselves as smokers, alcoholics, or someone who struggles with an addiction. Are you a person who loves to fight with your partner? Do you enjoy drama in your life? Are you using jealousy as a vehicle to validate actions you are taking? Talking out the hard stuff is what great relationships are made of. If people are comfortable sharing their life stories or rants on Facebook live, then there is no excuse to avoid having a real heart to heart with your partner.
- Build Intimacy Over and Over – It is easy to feel insecure about your relationship if you don’t take the time to nurture it on a frequent basis. Instead of worrying about what your partner could be doing with someone else, the focus should remain on what you and your partner are doing with each other. Are you checking in with each other everyday? Are you expressing more love than anger with your partner? How are you and your partner feeling about the relationship everyday? These are the questions that will help direct what you and your partner should be doing to be as close and connected as possible.
- Lay Out the Boundaries – He was totally flirting with her; he has too many single female friends etc. If you’re finding that there are a lot of ambiguities that make you uncomfortable about how your partner behaves, then set some boundaries. Does it make you uncomfortable when your partner goes out with his single friends? What do you consider to be flirting that could lead to an argument? While you can’t possibly lay out boundaries for every conceivable scenario, you don’t have to. Figure out the biggies first before worrying about small things (if they even arise).
Jealousy has to do a lot about how we are feeling as opposed to how our partners are acting. We have to decide what we want or don’t want in our lives and decide if our partner matches what we envision for ourselves. This is not an easy conversation but it is much needed as we pursue a life of joy and fulfillment.
Interested in discussing this further, let’s chat today.