7 Tips to be Less Jealous in Your Relationship

Where does jealousy come from

Sometimes jealousy in relationship arises from insecurity, broken confidence in childhood, a feeling of inadequacy or low self-esteem.
Other times jealousy is a very healthy and normal reaction to legitimate relationship concerns and red flags. It could be boundary violations with other people, inappropriate flirting, or even cheating. (And, from your letter, it doesn’t sound like your girlfriend’s case. There don’t seem to be any “real” threats.)
Here are some common reasons, both external and internal, why you might feel so jealous.
You have an unresolved childhood injury. Maybe one of your parents cheated on the other and you swore you would never let this happen to you. Maybe you didn’t get the attention you needed from a parent, which left you feeling less than lovable. Perhaps you had a parent who preferred drugs, alcohol, gambling, or something else to you and left you feeling neglected or unworthy of love.
You have a past partner injury. If you’ve had a partner who cheated on you, you’re going to be on high alert looking for signs that it’s happening again until you feel like you can really trust your new partner. Your mind will sort out the negative in order to avoid future pain. The same goes if you have an ex who has been abusive, very critical, or has done a lot of gaslighting. These types of relationships can erode your self-confidence, prevent you from listening to your gut feelings, or destroy your self-esteem. All of this makes you vulnerable to jealousy.

Jealousy in Relationship?

You are unstable. If you are insecure or have low self-esteem, you may be triggered more easily and perceive others as a threat. It might sound cliché, but it’s true: To feel safe in a relationship, you first need to feel safe with yourself.
Your partner has bad boundaries. In some cases, your partner’s behavior can trigger feelings of jealousy. It doesn’t have to be something obvious like flirting or being affectionate or attractive with someone. It may be inappropriate to discuss their emotionally intimate lives with others or to share relationship flaws with people they shouldn’t. Crossing lines like this can be a slippery slope.
You have a past partner injury. If you’ve had a partner who cheated on you, you’re going to be on high alert looking for signs that it’s happening again until you feel like you can really trust your new partner. Your mind will sort out the negative in order to avoid future pain. The same goes if you have an ex who has been abusive, very critical, or has done a lot of gaslighting. These types of relationships can erode your self-confidence, prevent you from listening to your gut feelings, or destroy your self-esteem. All of this makes you vulnerable to jealousy.
You are unstable. If you are insecure or have low self-esteem, you may be triggered more easily and perceive others as a threat. It might sound cliché, but it’s true: To feel safe in a relationship, you first need to feel safe with yourself.
Your partner has bad boundaries. In some cases, your partner’s behavior can trigger feelings of jealousy. It doesn’t have to be something obvious like flirting or being affectionate or attractive with someone. It may be inappropriate to discuss their emotionally intimate lives with others or to share relationship flaws with people they shouldn’t. Crossing lines like this can be a slippery slope.

How to stop feeling jealous

If you are struggling with the green-eyed monster, there are some things you can do to relieve yourself.
1. Spend time in introspection.
Take the time to explore your own story, your emotions, and your triggers to better understand why this has become such a problem. Self-knowledge is a powerful tool.
2. Have an honest conversation with your partner.
Being emotionally vulnerable and making your partner aware of what is happening to you can lessen the strength of these feelings. Getting support from them can help you heal.
3. Discuss limits and commitments.
Make sure you are both on the same page. Talk about the boundaries you are both comfortable with around others. Is it okay to talk to someone of the same sex when going out on private topics? Is flirting good? What is the relationship commitment? Is it a monogamous relationship? What defines cheating? If it is an open relationship, what are the acceptable behaviors with others? How much information are you supposed to share?
RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Polyamorous Relationships
4. Start a gratitude practice.
Having a daily reminder of all the things that are working in your relationship and in your life can change your emotional state, which can make you less vulnerable to feelings of jealousy.
5. Remember you can survive anything.
Sometimes we build worst-case scenarios and imaginary pain in our heads. We believe that if our partner is cheating on us (or even is attracted to another person or cares about someone else), it is intolerable. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we have survived all kinds of hardships in life and are still standing. We often underestimate our strength. Remembering this can lower the temperature a few notches and allow us to think more clearly.
6. Take the time to calm down and become rational.
When we are triggered, we don’t think clearly. We tend to lose touch with the intellectual part of our brain and rely on our more primitive brain. When we are in the state, we are not able to assess if our partner has flirted with the waitress too much … or if we are just paranoid. It is important to take a step back and take a break to calm down. When we are in fight or flight mode as we tend to be in these situations, we are more likely to say something that we will regret.
7. Enter therapy.
Sometimes we need professional help to talk about our jealousy issues. We tend to be unobjective about our own lives and often, no matter how smart we are, things can get blurry when they’re very emotional. A therapist can help you understand what’s real and what’s not, and help you better understand how your story can impact your romantic relationships. It is also a great place to learn new tools to deal with any intense feelings that arise around this problem.

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